I’ve started reading Neal Stephenson. This is fairly far away from my normal reading habits, and I don’t think the story would keep me entertained for long if it weren’t for the absolutely amazing grasp of language and nuance. Stephenson is a master of language. And even if I don’t understand the mathematical and scientific principles he’s espousing (I don’t), and even if I don’t know my English history well enough to get all the of the events (I don’t), I could never fail to thoroughly enjoy a book that has pearls such as this strewn carelessly over every page.
Many words are said, but they make no more impact on Daniel than Mrs. Goose’s incoherent narratives about cutlery leaping over coelestial bodies and sluttish hags living in discarded footwear.
There’s a vivid joy in Stephenson’s writing that transcends every aspect of his work. The narrative, the characters, the history, and the science – it’s all there, but all the elements act like mirrors to reflect that luminescent prose.
Oh, yes. The book is Quicksilver. There’s no doubt in my mind, a mere 80 pages into the book, that I’ll be buying the other Baroque Cycle books, and likely Cryptonomicon and Anathem as well.
I’m also amused that – 80 pages in – I’ve finally put together that one of the characters is a Waterhouse, come to Massachusets from England. I am,distantly and oddly, related to this man.