HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Loading...

Anathem (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Neal Stephenson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,730215740 (4.21)1 / 325
Member:datagrok
Title:Anathem
Authors:Neal Stephenson
Info:William Morrow (2008), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 960 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites, To rip
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Anathem by Neal Stephenson (2008)

  1. 181
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (Jesse_wiedinmyer, vnovak, szarka)
  2. 160
    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)
  3. 120
    Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (BriarE)
  4. 110
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (Wova4)
  5. 60
    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)
  6. 61
    The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse (bertilak)
  7. 51
    Embassytown by China Miéville (bertilak)
    bertilak: Miéville has written a philosophical science fiction novel that rocks and is not bloated: Stephenson please take note.
  8. 73
    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.
  9. 30
    Nightfall by Isaac Asimov (Jesse_wiedinmyer)
  10. 30
    The Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand (bertilak)
  11. 30
    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)
  12. 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.
  13. 10
    Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (Mind_Booster_Noori)
  14. 43
    Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder (SiSarah)
  15. 00
    Finity by John Barnes (szarka)
  16. 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.
  17. 11
    Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure by Michael Chabon (MarkYoung)
  18. 00
    Relativity, space time and geometrodynamics by John Archibald Wheeler (bertilak)
  19. 01
    Even Peons are People: Interplanetary Justice by D. Pak (philAbrams)
    philAbrams: Cleaver use of neologisms and author created futuristic expressions and terminology. Also philosophical undertones.
  20. 12
    Parallel Worlds : A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku (bertilak)

(see all 21 recommendations)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (213)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (217)
Showing 1-5 of 213 (next | show all)
I listened to the audio book for this re-read, which was a lot of fun until the last four chapters, which really dragged on. I suppose I skimmed the physical minutiae of these chapters the first time and its hard to skim an audio recording? Anyway, I still love this book but I won't bother with it as a *listen* again - or take away a star (though really, it's a five star read and a four star recording). ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
re-reading... not sure this is a good idea but REAMDE has not yet arrived... ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
There aren't too many authors that can combine philosophy, mathematics and science fiction in a novel and pull it off. Stephenson manages to do exactly that here.

If you expect to read a fast moving story, you will be disappointed. It is a slow novel, more ideas than action (even when everyone goes on a big adventure or when the aliens show up). You do not need to understand the math or the philosophy but if you do, it is part of the pleasure to figure out what is the equivalent on our world. Because everything is named differently but the ideas are the same. The first 100 pages are hard to read - between the invented language, the terms and words meaning something different and the whole idea of the concents and people never seeing the world for a year, or ten, or a hundred, or a thousand, it is very hard to get into the story. But I am happy that I pushed through it - because once you get the hang of it, it is a fascinating story.

However - writing a review is actually not that easy. Part of the charm and the beauty of the story is figuring out the things on your own. There is a fascinating world that looks so parallel to ours but almost in reverse - scientists are locked down and hidden, anyone that seems to have a brain gets also locked into the concents (which are like the convents of Earth), there is a starship that shows up from somewhere, there is a huge adventure, there is a boy that does not know the world and learns the world. And that is one of the strong points of the story - we see the story through the eyes of Erasmas - a boy that had been cloistered when he was 9 and now sees the world again for the first time 10 years later. And through his eyes we learn about his life and the world and what really is going on. And for being so different, he is also so similar to any guy that age - full of friends, first love and curiosity.

At the end, the explanation of why everything is so similar and yet so different is handled nicely. It is such a clear science fictional concept, so cleanly executed and done that it made me really love the story.

It won't be for everyone - it is too long in places, the action is moving at a snail pace sometimes. But it is just the way of the story - the pace suits it; the long explanations feel right. By the end I wished that there is more - the sedate pace lures you into a story that makes you stop and think. And one that stays with you for a very long time - because it is just one of those novels - full of ideas and light; full of adventures and concepts. ( )
3 vote AnnieMod | Jun 13, 2016 |
Breathtakingly powerful and effective. Read it a while back, but it still pops up in my mind from time to time. Can't ask for more from a story than that. ( )
  dono421846 | May 9, 2016 |
One of the most complex books I've read in a long time. The world building is really well done, with just a few discordant notes. The beginning is hard to get through until you start to figure out the patterns between that world and ours: rarely made used of the appendices so much in a novel. Overall an enjoyable and memorable story. ( )
  Guide2 | Apr 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 213 (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 (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neal Stephensonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, TaviaMinor Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serrano, ErvinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stutz, DavidComposersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyman, OliverMinor Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To my parents
First words
"Do your neighbors burn one another alive?" was how Fraa Orolo began his conversation with Artisan Flec.
Quotations
"Our opponent is an alien starship packed with atomic bombs," I said. "We have a protractor."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Haiku summary

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
404 wanted
6 pay7 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.21)
0.5 3
1 17
1.5 1
2 46
2.5 11
3 153
3.5 61
4 516
4.5 134
5 619

Audible.com

3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

Anathem by Neal Stephenson was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 108,325,805 books! | Top bar: Always visible