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Digital Fortress

Average Rating 4
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(148)

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(52)

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(33)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Dan Brown does it for me again!

I was hooked by this and couldn't put it down. Twists and turns, exciting technology, this fast paced book is great to read on a rainy day.

posted by teacher-teach on May 2, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

26 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

I bought this book after reading the da Vinci Code. It was the last one I read and by now his formula for writing books was not working.

I bought this book after reading the da Vinci Code. It was the last one I read and by now his formula for writing books was not working.

Regardless, the ultimate downfall of this book is BAD WRITING. The characters are flat and annoying. Their actions are contradi...
I bought this book after reading the da Vinci Code. It was the last one I read and by now his formula for writing books was not working.

Regardless, the ultimate downfall of this book is BAD WRITING. The characters are flat and annoying. Their actions are contradictory to their personalities -- for no other purpose than to move the 'plot' along. I think Dan Brown has a Word-a-Day calendar and he uses that new vocabulary word several times in the 10-15 pages of writing he produces that day. Words such as 'andalusian' are used several times in a 3 'chapter' span and then never again surface throughout the book.

Most frustratingly, Dan Brown apparently never learned similes are functional and get the point across, but should not be used often as they can be extremely annoying and counterproductive to getting a point across. Towards the end of the book all these sentences are seriously used in less than 2 full pages:
- "The commander rose through the trap door LIKE Lazarus back from the dead."
- "Freon was flowing downward through the smoldering TRANSLTR LIKE oxygenated blood."
- "Susan was standing before him, damp and tousled, in his blazer. She looked LIKE a freshman coed who'd been caught in the rain. He felt LIKE the senior who'd lent her his varsity sweater." [nice double simile, huh?]
- "Her gaze was LIKE ice -- the softness was gone. Susan Fletcher stood rigid LIKE an immovable statue." [another one] "The puddle of blood beneath Hale's body had spread across the carpet LIKE an oil spill."

Believe it or not, there are more in this 2 page space, but I'll stop here. Yes, the writing is THAT groan-inducingly bad. These two classics in the book make me laugh every time I think of them -- "Like in a cheap hollywood movie, the lights went out in the bathroom just as she heard the scream," and "any more interesting than last night and I'll never walk again."

Ultimately, I did finish the book. BUT I WAS DISAPPOINTED.

posted by carlosmock on May 5, 2009

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  • Posted May 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I bought this book after reading the da Vinci Code. It was the last one I read and by now his formula for writing books was not working.

    I bought this book after reading the da Vinci Code. It was the last one I read and by now his formula for writing books was not working.

    Regardless, the ultimate downfall of this book is BAD WRITING. The characters are flat and annoying. Their actions are contradictory to their personalities -- for no other purpose than to move the 'plot' along. I think Dan Brown has a Word-a-Day calendar and he uses that new vocabulary word several times in the 10-15 pages of writing he produces that day. Words such as 'andalusian' are used several times in a 3 'chapter' span and then never again surface throughout the book.

    Most frustratingly, Dan Brown apparently never learned similes are functional and get the point across, but should not be used often as they can be extremely annoying and counterproductive to getting a point across. Towards the end of the book all these sentences are seriously used in less than 2 full pages:
    - "The commander rose through the trap door LIKE Lazarus back from the dead."
    - "Freon was flowing downward through the smoldering TRANSLTR LIKE oxygenated blood."
    - "Susan was standing before him, damp and tousled, in his blazer. She looked LIKE a freshman coed who'd been caught in the rain. He felt LIKE the senior who'd lent her his varsity sweater." [nice double simile, huh?]
    - "Her gaze was LIKE ice -- the softness was gone. Susan Fletcher stood rigid LIKE an immovable statue." [another one] "The puddle of blood beneath Hale's body had spread across the carpet LIKE an oil spill."

    Believe it or not, there are more in this 2 page space, but I'll stop here. Yes, the writing is THAT groan-inducingly bad. These two classics in the book make me laugh every time I think of them -- "Like in a cheap hollywood movie, the lights went out in the bathroom just as she heard the scream," and "any more interesting than last night and I'll never walk again."

