Customer Reviews for

Digital Fortress

Average Rating 4
( 787 )
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(326)

4 Star

(228)

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(148)

2 Star

(52)

1 Star

(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.

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  • 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.

    10 out of 11 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.

    9 out of 12 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 4 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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  • 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2013

    Click in this headline

    I need a friend if ure interested leabe your person info on this book thanx
    Leah berd
    Please reply soon ;)

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    Zzxhssfffffffffmmmm..!uiikkkklkkkkkkmkkkmkkk.

    ?.................


    1 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2013

    I enjoyed this relatively early writing effort that seems to follow a formula of characters.

    We begin with the Heroine, Susan, dreaming about a planned weekend with her fiancé, David. They are in their middle years, she is a cryptologist and he a Professor of language. The weekend is delayed because he is asked to pickup the personal effects of a deceased programmer. The tale spins around a person that has been in the game too long, the Commander. He hatches a plot to preserve his glory and remove his perceived rival of Susan. The end is a destruction of a huge code breaking system, and several people including the plotter, his henchman, and several innocent people dyeing. The story reflects a common Dan Brown theme of someone seeking glory or preservation of cherished belief ending in a expensive tragedy with an emerging heroine getting her hero. It is not as well written as "The Da Vinci Code", but it shows improving literary skill.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Decent tech thriller!

    A high tech thriller from the mid 90s shouldn’t hold up well nearly two decades later but Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress does pretty well. The book is bogged down by tech speak at times and other times that speak seems redundant in this day and age when everyone’s grandmother knows what Wi-Fi is. The characters are interesting but clichéd. There are some decent twists and a high intrigue level. Overall, this was a god book that I’m sure I would have enjoyed more had I read it in 1995.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    You start to read the book and you can not put it down highly recommended.

    Dan Brown is a excellent writer for people who like ,romance,mystery, suspense and adventure I would recommend it for all adult readers. I have read all of his books and have not been disappointed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great story of the computer world

    Wow!! Great story but doesn't Brown always put together a great story. The plot is a little similar to his Robert Langdon stories, but yet is different in many ways. While the Langdon stories about about history and symbolic meanings, this story is about code breakers. Well researched, alot of suspense and on the edge of your seat, bitting your nails. Excellent read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2010

    Good but not his best.

    Having read Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code, both by Dan Brown, I thought I should try Digital Fortress also by him. I had high hopes for this book when I began to read it and I immediately saw the trademark Dan Brown layout. The surplus of short chapters makes his books especially this one an easy fast read but it didn't have the substance that his other books have. Digital Fortress is hardly a thriller; instead it is an apparent mystery that even the most oblivious person could figure out. The twists and turns are hardly perfected and could have been improved on immensely. Also the book hindered greatly from being mainly set in the NSA crypto lab, the setting was limited and it was hard for any growth of the characters. But the better parts of the book were the ones set in Spain with David Becker, these parts kept me interested in the book. With an assassination plot, car chases, and a few funny parts the parts of the book with Becker kept my interest and made it easier to get through the book. Another problem with Digital Fortress is that there is a lack of cryptograms and puzzles. Had Dan Brown added some more puzzles in the book for us readers to figure out, I personally would have been more involved with the book and would have enjoyed it a lot more. If you are looking for a great thriller you won't find it here, instead read Dan Brown's other books, Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. He has perfected upon his writing style and plot twists. If you like reading his books then Digital Fortress is still a quick decent read but it will have you wanting more.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Fantastic read

    After reading Digital Fortress, I had a new understanding of and appreciation for the writing style of Dan Brown. I couldn't put it down. His gripping style of writing lead me to page after page of action; I couldn't anticipate what was going to happen next. It was faced-paced, and brought out the best and worst of his characters' personalities. He is a master of putting it all together. I highly recommend this book for those who are interested in computers and science fiction. The description of the actions seems to float off the page as if you were literally there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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