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Digital Fortress: A Thriller [Hardcover]

Dan Brown
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (443 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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digitally good May 23 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Normally one to keep to something our book club is reading ("Life of Pi" by Martel, or "Katzenjammer" by McCrae), I veered off the path in search of my own "grail." Low and behold, I found Dan Brown. No I have NOT read "Da Vinci Code" but I will. DF is my first book of his and I loved it! This is just not something I'd ususally pick up, but WOW! What a punch this one packs. I guess if you're expecting a hyped up book, you might be disappointed, but I hadn't heard that much about "this one" and wasn't expecting much. Must also recommend the novels "About a Boy," and "Katzenjammer" by McCrae. Also, anything by Brown.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected June 5 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Almost didn't read this because of online reviews but it was better than I thought it would be. Not Dan Brown's greatest but still a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars! April 23 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book even more than Deception Point, which is saying a lot because I really loved that one. So many twists and turns here. Keeps you guessing right until the very last page. I read it in record time as well because I just couldn't put it down. Highly recommend!
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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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