Neil Stephenson's book Seveneves was possibly the best book I've read in several years, so I read this looking for something similar. I was disappointed. There was only one character I cared about (Goto Dengo), and a dozen other characters who really didn't seem to matter. Maybe it was just hard to follow in audio format than it would have been in written form because of the number of story lines and details, but ultimately I just didn't care, and thought a lot of pieces were left hanging or unnecessary to the primary story lines.
Smart, funny, exciting. No other writer on earth can make math so interesting, and so thrilling. Love this book, and all the rest.
From a performance perspective something delineating the change in time would have been a vast improvement. 1942 Pacific, 1942 England, Present day... anything to help orientate the listener.
I doubt it. There are two other books of his in my library, but as I look at them I have no memory of them which tells me I probably should have skipped this one too.
Perhaps additional people for the multitude of speaking parts. They all ran together.
Character? There is not enough character development to gain any feelings for any of them. And where are the women? As far as I can tell there are none... well maybe that is a woman in the "present day" part, but I am still trying to get through this thing and could not tell you her name. Apparently one person whose name I thought was Abby is a man.
How did this thing come up under mysteries? Oh I get it, the mystery is what is the plot? Apparently all of these story lines are going to come together... if I make it that far.
There is so much information packed into this novel that simply listening is not enough. I liked the story, the characters, even the style, but a year after completing it, I barely remember what I liked so much and find myself wishing I had taken notes on the mathematics, computations, inventions, history and cryptography. I remember really getting into the information and understanding everything. Now, I feel a bit like a student who didn't study and forgot everything for test. I will read/listen again, but this time I will take notes.
A busy Mum and Accountant. Listen to books while driving to work or sunbathing is my guilty pleasure.
I would listen to this story again.
I enjoyed how each generation story intertwined.
l'enfer c'est les autres
The author explains the math, the context, and the reality of breaking encryption schema and concentrates on the breaking of the Enigma code with its various players and the moving parts of WW II and relates that to a modern plan for finding a secret cache of gold in the Philippines.
The author even foreshadows the coming of digital currency. Overall, I would say the book is long, and live is short and one might be better served by listening to "Seizing the Enigma", by David Kahn and "The Second World War" by Anthony Beevor both books looks at the topics mentioned in this fictional book but does it in the guise of reality. Fiction can confuse me and this author's jumping between time periods led to my mind wandering. Non-fiction always stays on point (for me), but my wife much prefers fiction and this was a way for her to learn a lot about things she knows very little about.
I'm a huge fan of Stephenson and also of crypto and computer science. But this book was boring. Where in other Stephenson books I find the level of detail fascinating, in this book I wanted to fast forward. Several minutes describing how to eat cereal! Argh! I couldn't feel anything for the characters and thus even had trouble keeping track of all of them. A monumental work but if you are a fan of past scifi entries from Stephenson, don't expect the same from Cryptonomicon. I only barely made it through and was grateful it was over.