Sunday, June 7, 2015

Anathem by Neal Stephenson (read 5/5/15 to 5/25/15)

This was a book of the month (BOTM) selection for "Off the Wall" reads.
This was not a hit with me.  The story is set on another planet, that is similar to Earth, but is not Earth.  The society on this planet has divided into the secular and non-secular worlds.  The Secular world is all math based and not a religion, but acts a lot like a religious order to me.  The story line was so dull, with so many unfamiliar big words, that it made it really hard to even start.   There was too much background, but doesn't it didn't help to ease the reader into the story at all.
I tried listening to the audio book and that helped a little, but I couldn't retain anything.  So I switched back to reading and surprisingly that made the reading a little easier. I continued to switch between the physical book and the audio book for the remainder of the read.
The reading got better also once they stopped talking about the architecture and left the monastery, because there was an actual story, not just philosophy based on math theories.  throughout the book there is so much philosophy, but it feels disjointed and thrown in at the most random times.  I have to say this book makes me feel stupid. The theoretical discussions go so over my head that my eyes glaze over and I absorb nothing.  I feel like I'm missing out on a ton of stuff just because I can't follow the theories.  Some in my group really loved this tome of a math theory, but it was not a great read for me.  In fact at times I absolutely dreaded reading for the week because this was just such a tedious read for me.  I think that if you really enjoy and intellectual, deep read, that makes you contemplate our place in the cosmos and in reality yourself, this is a read for you.  But if you are reading for a story, then this is not the story for you, the story plays second fiddle to the philosophy, and it is a complicated and hard to follow philosophy.

No comments:

Post a Comment