Is fiction the best way to learn complicated abstract concepts?

Anathem - Neal Stephenson

I struggled at first. In my defence it's the first book of its kind that I've sunk my cerebral teeth into. Initially (for the first 100 pages or so) it was like wading through molasses - slow and exhausting, but when I was able to stop for a moment and take a sip, sweet and stimulating.

Once the characters began to come alive in my mind, the concepts - maths and quantum mechanics, geometrodynamics, astrophysics, and more - gripped me and I found myself unable to put the book down and actually gaining at least a surface understanding of some very challenging subjects.

The first 100 pages took longer to read than the last 800. An amazing book that has left me with exciting thoughts and dreams. I will be reading more by this author.