A few weeks ago I created an homage to Xkcd by evaluating my experience reading Neal Stephenson’s Anathem.
Well, I’m done.
Overall, I think Neal Stephenson will be remembered as one of the premier scifi authors of this generation. That doesn’t make his books any easier to read. This one in particular I found to be genuinely amazing in spots and fundamentally boring in others. The concepts he put together in surprising juxtapositions made the story move along and kept me reading but I won’t read the book again.
If you’re new to Neal Stephenson, read Snow Crash and Diamond Age before you read this book. That will ramp you and let you know what to expect (Cryptonomicon is in it’s own special category, less scifi). If you find it hard to get through either of those, do not read Anathem.
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