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Anathem Audiobook

Anathem

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Publisher's Summary

Fraa Erasmus 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 "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, bloody violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet always the avout have managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. Erasmus, however, 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 fras and suurs prepare to venture outside the concent's gates - opening them wide at the same time to welcome the curious "extras" in.

During his first Apert as a fra, Erasmus 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 perilous brink of cataclysmic change.

Powerful unforeseen forces threaten 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, Raz's colleagues, teachers, and friends are all called forth from the safety of the concent in hopes of warding off global disaster.

Suddenly burdened with a worlds-shattering responsibility, Erasmus finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of everything - as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of an unfamiliar planet...and far beyond.

©2008 Neal Stephenson; (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

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4.3 (3383 )
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  •  
    Sigurdur Josef Arnason 08-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    6
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    "Tought-provoking and fun"

    A thought-provokingly fun roller coaster ride that really kicks off in the later half of the book. I did not want it to come to an end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 08-08-15
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 08-08-15 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intricate and Epic"

    Stephenson's worlds are fascinating, filled with details that make them impressively real. The emergence of this society is interesting in itself, even without the big conflict that is the climax of the book. He creates some really interesting metaphysical ideas, which make me wonder if this is the basis of some existing philosophy.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Vanhaaster Los Angeles, Ca USA 08-03-15
    David Vanhaaster Los Angeles, Ca USA 08-03-15 Member Since 2012

    sql learner

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    31
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    "Complex and lovable"

    The world he builds his complex, and layered. The characters you come to know, you don't want to leave. At the end of the book, you already miss them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Micah Gooden 07-24-15
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    9
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    "Little slow"

    The first part of the book was slow. But in the book they warn you of that. Overall good book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josha Inglis Brisbane, Australia 07-02-15
    Josha Inglis Brisbane, Australia 07-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Indescribably fantastic"

    A simply brilliant book, covering a huge range of deep and interesting topics. It was read fantastically, and I cannot it recommend highly enough!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kormander 06-28-15
    Kormander 06-28-15 Member Since 2013

    Tell me about hard sci fi books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Millennial Apert"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Depends on the friend, but most likely, yes.

    I love this book, every time I finish it, I miss the characters. I know very few people who have read or listened to it, and I would love to talk to someone about it.


    What other book might you compare Anathem to and why?

    Anathem was my first Neal Stephenson book, it was suggested as a book that is like "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. I disagree, it is not like that (other than it is long and complex).

    I would say Seveneves compares well, another epic tale by Stephenson


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Pronunciation, music, chants. This book a lot of its own vocabulary. Neal Stephenson narrates dictionary definitions at the beginning of chapters (straight from the man himself). I really enjoy the main narrator, too. I like his voices for Ras and Orolo


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh, it made me cry. Listening to this book is like sailing down a river of interesting ideas.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like sci fi, math, and philosophy - this book offers so much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Cavano 06-27-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov and Bradbury"

    Have nothing on Neal Stephenson. An unusually creative take on alternative universes. Tuned to today's science, Stephenson can craft an epic about The Meaning of it All while bringing in archetypal themes of loyalty to truth and the arc of good intentions. Good stuff!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Silas Marrs 06-22-15
    Silas Marrs 06-22-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Hated the start, but loved the book."

    Word of warning: skip the front matter. There is a long history of the world, as well as an explanation of how stuff is pronounced at the front that it was a bad idea for them to put at the front of the audiobook version.

    I was all set to give up on this book for about the first 30 minutes. It seemed boring and the reader was very slow. Fortunately, I was at the gym with nothing else to listen to, so I persevered, set playback speed to 1.5x, and ended up loving it.

    Another word of warning: this book is not for everyone. It is set in what is essentially a "monastery for scientists" in an alternate universe. It is a fairly good example of "Hard Science Fiction" i.e. all the stuff that happens is mostly feasible within our current understanding of physics. If you think listening to people have conversations about science/philosophy is interesting, this may be the book for you. Otherwise, it probably isn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon Lander, WY, United States 06-21-15
    Brandon Lander, WY, United States 06-21-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Best I've done this year"

    Gets your brain going. Well written. Lots of colloquialisms. Among the best books I have enjoyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Strange 06-15-15
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    "Hard work but good"

    Excellent book from Neal as always. Feel a bit uneducated when trying to follow but smarter for reading/listening

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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