Book Review – Anathem by Neal Stephenson

It’s very rare for me to like a science fiction book. 

It is a very long book. It took me two weeks of 2-hour reading sessions every other day. 

The book starts in a world where intellectual people are “collected” to live in monastic communities. The story evolves around a young fraa named Erasmas. Throughout the book, there’s a good amount of discussion on quantum mechanic theories, and philosophical debates.

If you like to exercise your brain cells, this book will make sure you get a good amount of it just by trying to keep up with the events.

I like the book with the physics, the adventure, the mix of appreciation for traditions and creation of new technology. There was a tad bit of confusion when I came across words like ‘saunt’, ‘voco’, and ‘extramuros’. The glossary at the back of the book does come in handy. 

My next book will be Neal Stephenson’s breakthrough – Snow Crash.  

The Things about Haruki Murakami, Part II

Yes, I have a thing for Haruki Murakami. His books are my paradise when I don’t have a beach next to my house and Long Islands to sip on.

I finished reading Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World two weeks ago. I bought 1Q84 the moment I woke up on Tuesday, the day it was released. Sad to say, Work, this terrible flu, and babysitting has kept me occupied. And not being able to stay up later than 10p.m. is kind of a bummer.

Two worlds, that ultimately come together in the end, has been kind of the theme that I see in Murakami’s books. Sometimes, it’s less obvious, like in Kafka on the Shore. There’s the world of the crow, and the ‘real’ world.

When I read his books, there are things that I can relate too. The incoherent mental voices and my life. I feel like I have two worlds – a world that I want to be in, and the world that I’m in. And then I hope the endings are like his books, where both of them merge into one, or are actually one.

And now, to continue working on a Sunday night. Monday Blues is already on me. I need some chocolate, cheesecake and hummus to cure it.

The thing about Haruki Murakami

The thing about Haruki Murakami, you can’t stop living in his words.

Words and worlds are two different entities. You live in a world, but you don’t live in a world of words. You enjoy the words, you feel them, you can almost touch them, but you can’t. Because it’s words, not a world of words. It is intangible.

I spent the last couple of months drifting back and forth among various writers like Murakami, Faulkner, Sartre, Wilde, and Tolstoy. To be frank, I find Murakami to be the most enjoyable.

His choice of words, his first-person point of view, his rants that brings in you, as a reader into the book, and asking questions as if expecting you to answer it, never cease to amaze me. What brings me deep into his books is his way of changing the subject abruptly. The way how only the last two paragraphs relates to the title of the story. Everything else is his rant. And only the last two paragraphs brings you what is going on in the ‘real’ world.

There’s never a straight answer in his books. It always starts of with a mysterious, almost super natural event or person. But the origins of that super natural event or person is rarely explained. It kept me wondering, it kept me reading.

There are so many minute details of the main characters in his books, but their backgrounds or histories are almost never mentioned.

It’s like how relationships start. You jump right in into a person’s life suddenly, never got to know the exact details of his background or history. And you keep wanting to know more, you keep on going, you keep on turning the pages.