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Anathem by Neal Stephenson
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Anathem (2008)

by Neal Stephenson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,417230926 (4.19)1 / 361
Recently added byjd313, private library, ksamuel, heinemusik, wjacksonsmith, Keira666, thindor, buffygurl, DougBaker
  1. 180
    The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (the_awesome_opossum)
    the_awesome_opossum: The plot and writing are really similar: a dense and complex mystery/thriller set in a monastery. The Name of the Rose is historical fiction, not sci fi, but if you enjoyed the complicated and weighty plot, Name of the Rose would also be good… (more)
  2. 191
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (Jesse_wiedinmyer, vnovak, szarka)
  3. 130
    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (BriarE)
  4. 120
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (Wova4)
  5. 80
    The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse (bertilak)
  6. 70
    Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (freddlerabbit)
    freddlerabbit: See the Name of the Rose recommendation above - I find Foucault's even more analogous here because Name of the Rose is a bit more plot-driven than the other two, where Foucault's and Anathem both have as much as 40% pure theory-disguised-as-dialogue.… (more)
  7. 51
    Embassytown by China Miéville (bertilak, g33kgrrl)
    bertilak: Miéville has written a philosophical science fiction novel that rocks and is not bloated: Stephenson please take note.
  8. 40
    Excession by Iain M. Banks (elenchus)
    elenchus: Banks also introduces the "out of context" problem central to Anathem, but in a wildly different plot, and universe. Banks is less ontology and more space opera, but I found both books very entertaining, and both Stephenson and Banks sensitive to political questions raised by their respective plots.… (more)
  9. 40
    The Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand (bertilak)
  10. 30
    Nightfall by Isaac Asimov (Jesse_wiedinmyer)
  11. 20
    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (quartzite)
    quartzite: Both books deal with key groups of people preparing to meet alien cultures with a bit of theology and philosophy thrown in.
  12. 10
    Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (Mind_Booster_Noori)
  13. 43
    Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder (SiSarah)
  14. 65
    The City & The City by China Miéville (chmod007)
    chmod007: Both novels depict coexisting-but-dissociated societies — drastically foreign to the world we live in — but help us reflect on it.
  15. 00
    Evolution's Shore by Ian McDonald (themulhern)
    themulhern: Another book in which the aliens appear with unknown motivations. Here, though, the context is a very contemporary Earth, and so the speculation is much more about the here and now. It spawned a series of which I have not read the rest.
  16. 00
    The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson (Mind_Booster_Noori)
  17. 00
    Finity by John Barnes (szarka)
  18. 11
    Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure by Michael Chabon (MarkYoung)
  19. 00
    Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman (themulhern)
    themulhern: Stephenson himself remarked that Anathem was a book about how people don't read books anymore. Moreover, there is a delightfully satirical sequence in which the characters are discusses serious things over food at a rest stop, and the narrator is repeatedly distracted by images on the speelies that are incoherent yet commanding. Later, the protagonist realizes that one of these images was relevant, and there is another bit of satire.… (more)
  20. 00
    Relativity, space time and geometrodynamics by John Archibald Wheeler (bertilak)

(see all 23 recommendations)

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English (231)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (235)
Showing 1-5 of 231 (next | show all)
After reading and loving [b:Seveneves|22816087|Seveneves|Neal Stephenson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1449142000s/22816087.jpg|42299347], I was eager to try another Neal Stephenson novel. Oh boy. Reading this was a chore, and in fact, I couldn't make it through. There just wasn't enough to interest me... Not much plot, fine. New terminology galore, fine. But I need something to care about. None of the spark I expected. Verbose and labored. ( )
  zilem | Jan 25, 2019 |
Absolutely loved this. I was skeptical of how far Stephenson distanced himself from his usual historical fiction / cyberpunk trappings, but it really pays off. I was over my head in some points, but I guess that's more reason to read it again. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
Anathem illustrates, with lush visuals and unimpeded intellect, a fascinating and attractive society comprising the best constructs from human history.

Or, spoiler alert, vice versa!

This novel starts with a satisfying plot whose stakes rise to keep the reader sprinting on this hedonistic treadmill, all the while taking time to define and contextualize non-trivial philosophical, mathematical and scientific phenomena. ( )
  MrAgingNova | Nov 13, 2018 |
A bit slow to get started since you've got to get plugged into the world he's created, but once you're are plugged in it is a delight. ( )
  snotbottom | Sep 19, 2018 |
Stephenson's writing is not my cup of tea. ( )
  nvenkataraman1 | Sep 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 231 (next | show all)
Seen through the eyes of a young ascetic named Erasmas, the universe of “Anathem” and its properties are revealed methodically over hundreds of pages, and at first, there is much joy to be found in watching this plausible other reality assemble itself and in observing how it parallels our own.

Too much of the book is dominated by lengthy dialectical debates, whose conclusions are hardly earth-shattering (if you are reading this review, I suspect you already know how to divide a rectangular cake into eight equal servings) and which do little to promote a reader’s engagement with the characters of ­“Anathem,” any more than one cares about the interior lives of Pausanias or Eryximachus while reading “The Symposium.” What’s worse, the book’s fixation on dialogue leads Erasmas (and Stephenson) to simply tell us what is happening or has happened in pivotal scenes, instead of allowing us to see the events for ourselves through descriptive action.
added by SimoneA | editNew York Times, Dave Itzkoff (Oct 17, 2008)
 
The only catch to reading a novel as imposingly magnificent as this is that for the next few months, everything else seems small and obvious by comparison.
 
Stephenson's world-building skills, honed by the exacting work he did on his recent Baroque Cycle trilogy, are at their best here. Anathem is that rarest of things: A stately novel of ideas packed with cool tech, terrific fight scenes, aliens, and even a little ESP.
added by PhoenixTerran | editio9, Annalee Newitz (Sep 4, 2008)
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neal Stephensonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, TaviaMinor Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gräbener-Müller, JulianeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serrano, ErvinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stingl, NikolausÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stutz, DavidComposersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyman, OliverMinor Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Do your neighbors burn one another alive?" was how Fraa Orolo began his conversation with Artisan Flec.
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"Our opponent is an alien starship packed with atomic bombs," I said. "We have a protractor."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061474096, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:01 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Raz, a mathematician, is among a cohort of secluded scientists and philosophers who are called upon to save the world from impending catastrophe.

» see all 8 descriptions

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