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Anathem (2008)

av Neal Stephenson

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
7,362271936 (4.18)1 / 397
Raz, a mathematician, is among a cohort of secluded scientists and philosophers who are called upon to save the world from impending catastrophe.
  1. 211
    A Canticle for Leibowitz av Walter M. Miller Jr. (Jesse_wiedinmyer, vnovak, szarka)
  2. 181
    Rosens namn av Umberto Eco (the_awesome_opossum)
    the_awesome_opossum: The plot and writing are really similar: a dense and complex mystery/thriller set in a monastery. The Name of the Rose is historical fiction, not sci fi, but if you enjoyed the complicated and weighty plot, Name of the Rose would also be good… (mer)
  3. 140
    Snow Crash av Neal Stephenson (Wova4)
  4. 140
    Cryptonomicon av Neal Stephenson (BriarE)
  5. 80
    Glaspärlespelet av Hermann Hesse (bertilak)
  6. 70
    Foucaults pendel av Umberto Eco (freddlerabbit)
    freddlerabbit: See the Name of the Rose recommendation above - I find Foucault's even more analogous here because Name of the Rose is a bit more plot-driven than the other two, where Foucault's and Anathem both have as much as 40% pure theory-disguised-as-dialogue.… (mer)
  7. 72
    Embassytown av China Miéville (bertilak, g33kgrrl)
    bertilak: Miéville has written a philosophical science fiction novel that rocks and is not bloated: Stephenson please take note.
  8. 50
    Excession av Iain M. Banks (elenchus)
    elenchus: Banks also introduces the "out of context" problem central to Anathem, but in a wildly different plot, and universe. Banks is less ontology and more space opera, but I found both books very entertaining, and both Stephenson and Banks sensitive to political questions raised by their respective plots.… (mer)
  9. 50
    The Clock of the Long Now av Stewart Brand (bertilak)
  10. 30
    Stjärnmörker av Isaac Asimov (Jesse_wiedinmyer)
  11. 30
    Seveneves av Neal Stephenson (Mind_Booster_Noori)
  12. 20
    The Sparrow av Mary Doria Russell (quartzite)
    quartzite: Both books deal with key groups of people preparing to meet alien cultures with a bit of theology and philosophy thrown in.
  13. 53
    Sofies värld av Jostein Gaarder (SiSarah)
  14. 65
    Staden & staden av China Miéville (chmod007)
    chmod007: Both novels depict coexisting-but-dissociated societies — drastically foreign to the world we live in — but help us reflect on it.
  15. 00
    The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. av Neal Stephenson (Mind_Booster_Noori)
  16. 00
    The Just City av Jo Walton (Cecrow)
  17. 00
    Underhållning till döds av Neil Postman (themulhern)
    themulhern: Stephenson himself remarked that Anathem was a book about how people don't read books anymore. Moreover, there is a delightfully satirical sequence in which the characters are discusses serious things over food at a rest stop, and the narrator is repeatedly distracted by images on the speelies that are incoherent yet commanding. Later, the protagonist realizes that one of these images was relevant, and there is another bit of satire.… (mer)
  18. 00
    Evolution's Shore av Ian McDonald (themulhern)
    themulhern: Another book in which the aliens appear with unknown motivations. Here, though, the context is a very contemporary Earth, and so the speculation is much more about the here and now. It spawned a series of which I have not read the rest.
  19. 00
    Relativity, space time and geometrodynamics av John Archibald Wheeler (bertilak)
  20. 22
    Parallel Worlds : A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos av Michio Kaku (bertilak)

(visa alla 24 rekommendationerna)

