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The plot and pace are good but the writing itself is generally poor.Dialogue is particularly cringeworthy with British characters getting the shortest shrift - the author seeming to have drawn his inspiration from Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.Biggest crime of all though is that despite being given a clue almost as obvious as a cross on a map, the supposedly brilliant protaganists stumble around scratching their heads until mere moments before the terrorists launch their final attack. For the climax to be effective it needed a much more subtle build up than it got.
Summary: Equal parts entertaining and disappointing. Not a patch on World War Z by Brooks
Like most of Stephenson's recent output, Anathem takes a while to get going but it is time well spent as he builds a picture of a world as different as it is similar to own.By the time you reach the 200 page mark you'll believe in the world of Arbre and be swept up, as indeed is our protoganist Erasmus, in the journey to discover the nature of the visitors who have appeared in the skies overhead.
A great book and heartily recommended.