Buy Used
£0.49
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: We dispatch over 6 million books worldwide on an annual basis to happy customers. Quality guaranteed. Expedited shipping available on this book.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Anathem Paperback – 1 Oct 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 164 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£9.51 £0.49
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
£7.77
Available from these sellers.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 1008 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; Main edition (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843549174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843549178
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 5.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'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.' Christopher Brookmyre, Guardian 'Anathem is a brilliant, playful tour of the terrain where logic, mathematics, philosophy and quantum physics intersect, a novel of ideas par excellence, melding wordplay and mathematical theory with a gripping, human adventure.' The Times 'I think this novel is wonderful... Anathem is a call to move into the world.' Andrew McKie, Daily Telegraph 'Neal Stephenson's vertiginous new novel [holds], for me, a boundlessly engaging fascination that comes at the price of being made to feel infinitesimally small: not merely as a human being, but as a writer, too... 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.' Christopher Brookmyre, Guardian 'You find yourself enveloped in the atmosphere of a good library, one populated by a cast of characters whose talking is anything but annoying - and often illuminating. Fabulous.' Jonathan Wright, SFX Magazine"

From the Back Cover

For ten years Fraa Erasmas, a young avout, has lived in a cloistered sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside world. But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the brink of cataclysmic change and Erasmas will become a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world, as he follows his destiny to the most inhospitable corners of the planet . . . and beyond.

Anathem is the latest miraculous invention by the New York Times bestselling author of Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle a work of astonishing scope, intelligence, and imagination. " --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Anathem was a complete surprise to me. I had deliberately avoided reading anything about the book before I bought it, willing to trust the author to come up with another excellent novel comparable to Snow Crash, The Diamond Age or Cryptonomicon.

After reading the first 50 or 60 pages, I was wondering if I'd wasted my money. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. The many invented words peppered throughout the text didn't help either - you can immediately decipher many of them from context they're used in, but it is annoying to do it as often as Anathem requires.

However, I kept going, and by the time I'd gotten through the first 100 pages or so I found myself quite enjoying it. After another couple of hundred pages I was reluctant to put it down, and eventually ended up reading the last third of the book in a single session.

What I would say is that once you become familiar with the dialect used by the characters and get past the relatively slow opening chapters, Anathem becomes a far more engaging and interesting book. Sci-fi action sequences are interspersed with frequent philosophical or metaphysical discussions between various characters, which may of course not be to the liking of every reader, but I found it both interesting and entertaining.

Now that I've finished the book I am planning to wait a few weeks and then read it again, as I suspect that reading the opening chapters will be a far better experience the second time around.
2 Comments 98 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Quicksilver TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Neal Stephenson's house-brick size novels are always constructed in meticulous detail, and 'Anathem' is no exception. Unfortunately, his painstaking (laborious?) attention to detail can, for some, make his novels impenetrable, but if you enjoyed Cryptonomicon or The Baroque Cycle, then you will almost certainly like 'Anathem' too. If you are new to Stephenson, then I wouldn't start here - he seems to be becoming increasingly less accessible. Go back at least as far as Cryptonomicon and begin there.

In addition to his usual information-overload, 'Anathem' sees Stephenson add yet another layer of confusion. Set in the far future, in a parallel world, much of the language used by the novel's characters, has been invented by the author. These new words are logical and consistent, deriving from Greek and Latin, but they take a little while to bed in, and I found 'Anathem's' opening fragmented and hard to follow. But like subtitles to a good film, I soon stopped noticing, and became wholly immersed in this magnificent novel.

The novel's central character is Erasmas, a member of intellectual brethren, cut off from normal secular society. The brothers (and sisters) remain exiled from the real world, for one, ten, a hundred or even a thousand years depending how committed they are to their calling. As the novel opens, Erasmas is about to complete the first decade of his seclusion. Considering much of the early parts of the novel revolve around the philosophical discussions between members of this cloistered community, 'Anathem' is surprisingly readable.
Read more ›
Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anathem starts in a world that feels like a medieval monastery, or should that be a university? It is a community ruled by a clock that is wound once a day. The story is told by Fraa Erasmus who is a member of the team of avouts who wind it. Rituals are at the core of this world but in the place of religion th there is the study of mathematics. As the story progresses you realise that within the one institution there are a number of schools of thought called maths. But this institution has been in continuous existence for over 3,000 years and exploits something called new matter that is very high technology.

The background can make getting to grips with Anathem hard work. I am lucky. I am a failed physicist who has studied a chunk of pure maths and has taken a course in the history of maths. I was hooked in a few pages. Others report that they had trouble getting started. If you are one of these then stick with Anathem and you will come to terms with the thinking. Once you are over this hump you too will find this to be a gripping read.

I really enjoyed this book. It takes two long running science fiction themes and twists them together in a novel way. It also shows that the study of maths is something vibrant and interesting. There is even one good piece of geometry that will help the reader to understand the nature of a squareroot and another that answers the question why do I need six co-ordinates to describe an object's position in space.

Give Anathem a go. The chances are that you will enjoy Anathem as much as I did.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I got the same feeling reading Anathem that I got reading Cryptonomicon - that is, after reading 100 pages, I was thrilled that there were 800 more. It's a ripping yarn peppered with mathematical, mechanical, and linguistic nuggets. There's a little odd vocabulary, but it doesn't take long to get used to, and it's fun to look up terms in the glossary, which is interesting in itself. If you are daunted by the fact that there's a glossary and few appendices, then don't bother. This isn't a book to be idly flicked through. But that's not to say it's difficult or tedious; it's driven by an intricate and enthralling plot, and I found myself completely immersed. Stephenson is a freak of a writer, and this book is wholly impressive.
Comment 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback