Trade Ed. Harper Audio 2004
CD ISBN 0060721618 $75.00 Twenty CDs
In the first of a proposed Baroque Cycle, we are immersed in seventeenth-century Europe and America--on the threshold of the Modern World. Alchemy is transmogrifying into chemistry, superstition into science. The Age of Reason dawns while crowned heads make war; court intrigue is the realpolitik of the day; Christendom is getting a face-lift. Pirates, spies, adventuresses, vagabonds, Jesuits, and other infidels abound, along with cabals, spies, juntas, conspiracies, waylayings, and ransomings! They're all crammed in here, along with plots and subplots that this reviewer, for one, cannot keep track of, and that principal narrator Prebble is largely indifferent to. When he does pay attention, he conveys some of the author's wit and sense of historical and scientific adventure. Otherwise, he is on an extremely well-tuned, mellifluous autopilot, so that the text neither suffers nor gains. Auxiliary narrator Nielsen, on the other hand, grates on the ear. Y.R. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/MAY 05]
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