rating: 4 of 5 stars
Woah….. what a ride. I’m quite happy to be done with this behemoth, so I don’t have to lug it with me on my bus ride each day. That aside, I really enjoyed the rich cultural tapestry Stephenson wove and the thought provoking discussions heavily peppered throughout. At times it felt like a slow read, as the first half (two-thirds?) of the book were filled with many multi-page “dialogs” about logic, philosophy, quantum mechanics, and a number of other related topics, but the presentation of these discussions and the plot movements (though very slight at first) connecting them were intriguing and easily kept me coming back for more. The final third was a major and welcome shift to a more traditional space opera tale, but with the hard-science twist Stephenson had set up from page one. And good news, the completely satisfying end is totally worth the 900+ page journey.
This book covers a lot of ground and was easily one of the more thought provoking fictions I’ve read in quite a while. Anyone looking for some reality and depth in your sci-fi, Anathem will be hard to beat.
Now I’m onto China Miéville‘s Perdido Street Station. I’m only on page 60 and I can already tell that I’m going to love this book. I’m so glad to have stumbled upon this author.