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engelska (269)  finska (1)  franska (1)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (272)
Visa 1-5 av 272 (nästa | visa alla)
Simply amazing. Neal Stephenson reaffirms his status as my favorite author. I haven't read a better book this year (or maybe even last year). ( )
  nosborm | Oct 10, 2021 |
This book is the novel version of this quantum physics paper by S. Carroll (2021) ( )
  fmqa | Sep 5, 2021 |
What if monasteries were populated by scientists rather than members of religious orders? At first, that appears to be the premise of this thoroughly amazing novel, narrated by a young resident of such a monastery, and covering several eventful months. But that's not all that it's about. Over the course of 900 pages, Stephenson touches on, among other things: Plato's cave; millenium clocks; structuralism vs. formalism; ontology; epistemology; government vs. academia; the value of education; quantum mechanics; and fake news on social media (and this was published in 2008!). None of that is plot, of course, but I don't want to offer any spoilers, other than to say that the story takes place on a planet called Arbre, which is not the far-future Earth I was initially tempted to take it for.

This book isn't for everyone. In particular, I doubt it will appeal to readers looking for fast paced, easy to digest, sci-fi action. The first sections of the book mostly have the slow and measured pace one imagines make up the monastic life; pages are spent on dialogs between characters discussing some point of theoric (i.e., scientific) reasoning. Likewise, "theoric", and the "anathem" of the title, are just two of dozens - hundreds, perhaps - of new words coined for the book, along with some novel uses of existing words, particularly "math". However, the bulk of the text is ordinary English, putting it closer to [b:Brave New World|5479|Brave New World / Brave New World Revisited|Aldous Huxley|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1331315450s/5479.jpg|39947767] than to [b:Ridley Walker|776573|Riddley Walker|Russell Hoban|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1383166398s/776573.jpg|762606]. Understanding all that's being narrated is thus a bit difficult at first, but before long the new words have shown up enough times that it's easy to infer their meanings. In fact, there's a thorough glossary in the back, although I didn't notice it was there until I'd read half the book, and I didn't really miss it; in fact, it got distracting so I decided to leave it be, and just read it through at the end. The "Note to the Reader" that prefaces the text explains a bit about how the novel words were composed, too.

Speaking of end matter, there are three appendices of a sort (here called "calcas") that are worth reading when they are referenced in the text. Each one is an extended conversation about a technical topic that's been elided from the main text, and while those details aren't needed right then, the second and third ones definitely help make sense of what follows. The first calca, on the other hand, is just neat.

To sum up: wow. This may be my favorite Stephenson to date. ( )
  JohnNienart | Jul 11, 2021 |
Perhaps my favorite Stephenson book. Wonderfully creative - don't miss it! ( )
  MarcHutchison | Jul 11, 2021 |
I'm reviewing the audiobook, read by Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, and Neal Stephenson. Because of that, the spellings below will be incorrect - I'll be going based on what I heard.

The thing I liked most about this book was the world building. So many layers, so many things to consider. Ras was a good protagonist and I liked the arc of his story.

The audiobook was a great way to read this. The voice acting worked very well and I really enjoyed Wyman's take on all the characters' voices. The "slowing for emphasis" on certain emotional beats worked well, though may have been used once or twice too much, or to too great an effect - but that's an extremely minor quibble.

The story on whole was very good. Pacing, while slow and developing, was appropriate for the MANY big thoughts Stephenson is examining here. The characters were sympathetic and consistent, though I would have liked to see a bit more complexity from the supporting cast, particularly Cord, Yule, and Ganelli. The one big problem for me came at the end.


----- SPOILERS ------


Stephenson had such a great setup with the world building and the interplay of the "Geometers". I loved the reveal of Jules Verne Durrant, and (being that I was listening to the audiobook) didn't catch that what I was hearing as "Latear" was actually "La Terre" - the Earth. This kept me unsure for a couple of chapters until another character listed the four Geometer worlds and listed Earth among them. This was an enhancement due listening to the audiobook for me and I quite enjoyed it.

On pacing, perhaps my favorite part of the whole story were the messal discussions of the many-worlds concepts. People sitting around a table talking should not have been so enjoyable, but I LOVED the way this played out. Honestly, I was annoyed when Durrant hijacked the conversation with the copper bowl, because these scenes were so well done.

