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Digital Fortress

Average Rating 4
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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 June 10, 2010

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    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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  • 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 April 11, 2010

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    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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2004

    Entertaining but airy

    Airy because there are quite a few small chapters early on that have nothing to do with the action of the story or further development of the characters. Techno geeks will enjoy it, non-techies will appreciate the explanation of any unfamiliar tech talk. An easy read that will keep you excited for the next page. Recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2004

    Great material, so so story

    Having read all of Dan Brown's books I have come to the realization that he is excellent at finding interesting subject matter and obviously researches thorough and is thoroughly versed in the topic about which he is writing. He does an excellent job of keeping the reader's interest by stringing in fascinating tidbits of information in addition to and relating to the main topic. However, the story reads very clumsily. It's like he's got all this information he wants to share, and needs to make a fiction story out of it. It feels lumpy reading the story because the dialog feels forced and the storytelling seems like it serves no purpose other than to weave in the next interesting tidbit of information. All this being said, I found the story quite interesting and was a quick read.

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