I'm not sure. I like WW2 history and cryptography but this was almost silly.
Maybe, but he seemed to read it in a tongue in cheek fashion.
I gave up after the simulated wet dream sequence. It was just too much to suffer through.
Re-record the book using the narrator from The Baroque Cycle
I've read the book. The story is less exciting and robust than Baroque Cycle, but interesting technically. I'm having trouble getting into the audiobook because of the profoundly bad reading by the narrator.
If it had been read by anyone else. Possibly someone off the street. I would rather listen to a hobo read this than the current narrator.
Neal Stephenson is a gifted author and I consider this to be the silent 4th volume in the Baroque Cycle, but the person who decided to use Lefty Readsbadly as the narrator should be keelhauled.
Yes, the narrator sucked. Hard.
It's culturally relevant, and I learned a lot of interesting things, but this book is a test of endurance time wise. The author goes on a lot of long digressions, many of them about math or technical things, which would be easier to digest in traditional printed format. Generally good story, and worth reading, but it would be better in print (and faster too).
By the time I was 20 hours in... I decided I might as well finish it.
The reason I'd recommend print for this book is that the author goes off on mathematical tangents. It is INCREDIBLY difficult to grasp mathematical cryptographic explanations presented aurally -- much more useful and easy to ponder yourself if you see it. I do like Stephenson as a writer tho -- he creates intricate stories, weaving his plots and characters together in ways that keep you guessing (and a little lost, to be honest) until the last 1/4 of the book. Either this strategy keeps you interested in finding the connections, or I'd imagine for some it can backfire -- you lose interest without a connecting concept. Also, this book's female characters are not particularly well-written women (tho I know Stephenson is capable of this).
When you get to the point where the web of characters is fully strung, and you can see the connections -- that's a good moment. And then things just fall into place!
The voices he creates for characters are a little rough -- especially for the ladies. Why do they have to have fluttery, high-pitched drawls? Why do the men have weird drawls too?
I had a cross-country drive and was looking for HOURS of book. But man, it is a commitment.
I'd recommend trying out Snow Crash before committing to the Cryptonomicon -- see if Stephenson's style is right for you at a shorter read length!
The book itself is a masterpiece, but the narrator is singularly awful. Even when reading my old paperback copy I found myself hearing Dufris' ridiculous voice-acting - it came very close to ruining one of my favorite novels for me.
An unashamed Audiophile who has his own studio and business called iZENEARS which brings Australian travel and history to life for locals and visitor's alike.
This book is like a giant layered cake with few surprises but at the end you know you have had a feast. It is not easy to get into and stick with but it is witty and pithy and if you have a long holiday coming up with long interludes of downtime, then try it.
The narration was great, and he's got a knack for voices. The story itself was so interesting that I'd find myself sitting in my car when I should have been walk into work. The research that must've been done is astounding. Buy it, you will have no regrets.
This story jumps back and forth in time and is told from numerous character perspectives. That doesn't bother me when it is done with purpose. Opacity in a novel is fine, but this story goes off in so many tangents that the thread gets lost and worst, we stop caring about the characters. There are some engaging aspects here, code braking and encryption throughout history. Stephenson has an annoying habit of introducing characters and situations in order to be funny and the effect is forced and obnoxious. The book needs to be edited to half its length.
First, buying this book is a big commitment. 42 hours. You might want to read a free chapter or three from some ebook vendor before committing. I’m glad I spent the time, but not everyone will.
As some other reviewer wrote, this book’s plot is secondary to Stephenson’s ideas. There is a plot, and it’s complex and interesting, but it’s often more about the technology (high and low) than the people.
The people are colorful but not three-dimensional. Male characters are interesting and fun, but you don’t care about them. Female characters are there to relate to the male characters — this book flat-out fails the Bechdel Test.
There was one laugh-out-loud moment for me. I won’t spoil it for you.
The reader is great overall — good acting, superb voices, easy to listen to, and convincing foreign accents. He make a few outright errors (reading “deadliness” as “deadlines” was bad). He needs to have someone check his work for pronouncing things like “potentiometer” and even the difference between exploit as a verb (ex-PLOIT) and a noun (EX-ploit). But unless you’re more obsessive than I (not likely), these are ignorable.
I enjoyed the book, but at the end felt unsatisfied. I’ll read/listen to more by Stephenson, but for relaxation, not stimulation.
I liked the connections across the generations. The least interesting part was when Randy went home to visit his parents.
I liked Randy
This book has some major flaws. Things just happen out of the blue. Like what happened in the jungle toward the end. There was no explanation as to why that happened. All of a sudden he was there. The book was long but you felt like parts were missing.