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Short Description for Anathem Since childhood, Raz has lived behind the walls of a 3,400-year-old monastery, a sanctuary for scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians. There, he and his cohorts are sealed off from the illiterate, irrational, and unpredictable "saecular" world.
- Published: 01 September 2008
- Format: Hardback 800 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781843549154 ISBN 10: 1843549158
- Sales rank: 96,066
Reviews for Anathem
- Staff review
At over 800 pages long, Neal Stephenson's brilliantly realised new novel Anathem is not for the faint-hearted. But Stephenson, cult author of the bestsellers Snow Crash, Quicksilver and Crytonomicon, is always at his best when he writes his brick-thick tomes. Stephenson fans will love Anathem, but those new to the author will find much to enjoy here too.
It was Plato who suggested that philosophers should rule as kings. Since childhood Raz has lived inside "a 3,400-year-old monastery, a sanctuary for scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians." Here, the life of the mind is sovereign, and the murky realities of normal, everyday life are pushed firmly to the background. Raz and his fellows get on with learning and thinking "sealed off from the illiterate, irrational, unpredictable 'saecular' world" which is just an "endless landscape of casinos and megastores that is plagued by recurring cycles of booms and busts, dark ages and renaissances, world wars and climate change." Recognise it!?
One day, however, driven by the fear of catastrophe and final breakdown, Raz, his fellow students and their teachers are summoned, forced to come out of the monastery and made to confront reality. The boffins are required, now, to think of ways to save the world. And, finally, for once, to act. by Mark Thwaite