I also really liked the eventual resolution - a signed treaty. Military action followed by people actually making peace. A far more hopeful and (I think) realistic outcome for the alien-invasion story.

The thoughts on transcendence, many-worlds hypothesis, configuration spaces, and philosophy were beautifully done. I think there may have been a bit too much "straw-man" in the arguments about religion, but at least there were multiple viewpoints provided to make it not quite so preachy. All in all, this was a fun way to get introduced to some of the thoughts of rational philosophy.

Where the story failed for me was a single plot point - oxygen. Stephenson did try to "hang a lampshade" on the explanation of why it eventually happened as it did, but none of it worked for me. There were so many times when this plot point should have been talked about and planned for by the characters BEFORE making it to the ship. And all of the previous work that Stephenson had done to show that chemicals between the different cosmi wouldn't interact was complete undercut by having the oxygen bit play out.

THAT - far more than food - should have been what Durrant warned the boarding party of. They should have had so much more oxygen. Right now, it requires that everyone in the boarding party and planning groups of the anti-swarm be completely stupid. I would have been happier if it had been a plot point of worry for Ras all during the orbit transition, telling himself not to freak out about how helpless they would be once they made it onboard. That they would have to make certain the worldburner was destroyed because, at best, they would all be incapacitated once getting on the ship. Instead, it was played off as a surprise and that we (the readers) shouldn't have realized that the oxygen was going to be a problem, even though we'd already read about the spectral lines of the laser, the "unchanged" food passing through Ras' digestive track, and Durrant's explanation about food and hunger.

The fact that Stephenson plays off Durrant's own transition when arriving on Arb (so that he absolutely knew it would be a problem for the boarding party) and then NOT having a suitable plan for this irked me. It pulled me completely out of the story, and while I still finished it, I was never again invested in the story. From the moment Ras wakes up in the medical ward until the ending left me unsatisfied.

So, a really good, thought provoking story that I think missed the landing. Which was really too bad because I think it would have stayed with me more if it had had a more internally consistent ending.

That said, still worth reading to force yourself to think about things differently. ( )
  youngheart80 | Jun 15, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 272 (nästa | visa alla)
Seen through the eyes of a young ascetic named Erasmas, the universe of “Anathem” and its properties are revealed methodically over hundreds of pages, and at first, there is much joy to be found in watching this plausible other reality assemble itself and in observing how it parallels our own.

Too much of the book is dominated by lengthy dialectical debates, whose conclusions are hardly earth-shattering (if you are reading this review, I suspect you already know how to divide a rectangular cake into eight equal servings) and which do little to promote a reader’s engagement with the characters of ­“Anathem,” any more than one cares about the interior lives of Pausanias or Eryximachus while reading “The Symposium.” What’s worse, the book’s fixation on dialogue leads Erasmas (and Stephenson) to simply tell us what is happening or has happened in pivotal scenes, instead of allowing us to see the events for ourselves through descriptive action.
tillagd av SimoneA | ändraNew York Times, Dave Itzkoff (Oct 17, 2008)
 
The only catch to reading a novel as imposingly magnificent as this is that for the next few months, everything else seems small and obvious by comparison.
 
Stephenson's world-building skills, honed by the exacting work he did on his recent Baroque Cycle trilogy, are at their best here. Anathem is that rarest of things: A stately novel of ideas packed with cool tech, terrific fight scenes, aliens, and even a little ESP.
tillagd av PhoenixTerran | ändraio9, Annalee Newitz (Sep 4, 2008)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (4 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Neal Stephensonprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Dufris, WilliamBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Gilbert, TaviaBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Gräbener-Müller, JulianeÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Serrano, ErvinOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Stingl, NikolausÜbersetzermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Stutz, DavidKompositörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Wyman, OliverBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Raz, a mathematician, is among a cohort of secluded scientists and philosophers who are called upon to save the world from impending catastrophe.

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