Neal is unquestionably a master of words and prose. Too bad get easily carried away. There were way too many unnecessary deviations to the main story that honestly just demotivated me. But it was definitely a cool book.
It is difficult to chose one element. This story mixes social and scientific ideas with a World War II war story, cryptology and the world of tech startups in pacific asia, along with many digressions along the way. Somehow Neal Stephenson manages to make it work seamlessly.
The thing that sets this book apart is how Neal Stephenson manages to incorporate both complex scientific ideas in great detail, to the point where you might be able to implement a simple crypto system after reading this book, but also complex social ideas. E.g. there's a wonderful scene where one of the main characters - a nerdy programmer type - is present at a meetup of leftist social science and literary types about technology and the "information super high way" (aka. the internet), and it is honestly quite funny.
I'm not sure. All three of protagonists and several of the supporting characters are all very interesting, well written and complex characters.
Dufris' narration is great. He is able to enhance the atmosphere of the wide ranging scenes and he brings the characters to life.
It made me laugh on several occasions.
Felt confused a bit as I went to different points in history with apparent flashbacks to give the planned 'oh so that's what they did'. Overall very good. Reader was great. I preferred baroque cycle series.
a tough one to follow for the casual listener. lots of jumps back and forth from character to character and time to time with no apparent relation for the 1st 1/3 of the book. Good story though.