The story, when it gets going, is exciting and relatively fast-paced
and all that. But it takes some 600-700 pages to get there, during
which time you are immersed in the world of Arbre and its native
culture. The first few pages are chock-full of in-world jargon Ã la A
Clockwork Orange, and it will be difficult to read. (Not to worry–
there is a glossary, and selections from the Arbran dictionary appear
throughout the text)…Anathem takes eight thousand years of
fictional history and makes it as relevant and meaningful as anything
from the Cycle.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Cryptonomicon is the place to start. It’s one of my favorite popular fictions from the last twenty years and you don’t even need to like "that sort of thing."