The story arcs were difficult to follow. Back and forth through "history" so may times combined with the common names, made me lose my place and story periodically didn't make sense. Didn't need the gay "humor" either, it had no valid place in the storyline.
No, but of this is indicative of the authors style I would be reluctant to read another one from him.
Performance was great. Its how I kept the characters apart.
No. I have lost interest.
That is extremely well narrated . The storyline needs a lot of attention in the beginning - who is doing when what since it basically covers eras and continents.
This was just a great book. It's my third Neal Stephenson (after Snow Crash and Seveneves) and I can now comfortably call Stephenson one of my favorite authors. Both storylines were great, and my preference of one over the other swapped several times throughout. I also liked that the 90s storyline gave me a little taste of the kind of computer intrigue that drew me to Snow Crash years ago. This book gets very technical at times, but it's very intuitively written so that I think any tech or math literate person shouldn't get lost. It never really gets stuck on obtuse terminology, and always lets the reader get the gist through context even if the minutiae goes over their head.
As for the performance, I thought it was generally pretty good. Some occasional pronunciation stumbles here and there (a minor Japanese character's surname gets consistantly mispronounced at one point) but overall the reader did a great job. I thought the voice he chose for Bobby Shaftoe was a bit annoying at times, however.
The narrator was awesome. He has some impressive voices. But the author seemed to believe that he couldn't tell a simple treasure hunting story without first telling the entire life stories of the six people most involved with it. It takes 24 (of 34) chapters before he actually gets to the plot. He displays no concept of pacing, nor is the climax all that exciting. Several times he goes into long wandering narration for things which have nothing to do with the plot at all. They often took 5 to 10 minutes of narration before coming to a pointless end.
The book IS good for one use, however. Several times I used it to put myself to sleep, for which it served admirably.
First of all, I like long books. However this one was just long to be long. There was back story and more back story. Which is fine if it helps to understand a character and help move the story along. But really there were long sections that were really boring. I'm pretty sure he could of cut 10 or more hours and made this a tighter book.
I just couldn't get into it. It just goes on, and on, and on. Seemed like there was a whole chapter on when I chain would come off a bike cog...might have been two chapters. I love math and a good story but I gave up on this one after about 18 hours. Maybe there's a story in there but I can't keep going to find out.
After reading Stephenson's Seveneves and loving it, I thought I had found an author whose books I could consume for the next few months. That may still be the case, but Cryptonomicon is just way too slow for me.
After 14 hours, I'm giving up. The plot takes way too long to unfold, and the story is just too slow to drive a good listening pace, so I end up finding all kinds of excuses to avoid listening to this. Stephenson does a good job with character development, but there is only so much I want to know about a character before they do something interesting.
I was pretty disappointed with the narration as well. The accents, especially European, are good, but all the other characters are a little drab.
There are many good reviews for this book, and several friends recommended it as well, so I think my suggestion would be to try this as a read rather than a listen. That way, you may be able to accelerate through the slow parts and get to what seems to be a good concept.
Was really looking forward to this book, disappointed I ran out of steam, but I think a half day is enough slack to give an author & narrator before deciding whether another 20 hours of life is worth it. In this case, my answer is no.