Cryptonomicon

Cryptonomicon

by Neal Stephenson
4.4 267

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Cryptonomicon 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 267 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that never seems to end, and when it finally does, you wish it would go on forever. The writing of Neal Stephenson is absolutely second to none. It is intelligent, dense, and full of metaphors that make one laugh out loud. It also traverses multiple timelines in a compelling fashion. The characters are unforgettable -- similar to those found in Catch-22, these characters will be with me forever. If you are into straightforward plots, do not like tangential meanderings about the mathematics behind one's sexual drive, and are not at all interested in technology, then this book is definitely not for you. If you love history, technology, scientific writing, and sheer quirkiness, this book is a must read! Just give yourself about a month to get through it -- it is not a fast read by any stretch.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first Neal Stephenson book, but it definitely won't be my last! He combines nerd-level mathmatics and cryptography with a Catch-22-like military pseudo-history and throws in some treasure hunting and philosophy/theology for good measure. And where else are you going to get a step-by-step instruction manual on how to best enjoy your Cap'n Crunch?
harstan More than 1 year ago

In 1942, the US Navy assigns Captain Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse to Detachment 2702 in Bletchley Park, England, home of the Allies cryptography team. The Axis¿ codes have been previously broken. Thus, the job of this top-secret team is to keep the Nazis in the dark that the Allies know the deepest military secrets of Germany and Japan and use the information to maximize the war effort. Heading up the effort is US Marine Bobby Shaftoe.

In the present time, Lawrence¿s grandson Randy Waterhouse has inherited the family¿s brilliant math gene. Using computers, he, like his grandfather is a cryptographic expert. Working in Southeast Asia, Randy is developing an encrypted massive data warehouse to keep out corporate and government spies. Randy works with Bobby¿s granddaughter Amy. However, as the present ties back to the past, everyone wants to either steal or shut down the efforts of Randy and Amy.

The mind-boggling CRYPTONOMICON shows why Neal Stephenson is both a New York Times best selling author and a cult hero. The story line is actually two major plots that fully tie together in spite of the fifty plus years' difference. The charcaters feel genuine and the audience will root for Randy to best his opponents. However, this opus belongs to cryptography, which takes on an identity of its own. Although the depth of detail might turn off some readers, as at times it becomes difficult for those of us who think math is a second language to fully understand the coding provided by Mr. Stephenson, the fabulous novel remains fast-paced and exciting. Readers will devour the tale, codes and all. Set aside several days and enjoy the best cryptographic-based tale since Poe¿s Gold Bug introduced the concept to literature.

Harriet Klausner

Mark Kit More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books. Excellent presentation of math concepts and elements of information theory in an unbelievably intresting manner. Science wrapped into a thriller. History is presented with astonishing mastery as well. From this book I learned a lot about the war in Pacific - subject almost untouced where I came from (Russia).The flavor of 1990th on the West coast is another point I cannot omit. I lived in Seattle then and Cryptonomicon seemed to take me there once again- with a hint of nostalgia. A bit envy to those who open this mazterpiece for the first time...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are like me you may be weary of the 1,000+ page count, but i found myself wishing it was 2,000! Incredibly smart and entertaining
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book 3 times now, and it actually gets better each time I read it. Terrific plotting, great informative detail, and a great sense of humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not finish it. After 375 grueling pages i finally gave up without having a clear picture of where the story was heading and how the parallel events of the past and present could eventually relate to each other. Just wasted a few bucks. Cut my losses and move on to the next one. But before i leave i have to say this. I am an avid reader and purchased numerous books in the last year. Some books are so absorbing that i could not put them down. This book almost sucked every desire i might of had of ever reading again. I just hope i can again find the joy in immersing myself in a good story.
LittleKellyGoose More than 1 year ago
"This is one of those books that never seems to end, and when it finally does, you wish it would go on forever"  RIGHT ON THE MONEY!
Roonabeck More than 1 year ago
I read this when it first came out, and loved it. I suspect you need to be somewhat of a geek or techie to appreciate it, though.
jbu More than 1 year ago
I loved this book - I especially appreciate that Stephenson himself seemed to enjoy the math of cryptography, and it added to the story - not a distraction at all. Don't be worried about the size of this book. The pages will fly by and you'll wish there were more.
kamas716 More than 1 year ago
Told in two timelines, which happen to be interconnected, this book seemed more like two different books thrown together. However, both stories are told at a breakneck pace and are extremely interesting.
doc_rock More than 1 year ago
this quote should answer the question, "should I read this book?" The room contains a few dozen living human bodies, each one a big sack of guts and fluids so highly compressed that it will squirt for a few yards when pierced. Each one is built around an armature of 206 bones connected to each other by notoriously fault-prone joints that are given to obnoxious creaking, grinding, and popping noises when they are in other than pristine condition. This structure is draped with throbbing steak, inflated with clenching air sacks, and pierced by a Gordian sewer filled with burbling acid and compressed gas and asquirt with vile enzymes and solvents produced by the many dark, gamy nuggets of genetically programmed meat strung along its length. Slugs of dissolving food are forced down this sloppy labyrinth by serialized convulsions, decaying into gas, liquid, and solid matter which must all be regularly vented to the outside world lest the owner go toxic and drop dead. Spherical, gel-packed cameras swivel in mucus-greased ball joints. Infinite phalanxes of cilia beat back invading particles, encapsulate them in goo for later disposal. In each body a centrally located muscle flails away at an eternal, circulating torrent of pressurized gravy. And yet, despite all of this, not one of these bodies makes a single sound at any time during the sultan's speech. It is a marvel that can only be explained by the power of brain over body, and, in turn, by the power of cultural conditioning over the brain.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't know who the heck this guy is. I have always hated the whole Hollywood-esque 'it's-O'Henry-meets-Stephen-King' type of description, but it's kind of appropo here because I don't know how else to verbalize the obtuse collection of thoughts, apparent influences, topics, characters, and so forth that Stephenson calls upon to tell this amazing story. So, here goes: It's like Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. meets Hunter S. Thompson meets Richard Feynman meets Mother Goose, among so many others. I have never seen science, math, history, and literature crash together and erupt into such a beautiful mushroom cloud. I have gone from amazement at his knowledge to being curled up into the fetal position in fits of hysterical laughter and back to sheer awe as I have gotten to know each of his characters and adore them. Even the ones who are miserable human beings. A colleague turned me on to the book, and I don't know whether I should be more grateful to him for that or to Stephenson for writing it. I'm not done with the book yet, so one might decide that my review is a bit premature, but this book is so good that even if the ending sucks it still will have been well worth reading. I can't wait to start in on the Baroque cycle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree with a previous reviewer when they said , the book seems like it will never end and then when it does you wish it would go on forever. I loved this book. Going to read it a third time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First hundred pages or so are brilliant, after two or thred hundred he loses all the steam, stiryline becomes unrealustuc, he makes ridiculous technical mistakes, story goes on forevee filled with unnecessary long descriptiin if boring derails, flat jokes... myvstring kmoression us that the concept was great but the contract stipulated a thousand pages and he gad to fill them. They say the first four boiks are better but i am not gojnlg to buy them. Two stars bexause the beginning was si giid
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I have reread this book a few times just for the sheer pleasure it gives me. Truly a great book.
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