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Cryptonomicon Mass Market Paperback – Nov 4 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1168 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (Nov. 4 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060512806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060512804
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.9 x 5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 540 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (691 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
IS THE BEST THAT CORPORAL BOBBY SHAFTOE CAN do on short notice-he's standing on the running board, gripping his Springfield with one hand and the rearview mirror with the other, so counting the syllables on his fingers is out of the question. Read the first page
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nathan on Aug. 7 2002
Format: Hardcover
Going in to CRYPTONOMICON, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I'd never read anything by Neal Stephenson, nor had I read any blurbs or reviews of the book. However, it had appeared on enough "Best Book" lists that I decided to give it a try. And boy am I glad I did.
This novel is fun, huge, funny, rambling, witty, and sprawling. It is clever, engaging, and well-paced. It is full of quirky, eccentric, immensely likeable characters, crazy, interesting ideas, and amusing, often hilarious, looks at various situations including, but not limited to, mathematics, life, how to eat Cap'n Crunch properly, the purpose of beards, and well, just about anything else you can think of. Obviously, then, this book is not for everyone. Those who like tight, meticulously pared-down straightforward stories may not be able to get into this one.
For me, though, as you may have guessed from the title of the review, this book was an absolute joy to read. The books chapters cycled between four main characters, and every time I finished a chapter I found myself in an awkward position: I didn't want to go on, because I wanted to keep reading about the character I'd been following. However, by the end of the first paragraph of the next chapter, I'd be feeling the same way about the next character in the cycle. It was an odd feeling, and a tribute to the skill with which Stephenson created these characters that each of them was so completely engaging.
In addition to the main characters, the settings and situations were vivid and well-drawn. Despite this books immensity and its tendency to ramble at length about inanity, it never got boring, and always retained its charm. Stephenson provides us with a very amusing outlook on life.
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By Bootsy Bass TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 29 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
....tough book for me to get into. Highly Math oriented and sometimes I would get bogged down in all of that. But Mr Stephenson sure knows how to tell a fascinating story
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By Jeff Saucier on March 11 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know what else to add to this book that has not been said before. This book is a true classic!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will appeal to people interested in World War II, cryptography, paranoia at the highest level, swash buckling adventures, the power of money, commerce, international communications networking; which probably covers 80% of the readers in the world.

Unlike Stephenson's book called Snow Crash (Highly recommended) this story is one in the present time with deep links back to the 1940's during World War II.

The main characters are Bobby Shaftoe- a grunt in WW II Marines; Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse - a cryptography and code geek at the highest level; Goto Dengo - a Japanese soldier who follows orders without question, any order; Avi - super super paranoid genius and business person: Rudy - who ends up working for the Nazi's during WW II. Along with a large supporting cast of characters

The bulk of the story revolves around creating and breaking codes during WW II and then extends beyond that as future off spring of the main characters run into each other when developing a data crypt in the Philippines, while looking for some long ago buried gold (literally tons of it).

They intermingle and run into mostly bad guys along the way.

Stephenson fully develops each character and we are privy to what they are thinking during various situations. The evolution of computers is blended into the story line as well.

The various story arcs move along at a fast pace which is god as the book is over 1100 pages long.

Recommended. I have Stephensons ReaMd on my shelf to read and am looking forward to it based on the last two books I have read from this author.
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By Glen B. West on Sept. 18 2002
Format: Paperback
This book starts very slow, and you're wondering how these characters and timelines are related. But patience really pays off. After a couple hundred pages, you are deeply involved in these characters.
I explain to my friends that this book is not written as science fiction. The tech/science mentioned is either today or near-today. What is science fiction is what it make you THINK.
The science is rock solid, one of the few authors who doesn't treat computers (my business) as a magic black box that does wonderful things for you. The main characters are pleasantly solid, yet excentrically unique. They are unfortunately the only characters with any depth.
My business partner is a huge fan of the author's, and has pushed me to read several of his books. This is the only one I have liked.
As Clancy made 250 pages of how to construct a nuclear bomb interesting, Stephenson makes you WANT to understand how cryptography works, and gives you increasingly complex explanations over the entire length of the book, fleshing out the explanations and definitions of many of the critical concepts.
The characters he creates leave you with the sense that they are true to life, but shown in a twisted way leading to many different levels of humor. I found myself laughing at a joke three times. Separate times, in three different places in the book, as the events in that place further illuminated the joke told several chapters back. There were surprises around every corner.
Highly recommended.
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