Neal Stephenson
For ten years Fraa Erasmas, a young avout, has lived in a cloistered sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside world. But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the brink of cataclysmic change—and Erasmas will become a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world, as he follows his destiny to the most inhospitable corners of the planet . . . and beyond.


Reviewed: 2022-01-01
A bit too long, home made words annoying, but a good book anyway.
Reviewed: 2021-01-19
Oh my god:
- Waaaay too long (3,000 it seemed pages)
- waaay too much filler ("oh my god, something's actually happening?!")
- waaaay too badly done (it ends with a marriage for maximum possible lameness).

Like the chronically over-extended 8-book Baroque Cycle that it follows, Anathem is entirely quantity over quality.

The next book I read was another H. P. Lovecraft novella and it was sooo good to be actually reading a real book.

Reviewed: 2020-10-26
It took me a few false starts before I finally grasped what was going on and was able to break through the dense opening chapters. Once that was accomplished, a fascinating story unfolded. I think I read a synopsis somewhere that helped me to get it, something about the restriction of technology (due to a war in the distant past) by putting different fields of study in different sequestered cloisters, with outside conversations allowed only at varying intervals of years. Once I understood that basic plot setup, the early part of the book made a lot more sense! Really great story.
Reviewed: 2018-01-25
Reviewed: 2014-01-01

I'm a slow reader, and the book is almost 900 pages, but it is well worth the investment of time and effort. As I think back to my experience of reading the story, it really seems to be several different styles combined into one long narrative. It starts as a spec-fic cultural examination, with a bit of philosophical dialogue. Then there's a section of grand adventure and survivalism. Then a great turn into full-on scifi, with some more philosophy (which gets really thick around the 600s, but press on and don't give up). The wrapping-up chapter (denouement if I remember my terminology) was not quite satisfactory to me, but after the actions and ideas that were explored in the previous pages, I can't think that any "ending" would suffice (plus, I knew what was coming -- maybe if I'd been surprised, I would have liked it more).

Item Posts
@bjezerey completed #anathem... on 2012-06-06
@bjezerey began #anathem... on 2012-06-02