Anathem (2008, William Morrow)

English language

Published April 2, 2008 by William Morrow.


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4 stars (1 review)

Anathem, the latest invention by the New York Times bestselling author of Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle, is a magnificent creation: a work of great scope, intelligence, and imagination that ushers readers into a recognizable — yet strangely inverted — world.Fraa Erasmas 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 outside "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 violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside — the …

10 editions

Review of 'Anathem' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

I first tried reading Anathem back when it was relatively new, but couldn't get past the first 100 pages or so. Now, having the benefit of a decade more worldly knowledge (such as the history of the Catholic church, Western philosophy, etc.), I've finally finished it and I can say that it was an incredible read.Is it an collection of philosophy dialogue? Is it an action-adventure novel? Is it actually just Snow Crash presented differently?Yeah, kind of, but it's also a book that gets exponentially more exciting as it goes on and also says some pretty profound things. (The profound things are, unfortunately, fiction, but it would be a high bar for an action-adventure novel to also truly advance philosophy.)So if you're considering reading this, just know that you shouldn't worry too much about the made-up words - you'll understand them in due time - and that the crazy stuff …


  • Life on other planets -- Fiction
  • Disasters -- Fiction
  • Monasteries -- Fiction
  • Philosophy -- Fiction
  • Mathematics -- Fiction