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Digital Fortress: A Thriller [Hardcover]

Dan Brown
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (441 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 15 2004
Before the multi-million, runaway bestseller The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown set his razor-sharp research and storytelling skills on the most powerful intelligence organization on earth--the National Security Agency (NSA), an ultra-secret, multibillion-dollar agency many times more powerful than the CIA.

When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage...not by guns or bombs, but by a code so ingeniously complex that if released it would cripple U.S. intelligence.

Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Susan Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves.

From the underground hallways of power to the skyscrapers of Tokyo to the towering cathedrals of Spain, a desperate race unfolds. It is a battle for survival--a crucial bid to destroy a creation of inconceivable genius...an impregnable code-writing formula that threatens to obliterate the post-cold war balance of power. Forever.

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From Amazon

In most thrillers, "hardware" consists of big guns, airplanes, military vehicles, and weapons that make things explode. Dan Brown has written a thriller for those of us who like our hardware with disc drives and who rate our heroes by big brainpower rather than big firepower. It's an Internet user's spy novel where the good guys and bad guys struggle over secrets somewhat more intellectual than just where the secret formula is hidden--they have to gain understanding of what the secret formula actually is.

In this case, the secret formula is a new means of encryption, capable of changing the balance of international power. Part of the fun is that the book takes the reader along into an understanding of encryption technologies. You'll find yourself better understanding the political battles over such real-life technologies as the Clipper Chip and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) software even though the book looks at the issues through the eyes of fiction.

Although there's enough globehopping in this book for James Bond, the real battleground is cyberspace, because that's where the "bomb" (or rather, the new encryption algorithm) will explode. Yes, there are a few flaws in the plot if you look too closely, but the cleverness and the sheer fun of it all more than make up for them. There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and a lot of high, gee-whiz-level information about encryption, code breaking, and the role they play in international politics. Set aside the whole afternoon and evening for it and have finger food on hand for supper--you may want to read this one straight through. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The National Security Agency (NSA) is one setting for this exciting thriller; the other is Seville, where on page 1 the protagonist, lately dismissed from NSA, drops dead of a supposed heart attack. Though dead, he enjoys a dramaturgical afterlife in the form of his computer program. Digital Fortress creates unbreakable codes, which could render useless NSA's code-cracking supercomputer called TRANSLTR, but the deceased programmer slyly embossed a decryption key on a ring he wore. Pursuit of this ring is the engine of the plot. NSA cryptology boss Trevor Strathmore dispatches linguist Dave Becker to recover the ring, while he and Becker's lover, senior code-cracker Susan Fletcher, ponder the vulnerability of TRANSLTR. In Seville, over-the-top chase scenes abound; meanwhile, the critical events unfold at NSA. In a crescendo of murder, infernos, and explosions, it emerges that Strathmore has as agenda that goes beyond breaching Digital Fortress, and Brown's skill at hinting and concealing Strathmore's deceit will rivet cyber-minded readers. Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Brown April 13 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dan Brown has a unique way of writing his story , it,s ease to follow and hard to put down. This one is definitely a book I would recommend .Enjoy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Read Jan. 30 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dan Brown's characters are believable even when his plot is over-contrived as here. It is interesting to see how the author developed his genius as he moved on chronologically.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Idea Dec 3 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I liked the idea of this book more than the execution. With this book, Mr. Brown still hadn't found his voice yet so I would only recommend it for those who don't expect one of his later and better novels.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Digital Fortress July 25 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good read but, quite a departure from the Dan Brown we have come to expect. I got a bit of a head ache trying to read all the encoded script. Recommend if you like techy novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW-good July 9 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another one-day in the life of adventure - where everyone dies and some come back from the dead.

I LIKE because I trust Dan Brown's work to fulfill exactly what I seek in a good suspense novel. And he didn't disappoint.

The visuals are terrific and the story TOO CLOSE to present day reality considering it was written long before Assange, Manning, Blake or Snowden. I was hoping all along that the fortress would blow up and set us all free.

Anyone enjoying Dan Brown will nit be disappointed to read this fast-moving, spinning, gripping novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent April 5 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
A very gripping read! Mr. Brown writes in a way that keep you wanting to know what happens next. I have read his other books and can't wait for his newest. I can recommend this to everybody who likes adventure and thrilling stories.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Gack!!! Did the author do ANY research? June 19 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After enjoying Da Vinci Code I was excited to see this one on the shelf. The excitement didn't last 10 pages. If you know nothing about software this might be a good read. However if you know even a tiny amount the errors are so glaring that the most strenuous attempt to "suspend disbelief" fails. I expected better from Dan Brown. Add that to the weak and silly plot contrivances and flat characterizations I finally put the book down half read, something I never do. This is an adventure/thriller and my standards are not high there but this book fails to meet even that minimum.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read June 16 2006
By L. Ha
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dan Brown has inspired me to read and actually find it enjoyable. I was never a vivid reader and despised reading most books I picked up "Deception Point," another novel by Dan Brown. I read it and was hooked. For each of Dan Brown's 4 books, I have never been so into a book in my life, I read for hours on end hoping to finish the novel to read the ending. Admittedly, I believe that The Da Vinci Code was over-hyped. Of the 4 books of his that I have read, The Da Vinci code was the worst. Digital Fortress, however, was not disappointing.
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