- Mass Market Paperback: 1168 pages
- Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (Nov. 5 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060512806
- ISBN-13: 978-0060512804
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 7.4 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 540 g
- Average Customer Review: 530 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #41,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Cryptonomicon Mass Market Paperback – Nov 5 2002
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About the Author
Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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However, the second half of the book was a disappointment. The plot changed focus, and entire plot points were dropped. Characters were suddenly shuffled around on the map and large time periods were skipped, making it feel like the author realized a bit too late that the characters weren't in the places he needed them to be for the finale. Some of the revelations felt farcical, the plot rushed, and the entire last third felt unsatisfying.
This is a reread for me and I specifically rerouted at this time because of all of the events seem to be centering on us at high-speed . Between Snowden and the NSA, Homeland security , and a federal election in the US, and commemorating DDay just seemed like a good time to take a walk down memory lane.
Of course when this book was written we had already entered into a full-blown information age but I think since then we have gone beyond all of that into a truly scary future . One in which during the reading of this book I googled bitcoin just to see what I might learn . What is truly fascinating is that within 12 hours my Twitter account showed an ad for Masters of Science in digital currency .
There's a chapter in this book in which the character Enoch gets along and detailed account of the Greek gods of Ares and Athena . This was so wildly apropos given the Trump versus Clinton election that was one day away that I felt like I was swept into a history of archetype and myth.
If you haven't read this book read it, if you've read it before reread it.
That is really what this book is about it's archetype it's myth it's storytelling at its very best , and it's really beyond description . I have read that Neal writes his books and longhand spiral notebooks and then have to have them transcribed by only one person who can actually make sense of them . Given the labyrinthine plots of these books it just is so perfect to imagine them written longhand and decrypted by the only person who can make sense of them ! I readily admit to being a geek fan of Neil Steffensen.
This book is very satisfyingly technical - which I believe is a very strong draw of Stephenson's books in general. It contains a large amount of math and cryptography to make the book interesting to anyone who has some knowledge of the topic.
This book is long, the plot complicated, and the content highly technical. For me, just what I want in a science fiction book.
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.
Definitely a "must read"!
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