Book Review: “The Juncto” by Neal Stephenson (Book 5 of the Baroque Cycle)


The Confusion (2004) by Neal Stephenson continues with Book 5 of The Baroque Cycle, “The Juncto.”  This book is all Eliza, with a good share of Bob Shaftoe, plus helpings of Daniel Waterhouse and Leibniz, sprinkled with the monarchy and aristocracy of late 17th-century Europe, both real and fiction.  At times the narrative of this book appears to be no more than a roundabout way of telling the history of banking, finance, numismatics, and cryptology.  Despite all this, “The Juncto” is much more lively, entertaining, and funny than it’s intertwined book “Bonanza.”  Of course, maybe if I read them together like I was supposed to I would not be making these comparisons.  And it would have made a whole lot more sense.

Next up: The System of the World.

The confusion / Neal Stephenson.
New York : Morrow, c2004.
815 p.: maps ; 25 cm.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by James Masters on 17 January 2009 at 7:32 pm

    “Of course, maybe if I read them together like I was supposed to I would not be making these comparisons.”

    You think so?

    Despite what Stephenson claims, these are not two separate books. Given his method of exposition, the very notion that his writing could be read out of order is absurd.

    The only thing I can’t understand is why you thought your opinion was worth making public; the only conclusion is that you are ignorant of your ignorance, that being a defining characteristic of such a state.

    How annoying.

    JM

    Reply

  2. Ignorance is simply not knowing something, as opposed to stupidity which is willfully refusing to learn. I set out to read and review The Baroque Cycle one book at a time, and stubbornly continued this practice with books 4 & 5 even though they were “confused” together. You live & you learn. Should I read The Baroque Cycle again I will definitely read The Confusion as one book.

    On the whole though, I’d rather be guilty of ignorance than of arrogance and incivility. That you chose to insult me in your very first comment as a guest of my blog demonstrates publicly that you are well acquainted with these character flaws.

    You can prove me wrong though. I have a couple more books to read in The Baroque Cycle and will post reviews for them soon. If you have anything insightful to say about these books, I would love to read your comments.

    Reply

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