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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 (4029 )
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  •  
    Greg 04-07-16
    Greg 04-07-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love his other books. Couldn't get into this one."

    Non-standard use of language in the beginning made it hard to keep up with the subtleties of what was going on combined with a very slow and excruciatingly long "start" left me just wanting this book finished. Don't let this be your first book by Stephenson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin 04-03-16
    Kevin 04-03-16 Member Since 2016
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    19
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    Story
    "Captivated"

    I love the vastness of realities Stephenson creates. Now that I've finished the book, I almost feel homesick.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MattyJ 03-31-16
    MattyJ 03-31-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
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    Story
    "Worth persisting"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa 03-25-16
    Melissa 03-25-16 Member Since 2017
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    7
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    "Excellent book!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 03-15-16
    Robert 03-15-16 Member Since 2013
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    REVIEWS
    4
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    Story
    "Typical Stephenson: It grew on me at record pace"
    What did you love best about Anathem?

    I didn't know where it was going until it was already done, and looking back, it was an amazing ride.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    You could tell characters apart from voice alone without it becoming a distraction.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Michigan 03-01-16
    Amazon Customer Michigan 03-01-16 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very complicated, but good enough."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael G. Vallender Melbourne, Australia 02-27-16
    Michael G. Vallender Melbourne, Australia 02-27-16

    Mike Vallender

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    "A journey of thought"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Keene 02-26-16
    Lee Keene 02-26-16
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    "Life-Changing"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    z26 02-25-16
    z26 02-25-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A great work of speculative science fiction"

    Loved it. loved the social experiments, quantum mechanics, nested existentialism, etymology, and multiverse. nerd. fest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirk 02-22-16
    Kirk 02-22-16 Member Since 2013
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    1
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    "An enjoyable read, but it'll make you work for it. "

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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