OK, I know I’m not supposed to be online at this time of night with the whole insomnia thing going on – curse the convenience of the EEE PC – but I’m mid-book and getting the literary version of a hard-on. (Hmm, strange I should write that just as two cats start humping in the back garden of the tenement) Anyway I’m partway through Neal Stephenson‘s new tome (trust me, it’s the only word for it), Anathem, and my jaw drops so much further with every passing page that it becomes difficult to continue reading while trying to ignore the rasping of my goatee against the laminate floor.

Often when I crack open a new novel I’ll have a fairly good idea of where the story is ultimately going to end up. I’ll have read a good bit of blurb, maybe a couple of reviews, and events will taker their course in a not so much predictable but perhaps comfortably familiar fashion.

Not this time.

I honestly can’t even remember what was written on the dust jacket of the book let alone any of the countless articles I read prior to buying it. I’ve been sucked so completely into a bizarre yet faultlessly constructed new world that I was more concerned with following the mathematical appendices that paying any attention to the storyline, despite it being as gripping as all hell. And now, all of a sudden, the storyline has (apologies for impending cliche) taken wing and – not to put to fine a point on it – gone completely batshit insane. Not that this book ever approached sane to begin with…

I’m not going to spoil anything here, rather I’m just going to implore anyone who visits this blog to buy, borrow or even steal a copy. Sometimes I’ll read the likes of Carl Sagan or Daniel Dennett and come away from it feeling smarter, like I know something about the world the rest of the world doesn’t. I get that from fiction as well, the impression that I’ve learned some great eternal truth about the nature of the human soul (or some such hippy bullshit anyway). Neal Stephenson though… he makes me feel like my actual capacity for knowledge has increased.

I best stop now before the fan-boy praise gets out of hand. G’night all…


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