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    Description

    A chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of “Half-Cocked Jack” Shaftoe – London street urchin turned legendary swashbuckling adventurer – risking life and limb for fortune and love while slowly maddening from the pox – and Eliza, rescued by Jack from a Turkish harem to become spy, confidante, and pawn of royals in order to reinvent a contentious continent through the newborn power of finance.

    The Baroque Cycle, Neal Stephenson’s award-winning series, spans the late 17th and early 18th centuries, combining history, adventure, science, invention, piracy, and alchemy into one sweeping tale. It is a gloriously rich, entertaining, and endlessly inventive historical epic populated by the likes of Isaac Newton, William of Orange, Benjamin Franklin, and King Louis XIV, along with some of the most inventive literary characters in modern fiction.

    Audible’s complete and unabridged presentation of The Baroque Cycle was produced in cooperation with Neal Stephenson. Each volume includes an exclusive introduction read by the author.

    Listen to more titles in the Baroque Cycle.
    ©2003 Neal Stephenson (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

    Commentaires

    "Most tales of 'olde' times are replete with castles, robed lords and ladies, and handsome men on horseback. But what about the wretches they pass on the side of the road as they go off to a lively joust? is about those men, the poor, the grifters, whose names are lost to history—the vagabonds. Stephenson's novel tells their story, with the able help of storyteller Simon Prebble. Prebble's witty banter is perfect as the voice of Jack, a knave who is out to prove that even a lowborn can succeed in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe. Prebble even does a great job with the historical characters such as Isaac Newton, Ben Franklin, and others. Equal parts action and adventure, along with a healthy dose of humor, make this a great listen." ( AudioFile)

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de King of the Vagabonds

    Notations
    Global
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    Interprétation
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    Commentaires - Veuillez sélectionner les onglets ci-dessous pour changer la provenance des commentaires.

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    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Dale Hurtt
    • 28/08/2010

    Less Math Fiction, More Action

    This book, although about Half-Cock Jack (no, that is not "half-cocked"), is really a bridge between Book 1 and 3. Jack finds Eliza at the siege of Vienna, and by the end of the book you start to realize that Eliza is going to be more of a character than Jack will.

    Book 1 showed the scientists and mathematicians, and their noble patrons, while this story shifts focus on the poor. So there are vagabonds, soldiers, miners, Satanists, Turks, hareems, the oddities and intrigues of nobles, spies, diplomats, early modern capitalism and more. The action is definitely higher than in book 1. Better yet, Neal Stephenson doesn't shift gears back and forth in time anywhere near as much (or so it seems) as in Book 1, so it is much easier to follow, especially if you are doing something else.

    The section on early modern capitalism - focusing mainly on the trading center in Amsterdam - is very interesting. Well worth sitting still and listening to that section. The section in which Jack gets entangled with the Satanists is a bit hard to follow, requiring you slow down and pay attention. All in all a number of "laugh out loud" moments, which makes this yarn a rollicking one. One cautionary note, however: this book is a little more sexually oriented than Book 1, so if you are listening in the car with others - especially children - you are going to have to turn it off unless you want to answer a lot of interesting questions.

    The narrator, Simon Prebble, shows that the range of his voices is even greater than in Book 1, and continues to keep me engaged.. Hey, you got through Book 1, and if you ignored the reviews there and listened anyway - and found it interesting - trust me that you will enjoy this one too.

    40 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Michael L
    • 17/09/2010

    Fun, action packed and nontheless interesting

    In Book 2 of The Baroque Cycle is set in the same time period as Book 1, but concerns an entirely different set of characters and wholly different viewpoint than Book 1. The protagonist is Jack, a vagabond, a perfect rouge who could only be compared to the likes of Falstaff or Harry Flashman. Jack sees an entirely different view of the late 17th century than that provided by the moneyed, puritan of Book 1. This is a London where enterprising young boys can make money by clinging to the legs of hanging men (to hasten their deaths), a Paris where the rat catcher is a man of great influence and an Amsterdam so incredibly rich and free from petty corruption that a man like Jack can hardly find a place for himself. This is a viewpoint rarely found in historical novels, that of the least regarded, the poor, peasants, vagabonds, wretches, slaves, and prostitutes. In this book, Stephenson also introduces his most compelling female character. An intelligent, capable and witty young woman, sold into slavery at a young age and determined to both succeed and to gain her revenge. This volume is much more focused on fun, adventure and humor than Book 1. Nonetheless it is brimming with descriptions of the social, political, religious and commercial changes that were transforming Europe at that time.

    I strongly recommend this to anyone who enjoys Stephenson or good historical novels.

    14 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Tim
    • 21/02/2014

    Have Nots

    In "Quicksilver" it was all about learning the elitist and the upper class, but in "King of the Vagabonds" it's all about understanding the have nots. I will keep this review short just because I cannot wait to continue with the series. In this book there is a lot more action than intellectual conversation between the classes. The best way to describe the Baroque Cycle series so far, think Ken Folliet and historical fiction, but from a cyber punk, Neal Stephenson.

    8 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Tony Loman
    • 29/09/2010

    Wonderful books

    Too bad the first book (Quicksilver) turned off so many Audible listeners. If they had continued on to this book and the rest of the series many of them would have changed their minds. The books combine a history of an interesting period in Europe, the origins of mechanics and calculus, the development of modern money, markets and banking, and a look at Cairo and India in the late 17th Century with great adventure yarns. Neal Stephenson is amazing and these books are some of his best.

    7 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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    • David
    • 01/02/2013

    Swashbuckling and rambling

    Book 2 of the Baroque Cycle is a lot more fun than Book 1.

