Stephenson, Neal

Book - 2008
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Raz, a mathematician, is among a cohort of secluded scientists and philosophers who are called upon to save the world from impending catastrophe

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, 2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061474095
Branch Call Number: SCIFI STEPH...N
Characteristics: xvii, 937 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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Feb 07, 2015
  • lacindahum rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of my favorite books ever.

Apr 30, 2014

One of Stephenson's best novels. Extremely creative and original.

Mar 02, 2013
  • GeoffAbel rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I can't add anything more than what others have stated - I'm just adding another positive review to this spectacular novel. Neal is The Man!

Jan 27, 2013
  • yoj rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Phwoar. It was quite a tome to get through but I must admit I enjoyed it. It probably helped that I had the holidays to read it because I think it might have been a much harder slog if I had to eke it out over a linger period. This was my second Neil Stevenson but I found again that I truly enjoy his characters.
Even now a couple of weeks afterward I'm not certain what stands out more to me. There are so many aspects, language, culture, identity, multiverses ... It's a bit difficult to pick. I think the comments of others pretty much cover it ...

Jul 19, 2012
  • jsmapr1 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Another winner by Stephenson. The plot is interesting and clever but moves at a nice pace. The philosophical passages are integrated so well that the enhance the story perfectly without confusing or boring the reader.

Apr 27, 2011
  • gwsuperfan rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Expands on some concepts that Stephenson first touched on in The Big U. More readable than the Baroque Cycle books. Perhaps a little too long, but other than that a return to form.

Apr 20, 2011
  • arteris rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A very vivid read from Neal Stephenson. A bit slow to start with an alternate universe full of terminology and history to absorb, but it sets a very epic scale to the tone of the book that reminds me of the great Frank Herbert work, Dune. I would be interested to see another book set in this same alternative universe a long slide in the time line back or forwards.

Jan 12, 2011
  • Northbrook_Eric rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Arbre is a planet where scientists and mathematicians are cloistered behind monastery walls in order to preserve knowledge from disasters. Their millennia-old rules are shattered when a mysterious extraterrestrial event is detected. Raz, an acolyte about to be selected for an Order, and his companions are drawn out of the cloister and into the center of the planet threatening crisis. Fans of Stephenson (I’m one!) know that his work is often more concerned with examining philosophical themes than rapidly forwarding a plotline. Anathem is more successful than some of his recent works in balancing a great story and intriguing intellectual explorations.

Jan 09, 2011
  • bigdog423 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Tough reading for the first 100 pages with many "new" terms, but hang in there, it's worth the wait. Skim the glossary after reading pages 1, 50 and 100 (or there about). The prose will flow more evenly after that.

Overall a great read. Stephenson delivers. The lexicon helps shift one's perspective to frame a civilization that is thousands of years old. Stephenson's ability to take you to a New Place is powerful and quite satisfying.

Some criticize the ending as being too soft or unsubstantial. No matter, with the feast preceding the denouement, I found I didn't care (other than being sad the book ended). Stephenson creates such a rich universe, it is easy to place Anathem on the list of Books to Read Again.

Dec 30, 2010
  • ExtraordinaryEvidence rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Imagine looking at a landscape through a magnifying imagine that the viewpoint slowly and continually pulls back so that more and more of the landscape is slowly add in a mystery, sort of like The Name of the Rose, except a mystery more to do with the nature of consciousness and add in an alternate history and alternate universes...and now add in a brilliant revelation about the ubiquity of narrative and the power of story...this is but a small taste of the monumental world Stephenson creates with this book. What makes it even more wonderful is that the book retains the initial inimacy with the reader through to the end. Highly recommended.

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