Thursday, August 30, 2012


I know this is going to sound strange but one of the things I like about our new home is that I have a longer drive to work.  Not only is it a beautiful drive along the water but I get a chance to listen to audio books everyday instead of once in a while while traveling.  So I finally got a chance to listen to the very long book Anathem by Neal Stephenson (32 hours and 30 minutes).  I loved Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash and Cryptonomicron but this one was very different.  Here is the blurb from the back cover:

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.

I just loved it.  The monastic world that is created to cloister all science from general society and technology from the scientists is fascinating.  But this isn’t just world building.  The characters were well developed and the plot was interesting.  As the author had 981 pages to play with the plot is not always fast paced but I actually loved when it got bogged down and focused on scholarly debates before getting back into the action.  It was a very philosophical sci-fi romp and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  And if you are into audio books the narrator was fabulous.      

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