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New York, NY 2004 Hard cover First edition. 1st printing revised edition New in fine dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 371 p. Audience: ... General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage--not by guns or bombs -- but by a code so complex that if released would cripple U.S. intelligence. Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this fast-paced, plausible tale, Brown blurs the line between good and evil enough to delight patriots and paranoids alike." -Publishers Weekly

"Digital Fortress is the best and most realistic techno-thriller to reach the market in years... A chilling thrill a minute." -The Midwest Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312335168
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2004
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Brown

Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 bestselling novels, including Digital Fortress, Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, which has sold more than 80 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best selling novels of all time. Named one of the World's 100 Most Influential People by TIME Magazine, he has appeared in the pages of Newsweek, Forbes, People, GQ, The New Yorker, and others. His novels are published in 51 languages around the world. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he also taught English. Digital Fortress was inspired by his experiences at the academy. He lives in New England with his wife.

Biography

Novelist Dan Brown may not have invented the literary thriller, but his groundbreaking tour de force The Da Vinci Code -- with its irresistible mix of religion, history, art, and science -- is the gold standard for a flourishing genre.

Born in Exeter, New Hampshire in 1964, Brown attended Phillips Exeter Academy (where his father taught), and graduated from Amherst with a double major in Spanish and English. After college he supported himself through teaching and enjoyed moderate success as a musician and songwriter.

Brown credits Sidney Sheldon with jump-starting his literary career. Up until 1994, his reading tastes were focused sharply on the classics. Then, on vacation in Tahiti, he stumbled on a paperback copy of Sheldon's novel The Doomsday Conspiracy. By the time he finished the book, he had decided he could do as well. There and then, he determined to try his hand at writing. His first attempt was a pseudonymously written self-help book for women co-written with his future wife Blythe Newlon. Then, in 1998, he published his first novel, Digital Fortress -- followed in swift succession by Angels and Demons and Deception Point. None the three achieved commercial success.

Then, in 2003, Brown hit the jackpot with his fourth novel, a compulsively readable thriller about a Harvard symbologist named Robert Langdon who stumbles on an ancient conspiracy in the wake of a shocking murder in the Louvre. Combining elements from art, science, and religion, The Da Vinci Code became the biggest bestseller in publishing history, inspiring a big-budget movie adaptation and fueling interest in the author's back list. In 2009, Brown continued Robert Langdon's esoteric adventures with The Lost Symbol, a tale of intrigue that, like its predecessors, takes readers on a wild ride into the sinister mysteries of the past.

Good To Know

  • Brown revealed the inspiration for his labyrinthine thriller during a writer's address in Concord, New Hampshire. "I was studying art history at the University of Seville (in Spain), and one morning our professor started class in a most unusual way. He showed us a slide of Da Vinci's famous painting "The Last Supper"... I had seen the painting many times, yet somehow I had never seen the strange anomalies that the professor began pointing out: a hand clutching a dagger, a disciple making a threatening gesture across the neck of another... and much to my surprise, a very obvious omission, the apparent absence on the table of the cup of Christ... The one physical object that in many ways defines that moment in history, Leonardo Da Vinci chose to omit." According to Brown, this reintroduction to an ancient masterpiece was merely "the tip of the ice burg." What followed was an in-depth explanation of clues apparent in Da Vinci's painting and his association with the Priory of Sion that set Brown on a path toward bringing The Da Vinci Code into existence.

  • If only all writers could enjoy this kind of success: in early 2004, all four of Brown's novels were on the New York Times Bestseller List in a single week!

    In our interview with Brown, he shared some of his writing rituals:

    "If I'm not at my desk by 4:00 a.m., I feel like I'm missing my most productive hours. In addition to starting early, I keep an antique hourglass on my desk and every hour break briefly to do push-ups, sit-ups, and some quick stretches. I find this helps keep the blood -- and ideas -- flowing.

    "I'm also a big fan of gravity boots. Hanging upside down seems to help me solve plot challenges by shifting my entire perspective."

  • Read More Show Less
      1. Hometown:
        New England
      1. Date of Birth:
        June 22, 1964
      2. Place of Birth:
        Exeter, New Hampshire
      1. Education:
        Phillips Exeter Academy 1982; B.A., Amherst College, 1986; University of Seville, Spain
      2. Website:

    Read an Excerpt

    DIGITAL FORTRESS


    By DAN BROWN

    St. Martin's Paperbacks

    Copyright © 1998 Dan Brown
    All right reserved.

    ISBN: 0-312-99542-3


    Chapter One

    They were in the Smoky Mountains at their favorite bed-and-breakfast. David was smiling down at her. "What do you say, gorgeous? Marry me?"

