Summary

Fraa Erasmus is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the "Saecular" world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities, and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent's walls. Three times during history's darkest epochs, bloody violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet always the avout have managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. Erasmus, however, has no fear of the outside - the Extramuros - for the last of the terrible times was long, long ago.
Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fras and suurs prepare to venture outside the concent's gates - opening them wide at the same time to welcome the curious "extras" in.
During his first Apert as a fra, Erasmus eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected". But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the perilous brink of cataclysmic change.
Powerful unforeseen forces threaten the peaceful stability of mathic life and the established ennui of the Extramuros - a threat that only an unsteady alliance of Saecular and avout can oppose - as, one by one, Raz's colleagues, teachers, and friends are all called forth from the safety of the concent in hopes of warding off global disaster.
Suddenly burdened with a worlds-shattering responsibility, Erasmus finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of everything - as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of an unfamiliar planet...and far beyond.
©2008 Neal Stephenson (P)2008 Macmillan Audio
Show More Show Less

Regular price: £45.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Buy Now for £45.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Margaret J. on 29-10-15

Searching for decent science fiction

[{ "answer" : "", "type" : "Overall", "question" : "Would you listen to Anathem again? Why?", "id" : 235, "typeString" : "overall" }, { "answer" : "", "type" : "Story", "question" : "What was one of the most memorable moments of Anathem?", "id" : 197, "typeString" : "story" }, { "answer" : "Yes, I got a bit confused on who was speaking when at times.", "type" : "Performance", "question" : "What do you think the narrator could have done better?", "id" : 218, "typeString" : "performance" }, { "answer" : "", "type" : "Genre", "question" : "Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?", "id" : 241, "typeString" : "genre" }, { "answer" : "I wasn't sure about this to start with. I was looking for some what is now 'old fashioned' science fiction having grown up with the likes of Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. This is the closest I have found. The plot got very complicated at times and I will listen again but I enjoyed it. You don't listen to over 30 hours of audio book if you aren't enjoying it.", "type" : "Misc", "question" : "Any additional comments?", "id" : -1, "typeString" : "misc" } ]

Read more Hide me

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous Coward on 18-04-16

Really impressed

Storytelling was excellent, characterisation was engaging. The writing was superb. You may have already guessed that I loved it

Read more Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

See all reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Josh on 10-11-08

well imagined, absorbing

This book has everything I want in an audiobook: internal consistency, engaging ideas, good narration, and enough length to solidify the impression of being within another world. I wish I could find more like it - Lonesome Dove and Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin series come to mind as similarly engaging works. (Suggestions? adhole5(at)yahoo)

Ignore the negative comments about Stephenson's neologisms - they are interesting in themselves and succeed in deepening the sense of a parallel world. Snow Crash was sometimes distracting with its incessant slang but the language here is solidly engaging.

Well worth the two credits.

Read more Hide me

40 of 40 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Joe on 04-12-09

Excellent

I think I've listened to this book a hundred times. It's VERY long and some parts are a little slow but it's very entertaining overall. The narration is very good and can keep me interested even when the plot does dip a little bit.

This story has a very interesting take on the history of an Earth-like planet regarding the relationship between science and religion (and politics to some extent). There's an interesting mixture of fantastic technology with ancient ritual. The logical debates / conversations are some high points in the story telling.. There is just enough detail and explanation to keep things interesting without bringing things to a halt. Several characters were developed well enough to make me really care what happened to them, which is rare for me.

The end gets a little crazy and some friends have said it's a bit too much, but i didn't mind.

Be forewarned that the history style timeline layout at the front of the book is fairly long and VERY boring to listen to. You have no idea what the events are that are being described. I think it would be safe to skip it and then listen to it later after you get a feel for the world in which the story takes place.

Read more Hide me

74 of 76 people found this review helpful

See all reviews