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Anathem by Neal Stephenson

Anathem is set on the planet Arbre where the society is divided into two separate sections. The scholars live in maths and are called avout. They live a cloistered life where they must develop their knowledge without high tech equipment. They open their doors to the rest of the populace, the Saecular world, only after long periods of isolation, ranging from ten to a thousand years. Fraa Erasmas is an avout living in one of the maths and he's looking forward to the one day a decade the doors are open to the public. Events transpire, however, that threaten both worlds, and the avout and those in the Saecular world must find a way to merge their lives if they're going to survive. Neal Stephenson's novel has received mostly positive reviews with saying, "Anathem pulls off what most writers would never dare attempt -- it is simultaneously a page turner and a philosophical argument, an adventure novel and an extended existential meditation, a physics lesson, sermon and ripping good yarn."
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