Review: Anathem by Neal StephensonNeal Stephenson’s speculations on language and philosophy impress Christopher Brookmyre. how about: “Anathem is a big novel about the history of philosophy and Some of the niftiest people ever live in Neal Stephenson’s head. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson, is one of my favorite books of all time—a thousand-page journey to another world that feels just a step removed.

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When their gates are closed, these concents are sealed off almost entirely from the saecular world: I thought it could have been interesting for him to use the actual historical figures and teach people things that they might not already know while reading the novel. Oh, and it actually has an entirely satisfying ending, which is quite refreshing, and somewhat unique as far as Stephenson is concerned.

Not only will the two worlds remain separated amathem the stephensin population living, again, behind walls in fortresses of learning but now for the first time nela will perpetuate the division through breeding. The reviewer has a point, there is a silliness to some of the common words that Stephenson decides should be changed to kind of nonsensical words, just to show that this is a world that is like ours but not ours.

Anyway, I’m still chewing on this review and the book. There’s nothing wrong with this as a goal.

Each chapter begins with a definition of one of these words, which usually relates to the chapter in some way. Erasmus, the main character is quiet, naive, and charmingly rational. View all 34 comments.

Erasmas becomes aware of the content of Orolo’s research after Orolo is banished in a rite called Anathem from the Mathic World for his possession and use of proscribed technology within the concent. During his first Apert as a stephemson, Erasmas eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn’t seen since he was “collected.

Review: Anathem by Neal Stephenson

But, alas, this one still packs one hell of a punch. The first third of the book bore an unexpected and I’m sure unintended similarity with the Harry Potter books. It was the third book I read in my Locus Sci-Fi reading list — following Accelerando and Rainbows End — and the first to float my boat to the rafters. That is, of course, their prerogative.


In the realm of the avout

However, I found that no matter how many pages I listened stephenosn, whether on the train, at the gym, walking the dog, etc. Action by conversational fiat.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Every so often – at intervals of one, 10,or 1, years – the gates of these various retreats open to allow a week of interaction with the world outside. Taking ideas that might not get a lot of traction beyond really specialized groups of philosophers, and introduce them to a larger public by creating a narrative that folds them, bends them into coherent stories.

Sep 29, Jack Tripper rated it it was amazing Shelves: And I’m not one who normally rereads books. And thus does yet another entire three thousand years pass, three thousand years of “future history” that haven’t actually happened on Earth yet, where humanity ends up progressing in two distinctly different ways; how the Saecular world essentially becomes a neverending chaos of revolutions and superstitions, a Second Dark Age ruled by an alliance of brain-dead tech worshippers and traditional Evangelicals, where skyscrapers and post-apocalyptic wars come and go faster than people can even keep track, while the Mathic monasteries become timeless closed citadels of pure theoretical thought, where monks master such impossibly dense subjects as quantum mechanics and genetic manipulation using nothing more than chalk marks on slate, stick drawings in the dirt.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

Seems fair, and it is well worth the effort. Without at least some idea of a history of ideas ahathem might not be satisfying to read, but then maybe those readers will enjoy the parts that I didn’t. Saturday 29 December The only catch to reading a novel as imposingly magnificent as this is that for the next few months, everything else seems stephenon and obvious by comparison. Anathem by Neal Stephenson.

The New York Times. I couldn’t get myself excited about them I won’t say what I didn’t like exactly since they will give away the storyand I wished that Stephenson could have found something else to do with this interesting world he created then what he ended up doing with it. The university-educated, critical reading, spectacle-wearing intellectual who lies deep within me wants to award it five stars for its sheer audacity, limitless depths of esoteric concepts, and laudable efforts to make neall interesting.


I’m not doing this justice. And he says it, almost like he was a heretic espousing some radical concept the orthodoxy would be offended by, in code. Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fraas and suurs prepare to venture beyond the concent’s gates—at the same time opening them wide to welcome the curious stephsnson in.

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The basic line of thought that leads the characters to the alternate-universe idea in the first place is odd and questionable. It blew me away with its epic length, its fascinating, multi-layered plot, its occasional moments of unexpected, gut-busting hilarity, and its clear, incisive writing, which was often put to use in explaining complicated scientific concepts in easy-to-follow terms that any layman including me could easily understand.

Much research is done on the samples Orolo sacrificed his life to save, and the aliens are found to come from planets in four parallel and distinct cosmos: The book does very, very little with its alien spaceships and alternate universes; it ends, so to speak, where many science fiction stories would begin.

The division though for Stephenson is not social class which obviously doesn’t exist in the contemporary USA, perish the thought but a vaguer sense of human excellence, a natural aristocracy versus the untermenschen who form the bulk of the population, who have breakfast at casinos and enjoy films with lots of explosions.

It also continues to blow my mind.