Monday, March 31, 2008

Reading in chronological Order...

I have always been of the opinion that, when it comes to a series of books such as The Chronicles of Narnia; it is best to read them in the order written rather than the order of the story within the series. For instance; The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was written first, while the The Magician’s Nephew --was written 6th but is the first stuff that happens, story-wise.

Now, I have quite by accident done the opposite. I discovered Neal Stephenson with the book Quicksilver--the first of a three volume series called The Baroque Cycle which takes place at the time of Newton. After I finished three hardcover tomes of around 900 pages each, I discover that a few years earlier he wrote Cryptonomicon. This takes place in WWII and in the (more-or-less) present time.

I suppose it is a mixed blessing. I would have enjoyed The Baroque Cycle more, had I read Cryptomimicon first, but I am immensely enjoying Cryptonomicon partly because of having read the other books. It should be noted that the main characters in Cryptonomicon, are all descended from the main characters from The Baroque Cycle.

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