    That doesn't mean it doesn't have the same flaws. There is still very little approaching a plot. The narrative is still merely an device that enables Stephenson to describe at great length the politics, economics and science of 17th century Europe. There are only the vaguest gestures toward narrative progression, there are numerous entirely extraneous incidents, and the novel stops rather than ends.

    But as long as you can tolerate the above, this is an enjoyable work. Jack and Eliza are extremely entertaining protagonists - seeing the glories and horrors of baroque Europe through the eyes of a cheeky cockney vagabond and a hyper-intelligent courtesan is a lot more fun than the rather anonymous protagonist of Book 1. And unlike the previous novel, this one has an astonishing geographic and social range, spanning the muddy slums of London, the silver mines of Germany, the wars between the Turks and the Austrians, the banking cities of the Netherlands, the palaces of France, and the slave galleys of North Africa.

    And while there is verbiage aplenty and the usual ridiculously detailed explanations and descriptions from Stephenson, some of them are absolutely wonderful - I particularly enjoyed his surreal, dreamlike description of the siege of Vienna and of Eliza's byzantine plotting with various crowned heads of Europe.

    These novels are not for everyone but this one requires considerably less patience and its charms are more immediately evident to the reader interested in a turning point in world history.

    5 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      3 out of 5 stars
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    • S. Yates
    • 01/11/2017

    Odd mix of fiction and non-fiction, acquired taste

    3.5 stars. I'm really conflicted about this book and this series. I keep reading. I am interested. It can be funny and cutting and satirical. But it is truly an acquired taste, and one that I'm not 100% sure I love. There is more plot and action in this volume than there was in the first. But that is still leavened with copious amounts of history and science -- as I read a lot of nonfiction on those topics, this does not entirely turn me off, but I could see it being tedious to many readers. Perhaps my biggest issue with the book is that I usually turn to my reading with a distinct mood for either fiction or nonfiction, and the blending of the two in such obvious ways (with entire passages dealing with finance or history, with chemistry or physics) can be very jarring. I think I'll continue as I respect Stephenson and loved Cryptonomicon (which stars the descendants of many of the major players in this series). But I have to say my feelings are mixed.

    3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Keith
    • 18/11/2016

    Just Meh

    I thought about giving it one star but at least parts of it were interesting. This story has no direction. No plot. Nothing. I started this series because I heard it was good and it is rated well but so far it is seriously lacking.

    3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Cholmondeley
    • 12/09/2016

    As always Stephenson delivers a Big Bang.

    I listening to the series - this time in the order the books were written - two years after the first listen. I don't do this often and never with a gap of only two years. But the content of Stephenson's books is so dense and some of his best lines so subtle that the material feels fresh and worth paying attention to.

    3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      2 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Julie W. Capell
    • Julie W. Capell
    • 16/11/2014

    Memorable for introducing a great female character

    This book I found considerably less interesting than Quicksilver, dealing as it does primarily with the decidedly picaresque adventures of a vagabond. He hooks up with Eliza, the only female character of the book, who quickly establishes herself as the brains of their partnership. Once she gets to Amsterdam and begins to manipulate both men and their money, she becomes one of the most interesting female characters I have come across in quite some time.

    3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Limited Edition
    • 21/01/2017

    Different, unsettling

    Most historical fiction I've read deals with war, romance, etc. The protagonist can be a scoundrel, but still something of a hero. A look at the seamier side of life in those times, provides a different perspective.

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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    • Global
      1 out of 5 stars
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    • André
    • 20/10/2019

    Nur 1/3 des Buches und halbierte Audioqualität!

    Leider gibt es die Barock Triologie nicht auf Deutsch - also auf Englisch. Dies ist jedoch nur ein Drittel des ersten Buches!
    Wenn ich in einen Buchladen gehe und die komplette Buchreihe kaufe, werde ich mit drei Büchern den Laden verlassen. Egal ob ich die Bücher auf Deutsch oder Englisch kaufe.

    Zur Verdeutlichung hier eine Übersicht der gesamten Reihe:

    The Baroque Cycle 1 - Quicksilver
    - Book 1: Quicksilver
    - Book 2: King of the Vagabonds
    - Book 3: Odalisque

    The Baroque Cycle 2 - The Confusion
    - Book 4: Bonanza
    - Book 5: The Juncto

    The Baroque Cycle 3 - The System of the World
    - Book 6: Solomon's Gold
    - Book 7: Currency
    - Book 8: The System of the World

    Warum also werden hier nicht acht Hörbücher angeboten? Ganz einfach: Im ersten Band (Quicksilver) und im dritten Band (The System of the World) kommen die Bücher nacheinander. Im zweiten Band (The Confusion) sind die Bücher 4 und 5 gemischt.

    Ich empfinde das als reine Geldschneiderei, EIN Buch sollte als EIN Hörbuch angeboten werden! So jedenfalls habe ich mein Audible Abo verstanden! Ein Buch im Monat, nicht ein Drittel Buch...

    Was mich ebenfalls sehr ärgert ist die halbierte Klangqualität die sehr an eine 70er Jahre Telefonverbindung erinnert!
    Ein Blick in die technischen Daten offenbart:
    Audio: aac, 22050 Hz, stereo, 62 kb/s - Normal wäre: 44100 Hz, stereo, 125 kb/s

    Halbierter Frequenzbereich und halbierte Bitrate, was auch deutlich zu hören ist - und ja, ich habe beim Download "Beste Qualität" ausgewählt.

    Für den vollen Preis finde ich das ziemlich unverschämt, daher nur einen Stern in der Gesamtbewertung.

    3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile