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Customer Reviews for

Cryptonomicon

Average Rating 4.5
( 268 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(185)

4 Star

(51)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Simply wonderful

This is one of those books that never seems to end, and when it finally does, you wish it would go on forever. The writing of Neal Stephenson is absolutely second to none. It is intelligent, dense, and full of metaphors that make one laugh out loud. It also traverses mu...
This is one of those books that never seems to end, and when it finally does, you wish it would go on forever. The writing of Neal Stephenson is absolutely second to none. It is intelligent, dense, and full of metaphors that make one laugh out loud. It also traverses multiple timelines in a compelling fashion. The characters are unforgettable -- similar to those found in Catch-22, these characters will be with me forever.

If you are into straightforward plots, do not like tangential meanderings about the mathematics behind one's sexual drive, and are not at all interested in technology, then this book is definitely not for you. If you love history, technology, scientific writing, and sheer quirkiness, this book is a must read! Just give yourself about a month to get through it -- it is not a fast read by any stretch.

posted by Ian_Mule on May 20, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Boring

I quit halfway thru the book. It's boring and confusing and drrraaaggggssss on and on.

posted by wcw1942 on July 22, 2010

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  • Posted July 22, 2010

    Boring

    I quit halfway thru the book. It's boring and confusing and drrraaaggggssss on and on.

    5 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2011

    Another digital parable that fails to master the aerodynamic properties of mass/gross appeal

    Stephenson is plainly well versed on the nuts and bolts of the information age, but fails to master the finer aspects of 'info-tainment.' Based on this novel, he's a techie, not a storyteller. Prior to reading this book, my background in cryptography was nil, and, though the terminology was transparent enough, this book honestly read like an instruction manual. The characters were all two-dimensional cardboard cutouts interfacing with one another in offices. Though I'm always up for a well constructed WWII plot, the characters here felt as though they were grafted on from the outtakes of some 1950s black and white movie. After 1000+ pages of offices, generic submarines, etc, I felt like I didn't know a thing more about the characters as people than I did when I picked the book up off the shelf. Granted, a fast paced narrative is seldom a must for me (on the contrary, actually). That being said, there were few profound metaphors or descriptions or plot devices of any kind. This sort of book is one step above fiction writers who masquerade as non-fiction writers.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    Obtuse and nonsensical

    I served in the Naval Security Group for 23 years. NSG was the navy's arm of American cryptology. I did not recognize a thing from my experiences in the book. Most notably his chapter HFDF, high frequency direction finding, was further off the mark than a reciprocal bearing

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    What a load of...

    Sincerely, I expected tons more from Neal Stephenson. What is going on with the last 50 pages? It seems to me that he received a phone call from his editor to wrap up the book and hurriedly typed a three hour ending. There are once again many details, most of them superfluous. Come on, there are better ways to describe something while not giving the reader a hopeless state of unrest knowing that the book just drags on and on and on.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Would not recommend

    I could not finish it. After 375 grueling pages i finally gave up without having a clear picture of where the story was heading and how the parallel events of the past and present could eventually relate to each other. Just wasted a few bucks. Cut my losses and move on to the next one. But before i leave i have to say this. I am an avid reader and purchased numerous books in the last year. Some books are so absorbing that i could not put them down. This book almost sucked every desire i might of had of ever reading again. I just hope i can again find the joy in immersing myself in a good story.

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    Posted May 16, 2009

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    Posted April 28, 2010

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    Posted March 16, 2010

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    Posted August 16, 2011

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    Posted December 11, 2011

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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    Posted December 25, 2009

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    Posted March 25, 2011

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