The story is a little slow to start, and full of enough invented language to need a glossary. But it is worth holding on, once you acclimatise to the vocabulary the story builds into quite an exciting and engaging piece of speculative fiction. Stephenson has the rare combination of gifts required to imagine complex worlds, as well as interesting and genuine characters, then weaving a thoughtful adventure through them.
I truly enjoyed listening to this book, all 40+ hours of it. I do have to say, though, that I was very glad to have read the book first. Listening to the audiobook as your first exposure to the book can be daunting. However, there are several good websites to help you over the difficult parts. But if you're into spec fiction, go for it!
I didn't know where it was going until it was already done, and looking back, it was an amazing ride.
You could tell characters apart from voice alone without it becoming a distraction.
One of my favorite books ever, in any format. I might quibble with Oliver Wyman's reading performance, but my quibbles are few and, on the whole, petty.
Good story, but so many complex ideas, it was hard to understand at times. I liked the main character, but I had to power through this one to finish.
This is nothing like Snow Crash, which I loved for its pace and action. I nearly gave up on this early as it is a lot to comprehend.
I was traveling so I had huge periods of time to absorb. At some point I couldn't put this down. The characters that seemed to take so long to get to know became familiar and attached.
I ranked this book highly because I know I will do it all again.
Anathem is my favorite story of all time... The narrators are excellent, and really pull you into the story. One of the best things about Anathem is that it really makes you think. My friend and I have both read and listened to it, and we never cease to have interesting conversations about it. The vocabulary takes a little while to get used to, but after you adjust, you'll go on one of the best adventure of your life! Often, when I read/listen to a story, I find that it is a blatant copy of another work. Not with Anathem.... If only more books did copy it.... BUY THIS BOOK you won't regret it. Would most definitely buy again!
I almost returned this book, but I'm glad I didn't. The plot takes a long time to build up speed, and you'll have to pick up a lot of fictional vocabulary words. You'll also need a high tolerance for philosophical and academic style dialogue. But, eventually I was drawn into the story as various mysteries slowly came into focus and the 'narrative' grew ever larger in scale. This may be a bit of a spoiler, but it would have helped me to know that in the end, the conflict would have very high stakes indeed.