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Cryptonomicon
Cryptonomicon
Author: Neal Stephenson
With this extraordinary first volume in what promises to be an epoch-making masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse - mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. N...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780380788620
ISBN-10: 0380788624
Publication Date: 6/1/2000
Pages: 928
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 105

4.1 stars, based on 105 ratings
Publisher: Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 2
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Cryptonomicon on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
i read alot. and this is one of my all time favs. action adventure comedy romance seat of the pants suspense stints in jail invasions pirates submarines pretty girls nerdy guys navy seals mathmeticians poets pagans guns knives stern looks rowdy redneck cousins delicate relationships jungle hikes family and most importantly FUN. this book is not for the non devoted. big fat amount of pages where we learn vivid details of the delightful characters spun by stephenson. i feel like i know these people. and yes id choose doug shaftoe in a bar fight too id love to hang out with these dudes and drink a beer or two over grilled shrimp and ahi tuna steaks in manila b4 setting out to topple international economic structures and terrifying the IRS. count me in.
reviewed Cryptonomicon on
Helpful Score: 8
Well written, interesting story with memorable characters. I enjoyed it very much and recommend it even if it doesn't sound like your kind of story. I think that the back cover makes it sound kind of dull. World War 2, high tech finance, conspiracies, blah, blah, blah.

Although it is very funny in places, it is not the sort of book you pick up if you are looking for a quick, light read; it took me a long time to read this one. Not that it is boring, it's just a lot of book (1,152 pages of small print). It has multiple main characters and it covers a few generations.

Stephenson did a great job telling this story. I can't even imagine how hard it was to organize and write something this complicated.

I will never forget Waterhouse's ejaculation management obsession, theory and formula to explain it. Good stuff.
reviewed Cryptonomicon on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
A novel about Codes and Cyphers during the Second World War. The story line jumps back and forth through several story lines which makes reading dificult for some people. This is a very large paperback (1152 pages) and kept me entertained to the end.
reviewed Cryptonomicon on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book is not the type my bookclub usually reads, so when one of the members selected it, I was leery. Then I bought it and was further daunted by the size. However I LOVED it. I don't think I have ever read a book that I found so engrossing. It zoomed to the top of my "Best Ever" list and a copy still sits on my "SAVE" shelf.
reviewed Cryptonomicon on + 201 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This was an interesting read. At a bit over 900 pages in an oversized paperback edition, it was a huge, long read as well.

I enjoyed this book a fair bit, actually. The first third or so might have been a bit slow - it took me a long time to get through it - but the rest went reasonably quickly. This is a geek book, though. It discusses any number of topics in depth, possibly far more depth than you're interested in reading if you're not a geek. Happily I am a geek and it worked well for me.

The plot revolves around the interconnected lives of several people at two different times: during the second world war and now. In particular we follow a marine in WW II, and cryptographer and mathematician working in WW II, and a programmer working now. Others factor in, of course, but those are the three main points of view. The marine winds up doing and seeing all kinds of interesting things during the war, some of which are never adequately explained, the cryptographer is more straight forward in some ways, and the programmer could be any of a number of people I know, at least in terms of background.

I think that - apart from it's sheer size - Cryptonomicon is an approachable book by Stephenson. I've read two others by him Snow Crash and The Diamond Age. For my money, this may be the best of the three. If you're looking for something substantial to read, this might be it.
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reviewed Cryptonomicon on
Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon" is a phenomenon not to be missed. His brilliance and extensive research shine as in few other books. If you're looking for the kitschy sci-fi of his former work, you won't find it here. This is a serious work of intelligent entertainment which made me laugh out loud -- okay, I SNORTED! -- and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. This is a book to be savored and re-read multiple times for the sheer joy of immersing yourself in the work of a master wordsmith, as well as discovering subtleties you might have missed first time round because you were turning the pages so quickly. He handles the different time-frames of the two stories so deftly, you immediately understand their interconnectedness. He also raises an urgent and salient question about our global economy in light of current technology.
This book also introduces you to families revisited in his subsequent trilogy "The Baroque Cycle", which includes "Quicksilver", "The Confusion", and "The System of The World." Stephenson fleshes out realistic characters committing acts of super-reality, yet with flaws we all see in the mirror each day. I cannot recommend this book, or this author, highly enough.


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