The System of the World

Customer Reviews

97 Ratings

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5 out of 5 stars
By Christopher on 01-17-11

The road to Tyburn

This final part is a satisfying completion of the Baroque Cycle and a fitting climax to its ingenious narrative. The last three parts stand together and are I think the best parts of the book for the unrelenting pace of narration and depth of historical detail; but the final part is darker- much of it set in prisons, madhouses or sewers. Jack, our much loved hero, is caught, tried for treason and condemned to the ultimate penalty of being hanged, drawn and quartered. We take a final guided tour of the streets of London with the condemned on the route to Tyburn Hill and the gallows tree. There seems to be no hope of escape as time runs out and every possibility is exhausted. Stephenson turns the screw and keeps us guessing to the very end.
I bid a sad farewell to Jack, to Eliza, Daniel, and all the others who now seem so real to me. After this magnificent feast for the mind, where do I go now to feed my imagination? Perhaps I will assay Stephenson?s Cryptonomicon, another suitably roomy tome in which I can expect to renew my acquaintance with an old friend.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By mrmalaya on 02-06-18

What a journey!

Having listened to all eight books now, I must say a hearty thanks for this experience. Most of the history is accurate, some fanciful but the story works in such a way as to pull you through the cauldron of late 17th century Europe, around the world and back to the beginning of the modern period and the first stirrings of industry.

Fantastic performance.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 08-24-17

Even better than reading it, shoddy production!

This is a longish read in print (3 x 1000 words?) but Mr Prebble does an admirable job with some VERY tricky accents...hats off to you, Sirrah!

Only 4 out of 5 for performance due to three (in my humble) ...

1. Hysterically dreadful music as always...
2. Kevin Pariseau.
3. The actor playing Eliza in the earlier volumes, an overdone and misjudged performance.

Other than these, purely subjective, criticisms, I thoroughly recommend that you give these hefty volumes a try. They will repay your shrewd investment many times over!

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5 out of 5 stars
By A Farquhar on 06-18-16

Perfect ending

Fantastic ending to a great saga that I have enjoyed every minute of. Perfectly summed up

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5 out of 5 stars
By Neil Pearse on 01-24-16

All loose ends tied up - well, nearly all

If you could sum up The System of the World in three words, what would they be?


What did you like best about this story?

It ties together all the threads from the earlier books in the series and comes up with a highly satisfying and plausible climax.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

Consistent accents that distinguish between the characters in, occasionally long, sections of dialogue.

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