By Neal Stephenson
Anathem, the newest invention via the New York Times bestselling writer of Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle, is a powerful construction: a piece of significant scope, intelligence, and mind's eye that ushers readers right into a recognizable—yet unusually inverted—world.
Fraa Erasmas is a tender avout dwelling within the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected against the corrupting affects of the skin "saecular" international by way of historical stone, commemorated traditions, and complicated rituals. Over the centuries, towns and governments have risen and fallen past the concent's partitions. thrice in the course of history's darkest epochs violence born of superstition and lack of knowledge has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic neighborhood. but the avout have regularly controlled to evolve within the wake of disaster, changing into out of necessity much more austere and not more depending on expertise and fabric issues. And Erasmas has no worry of the outside—the Extramuros—for the final of the bad instances used to be lengthy, in the past.
Now, in social gathering of the week-long, once-in-a-decade ceremony of Apert, the fraas and suurs organize to enterprise past the concent's gates—at an identical time starting them huge to welcome the curious "extras" in. in the course of his first Apert as a fraa, Erasmas eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and kin he hasn't visible for the reason that he used to be "collected." yet sooner than the week is out, either the lifestyles he deserted and the single he embraced will stand poised near to cataclysmic switch.
robust unexpected forces jeopardize the peaceable balance of mathic existence and the validated ennui of the Extramuros—a possibility that in simple terms an unsteady alliance of saecular and avout can oppose—as, one after the other, Erasmas and his colleagues, lecturers, and buddies are summoned forth from the protection of the concent in hopes of keeping off international catastrophe. unexpectedly stressed with a fabulous accountability, Erasmas unearths himself a tremendous participant in a drama that would confirm the way forward for his world—as he units out on a unprecedented odyssey that may hold him to the main risky, inhospitable corners of the planet . . . and past.