I feel as if I have been reading this novel for ever, but not in a bad way! I started it before Christmas but stuff at home, some difficult commutes which put me off reading and the sheer size of the paperback back mean that I haven’t been picking it up consistently. But this morning I decided that I would finish it, and I’m glad I persevered, as it’s a rich and rewarding read.
Quicksilver is the first of a trilogy, and is set in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It deals with all sorts of things: alchemy and the development of modern science, revolution and intrigue. It mixes real people like Isaac Newton, William of Orange, James II and Samuel Pepys among many others, with Stephenson’s own characters. It has a lot of detail, which I know has put some people off, but I found that if you allow yourself to sink into it you’ll be swept along by the story. It’s very funny in places and the set pieces are wonderfully described. I’m looking forward to reading the sequels!