Well, I finally finished Anathem last Friday. It's a lengthy novel at nearly 1000 pages, filled with an entire history of another world. Although the characters and situations are interesting, I must confess it didn't grab me nearly the way that Cryptonomicon or Snow Crash did.
I wanted to like the monastery like setting and the convents and such, but it just didn't go anywhere. It reminded me of the type of description Tolkien used in Lord of the Rings. Not the great stuff, just all the detail along the way. The problem was that the destination didn't have the payoff and the events along the way just didn't build up with tension as they did in Crytonomicon.
Stephenson is a great author and the book is intelligent and deep, and well written, it's just not that compelling from a story standpoint. The characters are likable enough, but they aren't enough to drive the plot and unfortunately this feels like the slow parts of Fellowship of the Ring, lots of scenery and promise of excitement yet to come, but not enough of them to make the whole journey worth it.
Anyone else read it? What are your thoughts?