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[Comments] (1) : You need Jake's necktie. (I don't, because I have a necktie with pterodactyls on it, suitable for any occasion.)

[Comments] (1) Anathem: In a move sure to earn me the jealousy of nerds everywhere, yesterday I finished reading an advance copy of Anathem. Without giving away any of the story I can say that it's an excellent book, my favorite Stephenson after Cryptonomicon, and will probably be remembered as his best book assuming he doesn't do anything better in the future, which there's no real reason to think. It combines the crowd-pleasing conversational mind candy you've come to expect from Stephenson, with the even more crowd-pleasing technique of moving the plot in a straight line from one event to another (with one major exception) until it reaches a proper conclusion.

The first-person narration really helps here. You don't get the mind-boggling interwoven plots or rhetorical excesses you see in Stephenson's previous books (I love rhetorical excesses, but hey). It's still a very complex book, but all the complexity goes into the worldbuilding, the relationships between characters, and the ideas deployed in the service of the plot. And into the multi-page descriptions of buildings, which are apparently here to stay.

If you're not afraid of spoilers (and really, these "spoilers" will raise more questions than they answer, so I say go for it), then de-rot13 the phrase that made me say "Yes! Awesome book!": "cnexvat fgehpgher qvabfnhe".


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