    Looking up from their canopy bed, she knew he was the one. Forever. As she stared into his deep-green eyes, somewhere in the distance a deafening bell began to ring. It was pulling him away. She reached for him, but her arms clutched empty air.

    It was the sound of the phone that fully awoke Susan Fletcher from her dream. She gasped, sat up in bed, and fumbled for the receiver. "Hello?"

    "Susan, it's David. Did I wake you?"

    She smiled, rolling over in bed. "I was just dreaming of you. Come over and play."

    He laughed. "It's still dark out."

    "Mmm" She moaned sensuously. "Then definitely come over and play. We can sleep in before we head north."

    David let out a frustrated sigh. "That's why I'm calling. It's about our trip. I've got to postpone."

    Susan was suddenly wide awake. "What!"

    "I'm sorry. I've got to leave town. I'll be back by tomorrow. We can head up first thing in the morning. We'll still have two days."

    "But I made reservations," Susan said, hurt. "I got our old room at Stone Manor."

    "I know, but-"

    "Tonight was supposed to be special-to celebrate six months. You do remember we're engaged, don't you?"

    "Susan" He sighed. "I really can't go into it now, they've got a car waiting. I'll call you from the plane and explain everything."

    "Plane?" she repeated. "What's going on? Why would the university ...?"

    "It's not the university. I'll phone and explain later. I've really got to go; they're calling for me. I'll be in touch. I promise."

    "David!" she cried. "What's-"

    But it was too late. David had hung up.

    Susan Fletcher lay awake for hours waiting for him to call back. The phone never rang.

    Later that afternoon Susan sat dejected in the tub. She submerged herself in the soapy water and tried to forget Stone Manor and the Smoky Mountains. Where could he be? she wondered. Why hasn't he called?

    Gradually the water around her went from hot to lukewarm and finally to cold. She was about to get out when her cordless phone buzzed to life. Susan bolted upright, sloshing water on the floor as she grappled for the receiver she'd left on the sink.

    "David?"

    "It's Strathmore," the voice replied.

    Susan slumped. "Oh" She was unable to hide her disappointment. "Good afternoon, Commander."

    "Hoping for a younger man?" The voice chuckled.

    "No, sir," Susan said, embarrassed. "It's not how it-"

    "Sure it is" He laughed. "David Becker's a good man. Don't ever lose him."

    "Thank you, sir."

    The commander's voice turned suddenly stern. "Susan, I'm calling because I need you in here. Pronto."

    She tried to focus. "It's Saturday, sir. We don't usually-"

    "I know" he said calmly. "It's an emergency."

    Susan sat up. Emergency? She had never heard the word cross Commander Strathmore's lips. An emergency? In Crypto? She couldn't imagine. "Y-yes, sir." She paused. "I'll be there as soon as I can."

    "Make it sooner." Strathmore hung up.

    Susan Fletcher stood wrapped in a towel and dripped on the neatly folded clothes she'd set out the night before-hiking shorts, a sweater for the cool mountain evenings, and the new lingerie she'd bought for the nights. Depressed, she went to her closet for a clean blouse and skirt. An emergency? In Crypto?

    As she went downstairs, Susan wondered how the day could get much worse.

    She was about to find out.

    Chapter Two

    Thirty thousand feet above a dead-calm ocean, David Becker stared miserably from the Learjet 60's small, oval window. He'd been told the phone on board was out of order, and he'd never had a chance to call Susan.

    "What am I doing here?" he grumbled to himself. But the answer was simple-there were men to whom you just didn't say no.

    "Mr. Becker," the loudspeaker crackled. "We'll be arriving in half an hour."

    Becker nodded gloomily to the invisible voice. Wonderful. He pulled the shade and tried to sleep. But he could only think of her.

    Chapter Three

    Susan's Volvo sedan rolled to a stop in the shadow of the ten-foot-high, barbed Cyclone fence. A young guard placed his hand on the roof.

    "ID, please"

    Susan obliged and settled in for the usual half-minute wait. The officer ran her card through a computerized scanner. Finally he looked up. "Thank you, Ms. Fletcher." He gave an imperceptible sign, and the gate swung open.

    Half a mile ahead Susan repeated the entire procedure at an equally imposing electrified fence. Come on, guys ... I've only been through here a million times.

    As she approached the final checkpoint, a stocky sentry with two attack dogs and a machine gun glanced down at her license plate and waved her through. She followed Canine Road for another 250 yards and pulled into Employee Lot C. Unbelievable, she thought. Twenty-six thousand employees and a twelve-billion-dollar budget; you'd think they could make it through the weekend without me. Susan gunned the car into her reserved spot and killed the engine.

    After crossing the landscaped terrace and entering the main building, she cleared two more internal checkpoints and finally arrived at the windowless tunnel that led to the new wing. A voice-scan booth blocked her entry.

    NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY (NSA) CRYPTO FACILITY AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY

    The armed guard looked up. "Afternoon, Ms. Fletcher."

    Susan smiled tiredly. "Hi, John."

    "Didn't expect you today."

    "Yeah, me neither." She leaned toward the parabolic microphone. "Susan Fletcher," she stated clearly. The computer instantly confirmed the frequency concentrations in her voice, and the gate clicked open. She stepped through.

    The guard admired Susan as she began her walk down the cement causeway. He noticed that her strong hazel eyes seemed distant today, but her cheeks had a flushed freshness, and her shoulder-length, auburn hair looked newly blown dry. Trailing her was the faint scent of Johnson's Baby Powder. His eyes fell the length of her slender torso-to her white blouse with the bra barely visible beneath, to her knee-length khaki skirt, and finally to her legs ... Susan Fletcher's legs.

    Hard to imagine they support a 170 IQ, he mused to himself.

    He stared after her a long time. Finally he shook his head as she disappeared in the distance.

    As Susan reached the end of the tunnel, a circular, vaultlike door blocked her way. The enormous letters read: CRYPTO.

    Sighing, she placed her hand inside the recessed cipher box and entered her five-digit PIN. Seconds later the twelve-ton slab of steel began to revolve. She tried to focus, but her thoughts reeled back to him.

    David Becker. The only man she'd ever loved. The youngest full professor at Georgetown University and a brilliant foreign-language specialist, he was practically a celebrity in the world of academia. Born with an eidetic memory and a love of languages, he'd mastered six Asian dialects as well as Spanish, French, and Italian. His university lectures on etymology and linguistics were standing-room-only, and he invariably stayed late to answer a barrage of questions. He spoke with authority and enthusiasm, apparently oblivious to the adoring gazes of his star-struck coeds.

    Becker was dark-a rugged, youthful thirty-five with sharp green eyes and a wit to match. His strong jaw and taut features reminded Susan of carved marble. Over six feet tall, Becker moved across a squash court faster than any of his colleagues could comprehend. After soundly beating his opponent, he would cool off by dousing his head in a drinking fountain and soaking his tuft of thick, black hair. Then, still dripping, he'd treat his opponent to a fruit shake and a bagel.

    As with all young professors, David's university salary was modest. From time to time, when he needed to renew his squash club membership or restring his old Dunlop with gut, he earned extra money by doing translating work for government agencies in and around Washington. It was on one of those jobs that he'd met Susan.

    It was a crisp morning during fall break when Becker returned from a morning jog to his three-room faculty apartment to find his answering machine blinking. He downed a quart of orange juice as he listened to the playback. The message was like many he received-a government agency requesting his translating services for a few hours later that morning. The only strange thing was that Becker had never heard of the organization.

    "They're called the National Security Agency," Becker said, calling a few of his colleagues for background.

    The reply was always the same. "You mean the National Security Council?"

    Becker checked the message. "No. They said Agency. The NSA."

    "Never heard of 'em"

    Becker checked the GAO Directory, and it showed no listing either. Puzzled, Becker called one of his old squash buddies, an ex-political analyst turned research clerk at the Library of Congress. David was shocked by his friend's explanation.

    Apparently, not only did the NSA exist, but it was considered one of the most influential government organizations in the world. It had been gathering global electronic intelligence data and protecting U.S. classified information for over half a century. Only 3 percent of Americans were even aware it existed.

    "NSA" his buddy joked, "stands for 'No Such Agency.'"

    With a mixture of apprehension and curiosity, Becker accepted the mysterious agency's offer. He drove the thirty-seven miles to their eighty-six-acre headquarters hidden discreetly in the wooded hills of Fort Meade, Maryland. After passing through endless security checks and being issued a six-hour, holographic guest pass, he was escorted to a plush research facility where he was told he would spend the afternoon providing "blind support" to the Cryptography Division-an elite group of mathematical brainiacs known as the code-breakers.

    For the first hour, the cryptographers seemed unaware Becker was even there. They hovered around an enormous table and spoke a language Becker had never heard. They spoke of stream ciphers, self-decimated generators, knapsack variants, zero knowledge protocols, unicity points. Becker observed, lost. They scrawled symbols on graph paper, pored over computer printouts, and continuously referred to the jumble of text on the overhead projector.

    Eventually one of them explained what Becker had already surmised. The scrambled text was a code-a "cipher-text"-groups of numbers and letters representing encrypted words. The cryptographers' job was to study the code and extract from it the original message, or "cleartext." The NSA had called Becker because they suspected the original message was written in Mandarin Chinese; he was to translate the symbols as the cryptographers decrypted them.

