Anthony Bailey (anthonybailey) wrote,
Anthony Bailey

Review: The Baroque Cycle

The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson
book cover

Size matters, here. The Baroque Cycle is something of an epic, at around one million words long. (Workings: its three books end on page numbers 916 + 815 + 886 = 2617 pages * 45 lines/page * 10 words/line = 1.12Mwords, then round down some whitespace.)

book cover

The trilogy is a "behind the scenes" saga spanning fifty years of scientific and economic alchemy, featuring characters from the pages of history but centered on three of their peers whose tales escaped the official record.

book cover

In many ways this is the 17th/18th century version of the same author's more contemporary Cryptonomicon, with which it shares the above approach, plenty of adventures colored by cryptography and computation, and more. However, I found its sprawling scope resulted in less value per page: its three books contain only a little more gold in total than Cryptonomicon's one.

Tags: hreview
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