David's Reviews > Anathem

Anathem by Neal Stephenson
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M_50x66
's review
Dec 31, 08

bookshelves: fiction
Read in December, 2008

For this book Neal leaves earth and sets the action on another planet called Arbe. Most of the novel takes place in Maths, which are coed cloisters for those with high IQ's. Instead of being prayerful and meditative, the inhabitants of the maths engage in endless Socratic dialogues. Neal has a great job in imagining this planet, he created a number of new words for the book for which he includes a glossary. I became annoyed having to flip to the end of the book, to look up words, so I ignored the words and kept reading. An alien ship is discovered orbiting Arbe, but the inhabitants are not overly concerned. Maybe I have seen too many sci-fi films where people panic at the thought of an alien invasion. However in this book, the people of Arbe carry on almost as usual, there still are the numerous logical talks and carrying on of daily life. I kept asking myself, when are they going to be more concerned.
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