Je m’appelle Cédric Bozzi et ceci est mon blog. Enfin, ceci est surtout la reprise de tous mes tweets et de mes photos publiées sur Instagram, mais parfois il peut aussi y avoir de vrais articles.
Okay, that’s not quite what I was going for. I enjoyed Snow Crash because of the story and the science-fiction, despite the archeological digressions that grew longer and longer (and drier) as the book progressed; with a title like Quicksilver I expected this one to be an epic fantasy story about alchemists or something, rather than a novelized history of the dawn of science in the 17th century.
Not that’s it’s a bad book; as long and hard it is to read (I can read English sci-fi or contemporary novels without a sweat, but I’m not trained for the vocabulary of period pieces), it managed to keep me interested until the end.
But the thing is, I’ve never been the mathematical kind of geek. I don’t care how algebra was invented, and while this book finally gave me an inkling of what’s so fascinating about the idea of equations describing and defining the world (which had always evaded me precisely because I wasn’t born in the 1650s, and always took math for granted, I guess), there isn’t much of it that’s remaining in my head after I’ve closed the book.
In many ways, the novel feels like a “modern science for dummies” story, using the setting to explain the bases of science to the New York Times readers — but I know how centrifugal forces work (and how they’re not forces), and almost everything else the book touches. And there’s this main character, who’s been witness, and often instrumental, to everything that happened during a whole century, and that somehow the times forgot; that same storytelling device that made me occasionally curse at the Rome TV show. Sure, it works, but I just don’t like it. Not to mention the Lost-style flashbacks that hint at plot points that’ll be explained later — which works better in a TV show, because with Quicksilver I just kept wondering if I’d skipped a paragraph somewhere.
Like I said, it’s not a bad book at all, and I’m not sorry I read it; but I’m not going to order the rest of the trilogy, and I don’t suppose I’ll be too eager to read anything else by Stephenson if he indulges more and more in his nerdiness as he gets more successful.