rating: 5 of 5 stars
Really a remarkable book. As with other Stephenson works, this one has a steep learning curve. What I mean by that is that you need to start out with the understanding that it won’t make much sense at first–and that that’s okay. What amazes me with his writing is that he can be describing something so bizarre, yet by the end he’s managed to completely hook me and make me care about what’s happening. For those of you who haven’t heard of the novel, my advice would be to avoid reading the coverflap. I hate it when they give away key pieces of information. The book tells the story of a future society where a group of monk-like mathematicians live in a monastery separated from the rest of the world except on certain days. For example, the main character only has contact with the outside world once every ten years. I didn’t like this one quite as much as Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon–probably because there are some aspects to it that I’m still not sure I understand. But a tremendous book in any case, and one I highly recommend. I was completely enthralled.