It took me close to two months, but I finally dragged myself through Neal Stephenson's 900-page philosophical science fiction epic, "Anathem." Oy. I'm a big fan of the author of "Cryptonomicon" and "The Baroque Cycle," but this tale of cloistered scholars making their way into the outside to deal with extraterrestrial visitors was a struggle all the way through. I nearly gave up a couple times, but I persevered, mainly because I knew that The Chronicle should cover the book and that no one else was going to step forward to do so.
It got a little easier once I found a hook for the review. After seeing "Rock 'n' Roll" last week, it struck me that Stephenson is to science fiction as Tom Stoppard is to contemporary drama. Sound far-fetched? Well, read my review from today's Chronicle and see if you agree.