Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

Anathem by Neal Stephenson opens with:
Note to the Reader
If you are accustomed to reading works of speculative fiction and enjoy puzzling things out on your own, skip this Note. Otherwise, know that the scene in which this book is set is not Earth, but a planet called Arbre that is similar to Earth in many ways.
I am accustomed to reading working of speculative fiction (AKA science fiction), but I read the note anyway. Regretfully, the note (which goes on for a few pages) was insufficient to clarify the slow moving story that still spent most of its time introducing the world that is similar to Earth in many ways. In the end, though still at the beginning of this 900 page tome, I was still drowning in the tedium of the complex allegory spanning the history of western civilization.

As I kept falling asleep, I was reminded of the following:
...boredom is a mask frustration wears.
On a more cheery note, I am encouraged for the future of the country when such a book can be so widely read. Our school must be doing something right.

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