Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Raz, a mathematician, is among a cohort of secluded scientists and philosophers who are called upon to save the world from impending catastrophe.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, c2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780061474095
Branch Call Number: FICTION Stephens Neal
Characteristics: xvii, 937 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Oct 16, 2016

Hard core SciFi fan here. Love Neal S. however, after several tries could not get into this work. I have read and enjoyed most everything else he has written... Bummer -

Sep 19, 2016

I started voraciously reading science fiction when I was 9 years old. I'm a bit of a sci-fi book and movie nerd. However, I thought I'd read the preface of this book before digging in. (It is a BIG book.) After his two page condescending explanation that I am too stupid to understand his book, I decided he was right and returned it to the library unread.

Mar 06, 2016

A very thoughtful book with a lot of really heavy concepts, yet presented in an accessible way. I ended up truly caring about the core characters by the end of the novel, and I felt satisfied with the ending! I've read some criticism of the invented words interspersed throughout the novel, but before long they became second-nature to me and helped with the concept of the world being similar to Earth yet slightly different. Take your time and enjoy this one!

Mar 04, 2016

This is Stephenson at his best--hard science and theology butting heads mixed with action and a unique world built practically from scratch. Two caveats: 1) The book is slow to get started. It's almost pastoral which fits the monastic nature of the Concent where it begins but is necessary to build a world that is counter to our own in many ways. Things pick up and become another Stephenson thrill ride full of unexpected twists and turns and wry humor. 2) I recommend reading some elementary particle physics before you get too far into the book--Hawking's A Brief History of Time is one even this math-averse reader can manage. I happened to be reading it concurrently with Anathem and it was like a guidebook in the latter half of the novel when things get sciencey a lot. The rational discourse is an interesting anti-verse to Umberto Eco's deep theological dialogue.

May 28, 2015

The read-up on the inside cover intrigued me. And, with a title that just feels wrong every time you try to say it with assurity, I felt compelled to see if I could read it through.
Well, the first few chapters were sort of interesting, but you expect an author to at least give some hints about strangely named items or places. It's fun to figure these things out but usually you need some type of reference to do so. Without those I found I spent too much time trying to figure out what was what instead of actually reading. In 2 weeks I only read 3 chapters, so back to the library it went.
Try it, bu after reading other reviews on Goodreads, I've discovered that most of Mr. Stephenson's books are for a very small audience. Kudos to him for finding an audience that enjoys his books. Unfortunately I'm not one of them.

May 18, 2015


Apr 23, 2015

There are books that you read, enjoy and put away never to read again. Then there are books like Anathem (and I'd include Dune and Shikasta on this short list) that are so amazing, complex and mind-expanding that one read simply won't be enough. OK, I'm ready to go again.

Feb 07, 2015

One of my favorite books ever.

Apr 30, 2014

One of Stephenson's best novels. Extremely creative and original.

GeoffAbel Mar 02, 2013

I can't add anything more than what others have stated - I'm just adding another positive review to this spectacular novel. Neal is The Man!

View All Comments


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Related Authors


Subject Headings


Find it at My Library

To Top