Book Review: Anathem by Neal Stephenson

Overall Impressions

I continued my reread of all the Stephenson books with Anathem. I recall really enjoying it when I first read it and was not disappointed this time. This is a great example of a work that makes a fantastic book but could never work as a movie - there's just too much you get from imagining what you're reading and filling in the details even while it's admitted that it takes place in another world and that the race of beings aren't even human.

I especially enjoyed the concepts of the different academic orders and how they live, especially details like their massive clockwork devices. They're fascinating in their own right, but there to support the greater story and don't detract from that at all.

The Good

A super engaging tale that takes some time to get going, but is never boring. Great character development.

I find myself sometimes trying to apply axioms like "the steelyard" in life, but of course nobody would know what I was talking about. So I keep them to myself.

The Bad

I can't really come up with much here... It's really just a good read.

Ok, the sudden love interest that comes out of nowhere and then is suddenly so powerful - maybe that's a curtural thing but it seemed out of place.

Final Thoughts

This is perhaps my favorite of Stephenson's works that's not apart of his connected and extended universe (Crytonomicon, The Baroque Cycle, Reamde, Fall or, Dodge in Hell) - and for all I know maybe it is part of it somehow.

5 stars