Customer Reviews for

Digital Fortress

Average Rating 4
( 405 )
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5 Star

(196)

4 Star

(106)

3 Star

(65)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(22)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

29 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

Excellent novel

The novel is ingenious in a way not many other books are. In most thrillers you would expect gunfights and bombs, although the fights in this book are not run that way. They are clever battles planned through precision that will make you want to read faster so that you ...
The novel is ingenious in a way not many other books are. In most thrillers you would expect gunfights and bombs, although the fights in this book are not run that way. They are clever battles planned through precision that will make you want to read faster so that you know what will happen. From cathedrals and hospitals in Spain to buildings in Tokyo to top-dollar facilities in the US, the book will take you on an unforgettable ride. It is a web between several stories that are happening at the same time, making your reading experience even more intense. I have read the book once and I'm going for the second time already. Nevertheless, I am still anxious to be submerged into the mystical world Dan Brown has created every time I grab the book. I strongly recommend this book. If you like puzzles that are more than what is just written on paper, this is the book for you.

The NSA is the most powerful intelligence agency in the world. It's mission to intercept and decipher computer algorithms in emails and such, so that terrorist can be intercepted before their attacks even come to light. They have already prevented 3 nuclear attacks, and dealt with thousands of terrorist threats. Without the NSA, the FBI, DEA and many other agencies that keep the world at peace would be worthless. The NSA finds itself in trouble when they learn about Ensei Tankado's new, unbreakable algorithm: Digital Fortress.

Ensei Tankado was once one of the NSA's most brilliant cryptographers. Upon his discovery that the NSA was building a machine that could open and re-seal any email it wished to, he became outraged. Upon Commander Strathmore's refusal to abort the operation, Ensei quit his job in a fit of fury and swore that they would be sorry. A few months later, he holds the NSA hostage and possesses the world's most sophisticated algorithm.

After the routine ID checks, finger scans and such, Susan Fletcher innocently arrives at the Scy-Sec lab only to encounter one of the rarest things she has ever seen in the NSA: Commander Strathmore's face of distress and anxiety. Even when nuclear attacks were on the border of execution, Commander Strathmore had never lost his face of confidence and determination. That day was different. TRANSLATR, a multi-billion dollar machine with three million processors that was capable of breaking sixty-four bit algorithms in a matter of seconds, had been running for sixteen hours straight. Digital Fortress was immune to the National Security Agency's mighty brain. Without TRANSLATR, terrorist would be able to chat and email with no worry of being spied on, and the US would be vulnerable to all imaginable attacks. In the meanwhile, David Becker, Susan's splendid husband, is in a corporate jet flying to Spain to assist solving the present dilemma. What he does not know is that he is in danger and is being closely watched and followed.

posted by Papileal714 on March 11, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Not as good as his other books, but still a good read

"Digital Fortress" starts out quickly and continues down a high-speed road of twists, turns and surprises. The basic premise is that a disgruntled former employee of the NSA has allegedly created an unbreakable encryption algorithm that he's threatening to release into ...
"Digital Fortress" starts out quickly and continues down a high-speed road of twists, turns and surprises. The basic premise is that a disgruntled former employee of the NSA has allegedly created an unbreakable encryption algorithm that he's threatening to release into the open - effectively rendering our anti-terrorism monitoring programs worthless. However, this man has died - and nobody knows who is now in control of this monster. More importantly...is this technology really what it appears to be? As a computer geek, I enjoyed the authentic technology described in the book (though some of it was a bit "off"). Brown does his usual great job of building suspense and gradually guiding the reader to the final solution - which is almost never what it seems. I'll admit...I guessed wrong on this one. It's a great read that you will burn through quickly (it's short book compared to some of his others). Not as good as his other books, but break into this "Digital Fortress"...you'll enjoy the results.

posted by 1000_Character_Reviews on January 22, 2012

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  • Posted March 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent novel

    The novel is ingenious in a way not many other books are. In most thrillers you would expect gunfights and bombs, although the fights in this book are not run that way. They are clever battles planned through precision that will make you want to read faster so that you know what will happen. From cathedrals and hospitals in Spain to buildings in Tokyo to top-dollar facilities in the US, the book will take you on an unforgettable ride. It is a web between several stories that are happening at the same time, making your reading experience even more intense. I have read the book once and I'm going for the second time already. Nevertheless, I am still anxious to be submerged into the mystical world Dan Brown has created every time I grab the book. I strongly recommend this book. If you like puzzles that are more than what is just written on paper, this is the book for you.

    The NSA is the most powerful intelligence agency in the world. It's mission to intercept and decipher computer algorithms in emails and such, so that terrorist can be intercepted before their attacks even come to light. They have already prevented 3 nuclear attacks, and dealt with thousands of terrorist threats. Without the NSA, the FBI, DEA and many other agencies that keep the world at peace would be worthless. The NSA finds itself in trouble when they learn about Ensei Tankado's new, unbreakable algorithm: Digital Fortress.

    Ensei Tankado was once one of the NSA's most brilliant cryptographers. Upon his discovery that the NSA was building a machine that could open and re-seal any email it wished to, he became outraged. Upon Commander Strathmore's refusal to abort the operation, Ensei quit his job in a fit of fury and swore that they would be sorry. A few months later, he holds the NSA hostage and possesses the world's most sophisticated algorithm.

    After the routine ID checks, finger scans and such, Susan Fletcher innocently arrives at the Scy-Sec lab only to encounter one of the rarest things she has ever seen in the NSA: Commander Strathmore's face of distress and anxiety. Even when nuclear attacks were on the border of execution, Commander Strathmore had never lost his face of confidence and determination. That day was different. TRANSLATR, a multi-billion dollar machine with three million processors that was capable of breaking sixty-four bit algorithms in a matter of seconds, had been running for sixteen hours straight. Digital Fortress was immune to the National Security Agency's mighty brain. Without TRANSLATR, terrorist would be able to chat and email with no worry of being spied on, and the US would be vulnerable to all imaginable attacks. In the meanwhile, David Becker, Susan's splendid husband, is in a corporate jet flying to Spain to assist solving the present dilemma. What he does not know is that he is in danger and is being closely watched and followed.

    29 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Good Dan Brown Novel

    Another great plot and story by Dan Brown. He continues to really impress me with his ability to take facts and twist them creating these great stories. This book centers around code breaking and the NSA. Dan Brown loves to create these stories that not only keeps readers on the edge of their seats but also makes them mentally focus on the material at hand. This book kept me interested the entire time I read it and if you like mystery or fictional history you would definately like this book!!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2012

    Not as good as his other books, but still a good read

    "Digital Fortress" starts out quickly and continues down a high-speed road of twists, turns and surprises. The basic premise is that a disgruntled former employee of the NSA has allegedly created an unbreakable encryption algorithm that he's threatening to release into the open - effectively rendering our anti-terrorism monitoring programs worthless. However, this man has died - and nobody knows who is now in control of this monster. More importantly...is this technology really what it appears to be? As a computer geek, I enjoyed the authentic technology described in the book (though some of it was a bit "off"). Brown does his usual great job of building suspense and gradually guiding the reader to the final solution - which is almost never what it seems. I'll admit...I guessed wrong on this one. It's a great read that you will burn through quickly (it's short book compared to some of his others). Not as good as his other books, but break into this "Digital Fortress"...you'll enjoy the results.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2000

    Non-Stop!

    I only opened the book once. Because when I closed the cover I was finished with the book. Excellent for any military/intelligence buffs.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2000

    Enjoyment for the computer junky and non-junky

    Dan Brown has offered a peek into some very specialized and very frightening worlds. While providing a real computer thriller, something you simply can't put down, his writing takes you for a world tour, touching on three continents. His accuracy on techno-terms and world culture provides such realism that you will find your heart racing and your mind on two sides of some very important issue.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2000

    Brown hit the target

    Techno-thrillers need to be well done and Brown has done that. As one who is in the computer world I find some of the assumtpions that underlie the story to be a little far fetched, but then again 15 years ago no one guessed what today would be like. There are enough potential bad guys to keep you guessing until nearly the end. For those who think the government is always 'up to something' this book will reinforce those feelings. Unfortuately, I can put names to many characters in this novel. That's what makes it more real.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting Story, But...

    I'm not a huge Dan Brown fan, but this story was somewhat compelling, and pretty much a page-turner. It also coincided with the recent news of a whistle-blower calling out the NSA for its invasion of cell phone privacy, closely paralleling the storyline of Digital Fortress. But, having said that, I don't particularly like Brown's writing style, which, to me, sounds like comic book script. His characters lack complexity, in fact are frequently one dimensional, and his protagonist(s) are too often incredibly beautiful AND incredibly intelligent. One of the main female characters in Digital Fortress is tall, gorgeous and has a whopping IQ of 180. Most of us intelligent people know that that's nearly impossible. Her only flaw seems to be that she is completely stupid about people. Another one of his writing techniques that I find very annoying is his repetition of key points in his stories, first in narration and then in characters' lines. In fact, I found one of the last tension-filled sequences almost unbearable in it's repetition, which seems as if Brown feels he has to repeat key phrases several times so that his readers will get it. I rather resent his assumption that I need extra help to understand his point. It also feels as though he had written this book some time ago because of his use of outdated terms, such as CompuServe ISP (bought by AOL several years ago) and Netscape (also bought by AOL around 15 years ago). It seems he needs to research his facts a bit more thoroughly, and the term-time disconnect impacts the credibility of his story. Anyway, as I said, it is a fairly good story, and particularly relevant right now. If you can get past the Dan Brown (lack of) style, you might find it interesting.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Browns first thriller

