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692 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cyberpunk and WWII war story smashed into one
I don't usually place much weight into the book reviews publishers tag on back covers, but the review on this book really does describe it - this book is Tom Clancy mated with William Gibson with James Mitchner acting as a midwife.
Even though this book is an astounding 1200+ pages, it is an engrossing read. Like Mitchner, the story weaves the lives of many...
Published on April 4 2003 by OaktonMom

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3.0 out of 5 stars 900 pages but still not enough space for an ending
I wanted to like this book. I enjoyed Stephenson's earlier books and was looking forward to this one. Sadly the book's virtues did not outweigh its lame ending so that I can only give it a mediocre 3 rating.
Like his previous books, Stephenson creates a fascinating web of storyline and characters. I loved Bobby Shaftoe. I could totally relate to Randy. The characters...
Published on Feb. 8 2004 by Keith Vaitkus


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4.0 out of 5 stars Entrancing, Dec 30 2011
Neal Stephenson ably juggles multiple story lines in multiple timelines with a variety of fascinating and quirky characters while also managing to develop a fascinating treatise on encryption and its development in the 20th century. An absolutely excellent novel. A superb introduction to the development and value of encryption with some wonderful reference material in the back end of the book. The concept that develops toward the end of the book may move towards a hacker pie-in-the-sky concept (see Bitcoin and its troubles), but the narrative run of the book manages to overwhelm that issue with its sheer sense of fun. Highly recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A textbook, not a novel, April 17 2002
This review is from: Cryptonomicon (Paperback)
I read a couple hundred pages of this 1000+ sleeper before putting it down. Why bother wasting more time? The characters are so weak I just didn't give a damn, and I wasn't interested in a crypto primer.
It's like the author wanted to show off how clever his math demonstrations were, then used a WW2 setting to trick you into reading, thinking this was all actually going somewhere.
I'll pass, thanks.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 900 Bloated pages, April 10 2001
This review is from: Cryptonomicon (Hardcover)
The story is good but this guy Stephenson makes two or three sentences out of every one. The book is at best a 400 page novel. If he would get to point and stop sputtering bull!@#$ it would be much better. I am by the way an electrical engineer working in software and find it highly unlikely that any disciplined mind could put up with so much fluff instead of the story. Stephenson is highly overrated
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of pain but no gain, Feb. 4 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Cryptonomicon (Paperback)
The only thing I can find to praise about this book is consistency. It's about as engrossing after page 10 as it is after page 890. (& I kept thinking it had to get better!) This is shear pointless verbosity without a single human-like character or sympathetic plot element. Stephenson can just about make the reader not care about the outcome of WWII.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Math textbook or fictional novel?, May 4 2004
By A Customer
I did not think this book was poorly written, but I did think the story was dry as day-old toast. Unless you're extremely interested in math, and you don't mind Neal Stephenson sounding a bit like he's trying to impress us all with just how much high-level math he understands, then read this book, otherwise I wouldn't bother.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cryptonomicon or a lesson in tedium, July 28 2003
By A Customer
I found this book to be tedious in the extreme.It is way too wordy and is very disjointed.I am an avid reader but the only thing I could look forward to with this book was finishing it so I could finally put the darn thing away!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Arrived late and all out of shape, Aug. 6 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Book arrived later than expected. That might have not been the shipper's fault, but they didn't bother responding to my email when I was trying to find out where the book was a week after it's due date for arrival. The book also came all out of shape because of the way it was packaged.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No "Gravity's Rainbow", June 18 2003
This review is from: Cryptonomicon (Hardcover)
I believe they call this "hysterical fiction" nowadays-- literature so beefed up with detail and plot intrigue as to offer some source of verisimilitude... however the merit in this type of literature starts with William Gaddis, then Pynchon, and finally David Foster Wallace.
The point is those guys are hard to read, and the books are long so you as a reader can work through them with a concentration that's due to real art.
Stephenson, however, is a hack, and is one tier above grocery store fiction. I read 50 pages of this book and put it down when i realized it is terrible writing. Don't waste your life on a book that doesn't pay off at all.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Self-Indulgence defined, Dec 28 2001
By 
lb136 "lb136" (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cryptonomicon (Paperback)
This is what you'd mostly likely find while looking through the stuff those monkeys are churning out in hopes of getting to the Shakespeare.
Simply awful.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poetic Murder., May 4 2004
By A Customer
I am sorry, but I heard such wonderful things about this book, and as I attempt to read it, I am frankly annoyed at best. The man misuses, abuses, and downright ignores style. So many times I have to read a metaphor and double take, wondering how he could have seriously wrote that down on paper. Not only are the metaphors often bizzare, there is typically more metaphoric content per page than there is storyline.
On the topic of storyline, it seems disjointed, shallow, and contrived. The only thing that flows worse than the story, is each sentence, which when they are proper sentences, often are choppy and erratic in form. It really is a chore to read this man's work.
One other minor complaint I have, (which pails in comparison with others) is the overuse and abuse of "Haiku" Haiku, which in it's native tongue is brilliant and beautiful form of art, is (to say the least) difficult to capture in English. Needless to say, I find the "Haiku" contained in this book to be somewhat lacking in Essence.
The auther has a brilliant mind for math, I am sorry that it doesn't seem to relate well to Literature.
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