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Anathem

I have decided to start doing short book reviews of the fiction I’ve recently read. I thought this would be a great way to help my readers find new books, and a great way of cataloging what I’ve read throughout the year.I’m going to start with the three most recent books I've read and should be posting the reviews today.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson. This is a book I almost bought the week it came out but for some reason decided to hold off. I finally picked it up at the library a few weeks ago. I should mention that I'm a huge Stephenson fan, Crytonomicon is probably one of my favorite books of all time, and I own all three books in the System of the World series. Anathem was a Neal Stephenson book through and through. Anathem is a giant book filled with really interesting ideas. One of the great things about all of Stephenson's books is that you learn something new. It may be just a theory that hasn't caught hold or historical ancedotes, but you walk away from his books having learned something.

In Anathem the major idea is intriguing and plays a pretty major part in the story. The story itself is giant yet attached to one character. At first this seems odd, the story takes a while to really get going, but once it does you realize that having more than one character telling the story would be too much. The story is wonderful and complex and throws a bit of action, suspense, and yes even love at you. My one complaint is that some of the major characters don't get the treatment they deserve and you never truly get to know them. Still it's a wonderful book with great characters, ideas, and story.

do leave you with one warning though, Anathem is not for those who like a light summer read. I can usually plow through most books very quickly. Anathem took me almost three weeks to finish, it gets so complex and the characters get into so many discussions on interesting topics that I had to step away from the book for a night once just to let my brain catch up. I don't recommend this book if you are sleep deprived.

Rating on a scale of 1-10: 8.5


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