Book A Month - February 2009 Kick-Off


I said that I was going to force myself to get through the rest of Stephenson's Baroque Cycle sometime this year. There's no time like the present, so I might as well get started now! Besides, since I pledged not to print anything I could read digitally, Cory Doctorow's Little Brother will have to wait as I'd need to either buy it or print my electronic copy.

It's a little disheartening to find reading a set of books by my favorite author to be difficult, but in this case it's actually downright tiring. I have 100% loved every singly other book that Stephenson wrote, but TBC is exhausting. The characters' storylines interweave and circumnavigate each other (and all of Europe and North America, for that matter) for the entirety of these volumes. I bold a sentence of an excerpt to solidify my point:

This “con-fusion” of two distinct novels (Juncto and Bonanza), alternating between Jack and Eliza’s stories, is a must-read for Stephenson fans. Though neither entry in the Baroque Cycle has impressed the critics as much as some of Stephenson’s previous work, The Confusion proves his narrative skills are still in fine shape. Casual readers beware: many critics feel the lengthy scientific and historical digressions, however well researched and explicated, tend to hold up the story. If the book suffers from an information glut or stylistic terseness, then it is the cracking plot and rich milieu of the Baroque world that set the ship right.

Anyway, since Juncto and Bonanza are, as noted above, yet increasingly inter-woven (he breaks up each book into several sections and shuffles them so that the timelines are actually in order, which I must admit is an odd shift compared to Quicksilver), I may stretch this read across February and March. I mean, leave it to me to pick the shortest month of the year to read an 832-page book, right? Who knows, maybe it'll be different this time around. I hope to be surprised!

Feb 1st, 2009