The Baroque Cycle

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Thu Dec 9 11:00:45 EST 2004

On Mon, 6 Dec 2004 11:50:19 -0800 (PST), Ven wrote:

>Melissa wrote
><Stephenson puts all these
>histories, normally studied in isolation, into 
>context with one another: the
>glittering and degenerate France of the Sun King,
>Cromwellian and Stuart
>England, the Hanoverian succession, the 
>treasure-ships of the New
>World...reading these books is like living this 
>history in every place at
>I tried to say something like this but it came
>out wrong, thanks Melissa. 

LOL!  And I was thinking "geez, what can I say that Ven didn't already say
better?"  Fun, isn't it?

><I didn't really like Daniel Waterhouse until
>System of the World_.  I
>wasn't bored by him or anything, but in 
>_Quicksilver_ he struck me as kind
>of wishy-washy, blown about by the actions of the
>stronger men around him.........>
>I was definitely reading him in reference to his
>Cryptonomicon descendants, Lawrence and Randy. He
>didn't strike me as wishy washy so much as
>disengaged, both by temperament and because he
>was the youngest of a family in eclipse (as
>puritan supporters of Cromwell after the

Thinking back on _Cryptonomicon_, I think this is totally accurate.  In
fact, Lawrence in particular reminds me a lot of Daniel (or vice versa,
whichever way you want to look at it).  It's an interesting way to tell a
story, using a protagonist who is part of the action but not completely
absorbed in it.  I'd like to see how this Waterhouse family trait plays out
in future books.

And can I just say that I can't look at a box of Cap'n Crunch cereal without
thinking of Randy and the wondrous spoon?  :)

Melissa Proffitt

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