Anathem

English language

Published Jan. 4, 2008 by William Morrow.

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (44 reviews)

Anathem, the latest invention by the New York Times bestselling author of Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle, is a magnificent creation: a work of great scope, intelligence, and imagination that ushers readers into a recognizable — yet strangely inverted — world.Fraa Erasmas is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside "saecular" world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent's walls. Three times during history's darkest epochs violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside — the …

10 editions

Review of 'Anathem' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

I first tried reading Anathem back when it was relatively new, but couldn't get past the first 100 pages or so. Now, having the benefit of a decade more worldly knowledge (such as the history of the Catholic church, Western philosophy, etc.), I've finally finished it and I can say that it was an incredible read.

Is it an collection of philosophy dialogue? Is it an action-adventure novel? Is it actually just Snow Crash presented differently?

Yeah, kind of, but it's also a book that gets exponentially more exciting as it goes on and also says some pretty profound things. (The profound things are, unfortunately, fiction, but it would be a high bar for an action-adventure novel to also truly advance philosophy.)

So if you're considering reading this, just know that you shouldn't worry too much about the made-up words - you'll understand them in due time - and that …

Untypisches Buch von Neal Stephenson

5 stars

Untypisches Buch von Neal Stephenson - es spielt nicht auf der Erde sondern auf einer Art Parallelwelt auf der Vieles anders ist. Und es hat eine großteils lineare Handlung. Viel Stephenson-typisches gibt es aber doch: Vor Allem die Detailverliebtheit - er erfindet dafür 3500 Jahre in sich stimmige Kulturgeschichte des Planeten. Ich halte es für ein Meisterwerk - auch wenn ich verstehen warum sich die Begeisterung von so machem Stephenson-Fan eher in Grenzen hält.

Review of 'Anathem' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Veel filosofie, theologie, thermodynamica, quantumtheorie, en andere fysica in dit boek. Vooral in het begin worden deze onderwerpen behandeld tijdens discussies in een klooster. Dat maakte de start voor mij vooral doorwroeten, ook omdat Engels niet mijn sterkste kant is. Naar het einde toe zijn deze onderwerpen meer verweven met actie, en dat maakt het dan wat sneller te lezen, en eigenlijk ook begrijpelijker. Het boek is erg origineel, en laat je nadenken over parallele universa, over tijd en ruimte, ingebed in een verhaal, dat beoogd spannend te zijn, maar dat zeker niet altijd is.

Review of 'Anathem' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Have you ever read Neal Stephenson? Can you tell when someone is way smarter than you and that compels you to listen? Do you enjoy when you’re confronted with ideas that are so fascinating that you struggle to believe an individual mind came up with them? Does all of that compel you to actually work through reading a book to completion? Then this book is for you!

So far, I’ve only read Seveneves and Anathem by Stephenson. I also picked up Snow Crash but put it down for the same reasons I almost put down Anathem. I walk away from these experiences in awe of the mind that can articulate such complex ideas.

Diax said something that is still very important to us, which is that you should not believe a thing only because you like to believe it. We call that ‘Diax’s Rake’ and sometimes we repeat it to …
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Subjects

  • Life on other planets -- Fiction
  • Disasters -- Fiction
  • Monasteries -- Fiction
  • Philosophy -- Fiction
  • Mathematics -- Fiction