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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

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3128 )
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4.3 (2024 )
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4.5 (2014 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Buddhaowl California 03-08-15
    Buddhaowl California 03-08-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Such excellent voice acting"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Anathem to be better than the print version?

    as far as I can tell. I borrowed this tome from the library and found it hard to get into at first and eventually just returned it. but when I listened to it while doing my daily closing routine I enjoyed it immensely and wish there was more


    What did you like best about this story?

    The high level of creativity, the humor mixed with the high concepts.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Lordegar (sp?) could tell just the kind of character he was by the voice


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    if scholars were monks


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Creagar 02-13-15
    Sam Creagar 02-13-15 Member Since 2016
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    10
    1
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    "World Building Through Intellect, Theory, Science"

    Anathem is a really interesting book. Whereas someone like Sanderson builds his worlds using explainable magic, and Rothfuss through the old world tavern tale hero, Stephenson built the book in the mind -- through highly theoretical and intellectual conversations. Overall, it's a good book. It takes time, but it's worth it. I liked the narrator. Clear, with a good variation of voices for different characters, although he could have done better with emotions. I enjoyed the book and the reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Wilson 02-06-15
    Ann Wilson 02-06-15 Member Since 2016
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    9
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    "mind blown "

    A long story but worth the time. loved it Will come back to it again

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander 02-04-15
    Alexander 02-04-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Verbose"
    What would have made Anathem better?

    The (eventual) ending was disappointing.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    More action


    How could the performance have been better?

    An editor would've focused the narrative and cut the length in half. Too much background that didn't move anything forward.


    Any additional comments?

    Clever incorporation of modern tools and discoveries into the story using other names. However many stretches of the book make it appear Stephenson is auditioning as a technical writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilya Portnoy Chicago 01-31-15
    Ilya Portnoy Chicago 01-31-15 Member Since 2011
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    44
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    "wow"

    wow wow wow wow wow wow !!! Stephenson does it again. this will take some time to digest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Bullen 01-28-15

    THB

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    3
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    "great book"

    I loved this book when I read it, and having read it I had a familiarity with Stephenson's unique vocabulary so I didn't stumble over the strange words at all. the performance was good, although I didn't like the voice of fraa Erasmus employed by the narrator, as it was different from the voice of the narrator even though the story is told first person from Erasmus's POV. a small quibble, it was still a great listen, especially the Gregorian chant accompanying the part transitions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Millbrook, New York, United States 01-19-15
    Ken Millbrook, New York, United States 01-19-15 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Takes a long time to fall in love with this one..."

    ...but if you give it time to develop you just might. Stephenson has often had a penchant for careful, detailed world-building that sometimes seems to overdo unnecessary features not really critical even for creating the necessary atmosphere, and for much of the first part of this book I thought this was another example of that tendency. However, a great deal more of what seems irrelevant becomes relevant later, and if you can keep it all in mind it will repay you with interesting insights. This is a book best heard in a few long sessions rather than in many smaller chunks, although that approach may seem painful for the first few hours. In the end this turns out to be a remarkable series of carefully researched discussions about some deep conceptual problems in physics and in philosophy (especially philosophy of science and epistemology). If this kind of abstract, meta-level discussion is not your cup of tea, then you might want to skip this one. If it is, then summon the patience to get through the first couple of hours and you will be rewarded.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TIMOTHY Manheim, PA, United States 12-17-14
    TIMOTHY Manheim, PA, United States 12-17-14 Member Since 2011

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible"

    Waste of a lot of time. Just cumbersome and boring. Don't believe the good reviews. I think people are afraid to admit that they spent this much staying with it! Its bad...just move on. This is the first bad review Ive ever done.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nadine Fenelon Falls, ON, Canada 11-16-14
    Nadine Fenelon Falls, ON, Canada 11-16-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    178
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for listening, not for me"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I think with the VERY large reference at the beginning of the book makes this a book that needs to be read. Not sure how easily it would be to keep jumping back to the beginning of the book and then back to where you were listening. I guess it depends on your listening device.
    The other issue I had was not being able to get my head wrapped around the story. I listened for approx. 40 minutes and just could not grasp what the heck they were talking about. May have been my mood, but I was listening while driving, which is when I usually listen. What can I say, just too "out there" for me.


    Has Anathem turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I like this genre, not my first time to the rodeo.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator, I found, was actually very easy to listen too. Character voices were fine. It was the story I could not get into


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    mmmmm nope. There narrator was the only thing going for it


    Any additional comments?

    Nothing against this author, it may just have been my mental capacity when I tried to start the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Bellinger 11-12-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I adore this book"
    What did you love best about Anathem?

    What I like best: The world that Stephenson created; Erasmus and many of the other characters but especially him; the wild wide-ranging nature of the setting.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Anathem?

    A small moment: Fra Jad insisting that the office supply store must have some comprehension of geometry.


    Any additional comments?

    I gave the performance only 4 stars because the section introducer annoyed me: She seemed to have to be trying to remember to enunciate, and pronounced concent conSENT.

    Overall I truly adore the book and have pushed it on my son, who liked it too. I have listened to it many times, and will dip into it to listen to a favorite section, usually only to get caught up all over again and want to hear the whole thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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