Anathem

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Sep 9, 2008 - Fiction - 937 pages
22 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 Extramuros—for the last of the terrible times was long, long ago.

Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fraas and suurs prepare to venture beyond the concent's gates—at the same time opening them wide to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fraa, Erasmas eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected." 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.

Powerful unforeseen forces jeopardize the peaceful stability of mathic life and the established ennui of the Extramuros—a threat that only an unsteady alliance of saecular and avout can oppose—as, one by one, Erasmas and his colleagues, teachers, and friends are summoned forth from the safety of the concent in hopes of warding off global disaster. Suddenly burdened with a staggering responsibility, Erasmas finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world—as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of the planet . . . and beyond.

  

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Review: Anathem

User Review  - Rob - Goodreads

Anathem is a very odd book, and one whose appeal I do not understand. I don't think it would be unfair to call it an piece of expository nonfiction disguised as a novel. Virtues like plot momentum ... Read full review

Review: Anathem

User Review  - Apatt - Goodreads

I have been reading this book for 17 days, when you have lived with a single book this long there is inevitably separation pain, now that I have finished it I feel like I just woke up from a long ... Read full review

Contents

part 2 Apert
53
part 3 Eliger
153
part 4 Anathem
183
part 5 Voco
233
part 6 Peregrin
309
part 7 Feral
387
part 8 Orithena
507
part 9 Inbrase
571
part 11 Advent
723
part 12 Requiem
835
part 13 Reconstitution
877
Glossary
891
Cutting the Cake
911
Hemn Configuration Space
917
Complex Versus Simple Protism
927
Acknowledgments
937

part 10 Messal
621

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About the author (2008)

Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem; the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World); Cryptonomicon; The Diamond Age; Snow Crash, which was named one of Time magazine's top one hundred all-time best English-language novels; and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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