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.
I always enjoy some good old fashioned arcane spec-fic terminology. I also had to pause it numerous times so my wife and I could debate the philosophy woven throughout the story. MUCH better than arguing about which rest stop to hit or sitting in stony silence!
This author has an unbelievable ability to tie together so many different threads of culture, language, life, philosophy and science... and to do so without any of it seeming trite, or incomplete.
This is a VERY COMPLICATED story. It is tremendously interesting, clever, deep, and very engaging. I often felt stunned/floored by the complexity of the world that was imagined here... the detail, the completeness... I can't fathom what it must be like to have a mind capable of imagining the ridiculous (and I mean that in the best possible way) quantity of amazing ideas contained in this story. .. and then to be able to convey them in a thoroughly coherent, convincing, and engaging way for over 30 HOURS... !
Neal Stephenson, you are my new favorite author. Thoroughly impressed... and thoroughly smitten by your characters.
Oliver Wyman, your skills in narrating this story cannot be understated... as much as the story itself was a work of genius, your narration was truly an inspired performance. You breathed life into a strange world, and into so many characters, using so many different voices -- you made listening to this book a special experience that raises the bar for all narrators everywhere.