    For two hours, Becker interpreted an endless stream of Mandarin symbols. But each time he gave them a translation, the cryptographers shook their heads in despair. Apparently the code was not making sense. Eager to help, Becker pointed out that all the characters they'd shown him had a common trait-they were also part of the Kanji language. Instantly the bustle in the room fell silent. The man in charge, a lanky chain-smoker named Morante, turned to Becker in disbelief.

    "You mean these symbols have multiple meanings?"

    Becker nodded. He explained that Kanji was a Japanese writing system based on modified Chinese characters. He'd been giving Mandarin translations because that's what they'd asked for.

    "Jesus Christ." Morante coughed. "Let's try the Kanji."

    Like magic, everything fell into place.

    The cryptographers were duly impressed, but nonetheless, they still made Becker work on the characters out of sequence. "It's for your own safety" Morante said. "This way, you won't know what you're translating."

    Becker laughed. Then he noticed nobody else was laughing.

    When the code finally broke, Becker had no idea what dark secrets he'd helped reveal, but one thing was for certain-the NSA took code-breaking seriously; the check in Becker's pocket was more than an entire month's university salary.

    On his way back out through the series of security checkpoints in the main corridor, Becker's exit was blocked by a guard hanging up a phone. "Mr. Becker, wait here, please."

    "What's the problem?" Becker had not expected the meeting to take so long, and he was running late for his standing Saturday afternoon squash match.

    The guard shrugged. "Head of Crypto wants a word. She's on her way out now."

    "She?" Becker laughed. He had yet to see a female inside the NSA.

    "Is that a problem for you?" a woman's voice asked from behind him.

    Becker turned and immediately felt himself flush. He eyed the ID card on the woman's blouse. The head of the NSA's Cryptography Division was not only a woman, but an attractive woman at that.

    "No" Becker fumbled. "I just ..."

    "Susan Fletcher." The woman smiled, holding out her slender hand.

    Becker took it. "David Becker."

    "Congratulations, Mr. Becker. I hear you did a fine job today. Might I chat with you about it?"

    Becker hesitated. "Actually, I'm in a bit of a rush at the moment." He hoped spurning the world's most powerful intelligence agency wasn't a foolish act, but his squash match started in forty-five minutes, and he had a reputation to uphold: David Becker was never late for squash ... class maybe, but never squash.

    "I'll be brief." Susan Fletcher smiled. "Right this way, please."

    Ten minutes later, Becker was in the NSA's commissary enjoying a popover and cranberry juice with the NSA's lovely head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher. It quickly became evident to David that the thirty-eight-year-old's high-ranking position at the NSA was no fluke-she was one of the brightest women he had ever met. As they discussed codes and code-breaking, Becker found himself struggling to keep up-a new and exciting experience for him.

    An hour later, after Becker had obviously missed his squash match and Susan had blatantly ignored three pages on the intercom, both of them had to laugh. There they were, two highly analytical minds, presumably immune to irrational infatuations-but somehow, while they sat there discussing linguistic morphology and pseudo-random number generators, they felt like a couple of teenagers-everything was fireworks.

    Susan never did get around to the real reason she'd wanted to speak to David Becker-to offer him a trial post in their Asiatic Cryptography Division.

    Continues...


    Excerpted from DIGITAL FORTRESS by DAN BROWN Copyright © 1998 by Dan Brown. Excerpted by permission.
    All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
    Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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    Recipe

    Praise for Dan Brown and Digital Fortress:

    "A new master of smart thrills."
    - People

    "Digital Fortress is the best and most realistic techno-thriller to reach the market in years. Dan Brown's ability to paint in living color the gray area between personal freedom vs. national security...is awesome...Readers will feel a chilling thrill a minute."
    - The Midwest Book Review

    "Dan Brown has to be one of the best, smartest, and most accomplished writers in the country."
    - bestselling author Nelson DeMille

    "More intelligence secrets than Tom Clancy...Digital Fortress is closer to the truth than any of us dare imagine."
    - MacDonnell Ulsch, managing director of the National Security Institute

    "Dan Brown writes a rocket-fast thriller with enough twists and surprises to keep even the most seasoned readers guessing."
    - bestselling author Vince Flynn

    "Exciting...will rivet cyber-minded readers."
    - Booklist

    "In this fast-paced, plausible tale, Brown blurs the line between good and evil enough to delight patriots and paranoids alike."
    - Publishers Weekly
    Read More Show Less

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 405 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

    (196)

    4 Star

    (106)

    3 Star

    (65)

    2 Star

    (16)

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    (22)

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 78 Customer Reviews
    • 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.

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

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    • 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.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • 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

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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 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

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      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

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      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

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      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

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      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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