    Ultimately, I did finish the book. BUT I WAS DISAPPOINTED.

    26 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Dan Brown does it for me again!

    I was hooked by this and couldn't put it down. Twists and turns, exciting technology, this fast paced book is great to read on a rainy day.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 6, 2013

    This is by fat the worst book I have ever read. I actually use i

    This is by fat the worst book I have ever read. I actually use it as a conversation piece when discussing reading. Please only buy this book if you would enjoy taking notice to its many flaws. It is ridiculous and poorly constructed.

    12 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Exciting, but weak on accuracy.

    I read Dan Brown's "Deception Point" and enjoyed it, so I went on to "Digital Fortress." Unfortunately, this novel cured me of Dan Brown. It's full of cliff hanging high intensity excitement, but is so totally unbelievable that I could not really enjoy it. He apparently did not research anything about computer programming and has taken great liberties with the facts about computer hardware operations.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2013

    Sorry I bought this book

    My first negative book review: so very disappointed in this book. In fact, I could not finish it - I was unwilling to invest any more time to find out what happened. It was that badly written.

    Written early in Brown's career (ar at least earlier than Angles and Demons and The Davinci Code), Digital Fortress was not at all what I hoped or expected.

    Character development - who thinks the way these characters do? Plot development - formulaic and unlikely at the same time. Technical accuracy - couldn't say, except that Brown dives overly-deep into code-breaking programming, a common mistake when an author researches something technical and wants to share everything he or she has learned.

    While I've never felt Brown is the best writer, he usually tells a compelling story. This one should have remained in his head.

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not an Engaging Read

    Just awful. The book lost credibility with me fast. It involves a contemporary consultant to the CIA who is supposed to not ever heard of the National Security Agency. I've heard of the NSA--as someone casually interested in public policy--decades ago. A very well-researched book on the agency, The Puzzle Palace was published in the 80s. There is a note at the front of the Digital Fortress claiming Brown consulted with anonymous sources in the agency for his novel. If Brown actually had, you'd think they might have told him right off that his hero would have to be a dolt never to have heard of the NSA, and so certainly wouldn't be consulted by the CIA. A minor thing? Perhaps. But coming so early in a not-very-well-written book, it killed it for me and I found it hard to read much further. I'm not a big fan of The DaVinci Code--I thought the writing clunky, the plot predictable, the history execrable. But it had at least the virtue of a provocative and ambitious premise. This doesn't.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    Make another great movie

    I really enjoy the works of Dan Brown and this book has not been a let down. As expected, he has captured the readers attention from the beginning and holds it until the end.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it!

    Everything he writes I thoroughly enjoy! I would however say Angels & Demons was his best. I highly recommend this book as well as all his others & look forward to anything he publishes!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Decent

    I thought that this book was so-so. The book just never quite drew me in. I thought that Deception Point was a better book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2007

    Not worth your time

    Brown attempts to use the same format that was so successful in 'Angels and Demons' and 'The Da Vinci Code' but falls short. The plot is weak, the characters are underdeveloped, and it is a chore to even finish this book. I do not recommend this book to anyone.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2013

    Not one of Dan Brown's better books

    I really can't recommend this book, unless you are really into computers, & can write programs. It seemed repetitive, & not as riveting as his other books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2005

    What a horrid book!

    Reading this book was like watching a train wreck. The only reason I finished reading it was to confirm the ending I guessed at the mid-point of the novel. I almost called the publisher after finishing to demand my money back. The technical errors are glaring. If you're going to write a book like this, take five minutes to speak with a cryptologist and another five with a sysadmin to get your facts straight. What a disappointment.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    Good early Dan Brown novel,worth reading

    3 1/2 read. I liked it a lot. Read after Angels and Demons and Davinci Code.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Steve

    What?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Constance P.