    I will refrain from being verbose and keep this simple. I believe this was Dan Browns first thriller if I am not mistaken. Either this or 'Deception Point'. Anyway, this book is an excellent quick read and offers a solid thrill for the reader. It isnt 'Angels and Demons' but it is still worth reading, especially if you are a Dan Brown fan and want to have the complete collection for your library.
    -AKD

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    Digital Fortress not Da Vinci

    Ok, I know this book was written before Angels and Demons, and Da Vinci Code so he is building his skills in this book. It is an interesting plot but the characters remind me of versions of his other famous characters and I was able to figure out the end before I got to it. I hate when that happens. It might have been because I read A & D, the Code, and Lost Symbol before reading Digi Fort, so it was easy to see where he was going with the story. I still hate senseless character terminations in any story, why do they have to kill off so many people for no reason. Dan Brown isn't the only writer guilty of that habit. All in all, if you like Dan Brown, you will probably like Digital Fortress, just know that it is not quite as sophisticated as Angels and Demons, the DaVinci Code or Lost Symbol. It was still a fairly enjoyable read, but I'll be reselling my copy, it won't remain in my permanent library.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Work Of Art

    Let it be known that Dan Brown Doesnt write unsatisfactory novels. That having been said, Digital Fortress is in my opinion still the weakest of his books. It is Thrilling enough to make up for the fact that its extremely confusing, especially the first time you read it, ive read it three times and it is a work of art, a fantastic novel in its own right.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    KEEPS YOU WANTING MORE!

    I started reading this book at my husband's request. He had read it and loved it, so I took his advice and started. At the beginning I thought I wouldn't be able to read it to the end because it is a bit technical and I got a little bit lost at times BUT, it came to the point when I desperately needed to know what was going to happen. Dan Brown did it one more time, he managed to keep me wanting more and needing to know more. Wonderful group of characters and very creative plot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2000

    Excellent - Non Stop Action

    I very rarely write reviews but after reading this book I had to. The author held my attention from the beginning to the very end. Great suspense and not easily predictable. Well written. I stayed up until 3a.m. reading this book. The best electronic book I have downloaded.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Suspenseful

    I enjoyed the story, pretty suspenseful. I never knew cryptology could be so interesting!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    this book seriously is amazing

    this book blew my mind away thats how good it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not bad

    Definitely not in the realm of the Da Vinci or Angels & Demons, but a decent read. Don't expect a fantastic story but it's worth a rainy day read. If you're a Dan Brown fan you won't walk too disappointed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2008

    Amazing

    This book is completely amazing. The plot is great. The book is very full of suspense. The characters are described with so much detail. This is a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2007

    Great book

    This was my favorite book by Dan Brown, and possibly that I have ever read. This book had everything you could possibly look for, pot twist, good characterization, amazing storyline, and great writing. Amazing book in general

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2007

    great read

    it was a great story, thirlling and captivating. in my opinion dan brown is a great author and this book amazing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2007

    Dan Browns best...

    A very fast read. Most people dont even know the NSA even exist. It make you wonder if the NSA really has a massive code breaking machine. The book talks about how the NSA can read your email if they think you are a threat to national security. They could be watching me right now typing this review. It really make you wonder...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2005

    Tipically Brown: Boringly simple and extremely offensive

    Absolutely awful. Even if it is true that the guidelines of the plot are quite entertaining, you soon realize that this is another example of unaccurate, void story from Dan Brown. Not only the final outcome is widely dissapointing, but the book is openly -and unnecessarily- offensive towards Seville, the city where a good part of the action happens. After reading this book, and having read 'The Da Vinci Code' some months earlier, I thought that Brown was simply a lazy author who didn't bother about knowing the places he describes. Alas, the guy claims to have studied and lived in Seville, which makes his pathetic depictions of the city unforgivable. I made a mistake, which was buying this book -I took the DV Code from a friend, so at least I became angry for free-. Brown's books definetly do not deserve a cent being spent on

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