    What is your favorite book? Right now I am reading a title called, "Estimating the Permeation Resistance of Noaporous Polymers to Sulphur Mustard and Sarin Chemical Warfare Agents." It is great for my studies.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2014

    Unfortunate Experience

    I ordered a Nook Book and it is not on my Nook along with 3 other Nook books I ordered, they are NOT ON MY NOOK whatgives with that, now I am on the phone waiting for help with all this....I almost used up my gift card ordering these NOOK books and now they are not on my Nook...geez what a mess

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2013

    Really that bad

    Do not pick up this awful book until you read some of the negative reviews. Brown must have written this book when he was in about 6th grade. Believe the other reviews and give this one a pass.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2013

    An OK read. This book is not as good as his later ones such as

    An OK read. This book is not as good as his later ones such as The Da Vinci Code. The beginning of the book was way too hi tech regarding computer programming. Would have been much more effective if Dan Brown had given just the facts needed regarding computer programming so the average reader could follow what he was talking about. I almost put the book down after reading the first few chapters due to the boring in-depth, overly detailed computer language. It just dragged on and on and after a while, no longer added anything to the story.

    That being said, the book improved in the middle. Action packed. But honestly, would the average human being really survive! Most of the situations were just unbelievable. The story line wasn't as strong as later books. I figured this one out about half way through the book. You could just see it coming. I think Dan Brown had become too predictable using the same basic story lines over and over.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    In a book about cryptography you would expect the cast of charac

    In a book about cryptography you would expect the cast of characters to be largely geeks, dorks, and nerds. Not so in Brown's world. Like all of his heroes they are sophisticated, attractive, well dressed, well adjusted, impossibly successful people who, if they were real, would fill the rest of us with envy. It in fact, they are so likeable as to be despisable. I see this as a problem with most of the Dan Brown's books. He doesn't seem to understand the concept of a flawed hero. They are simply too perfect. It's not what we were all told that people actually want to read in our writing classes and workshops, but his books sell like hot cakes, so go figure. But this near-perfection of his heroes is something that I personally do not like about his work. How did all these computer geeks, academic types, and overworked managers get to be so perfect in every way? I don't think that one can be explained.

    So we move on to the story. It's hard to remember the details of it, since Dan Brown stories are littered with complications which arise on every page. Broadly, it concerns a cryptographic algorithm that, if the US National Security agency gets its way, can be manipulated to give them an exclusive view into all the world's digital communications. This infuriates the open source hacker community to no end, and infuriates foreign governments even more. It creates what begins as a bidding war, and ends as the life-and-death battle over their new encryption system.

    The story is certainly interesting, and littered chock-full with the digressions and red herrings that are Dan Brown's trademark. He certainly doesn't make it easy for his sympathetic characters. I think it's the only reason you have to sympathise with them. Whenever they begin to make progress, they get knocked back big time. You begin to feel sorry for these people, perfect as they are, never getting a break. It is not exactly life, but sometimes we all feel like that.

    Much has been made by other reviewers of the factual inaccuracies in this book. I admit many of them must have passed me by. Perhaps I was overwhelmed by the sheer implausibility of the plot that I missed the various details about mainframes, computer hardware, encryption algorithms, and whether you can destroy an entire facility by damaging the IT system's cooling mechanism, but in general I found the technological side of it to be a lot of fun and, myself having been an IT guy in the past, thought provoking.

    Many people know that Dan Brown is not a great writer. But he seems to give something that people want. I don't know what that is, and if I did I would try to bottle it. But whatever my complaints about his writing, I confess I enjoyed Digital Fortress. There's a lot of cool stuff in there, albeit some overly cool people posing alongside it. At least it's free from all the pretensions to reality that Angels and Demons and The da Vinci Code specialise in. Nobody is going to read this book and think, wow, all this stuff must be true!

    Reviewed by the author of Copout.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    Ok read but nothing more

    The storyline was definitely intriguing but overall the whole book felt like it had been rushed to publication. Many of the characters felt 2-d and all they thought of was sex and all of them seemed to only use the 'f' word in stressful situations. When it came to mysterious clues and hints the characters, who were supposed to be brilliant, seemed to miss the obvious and it took away from the intensity of the story. After reading The DaVince Code I had high hopes for this book, but unfortunately it fell flat and doesn't even come close.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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