This book is really fantastic, there are a lot of details that are included that weren't widely know by in the late 90s or even early 2000s. Even with the age of the book the concepts and ideas still hold up and help support a great story spanning 3 generations.
As this story slowly, eloquently unwound, I became more and more reminded of Thomas Pynchon's masterpiece, Gravity's Rainbow. By the time Stephenson brought it to a golden end, he'd surpassed Pynchon. Dufris' magnificent narration of this story, saturated with characters of many nationalities, kept pace with the challenge.
Not my first Neal Stephenson book, but certainly my last.
Much, much better.
The narrator was great and did a fine job voicing the many characters.
Regret that I wasted a credit.
This book would have been fine if the author hadn't tried to turn a normal length novel into an epic tale. The amount of filler was truly astounding! A decent editor could have cut this book in half without hurting the plot. I was constantly waiting for points to be made while the author droned on and on. Then the book ended, not with a bang but with a fizzle.
This book left me exhausted, which is not how a book normally leaves me. It should be a variety of emotions and thinking about what I just read. When this book ended my only thoughts were "Thats it?!" and "At least it's over."
This book was a true waste of time and an utter disappointment.
Likely in my top 15 (I listen to about 100 books a year, so that is saying something).
Too many to count. Any number of vignette's made me laugh out loud. But my favorite part might have been a certain marriage proposal.
Bobby Shaftoe - at first I found him annoying, but he really grew on me.
Considering it is 43 hours long, no.
I come away from this novel simultaneously loving it and realizing that others might hate it (and not truly thinking either party is wrong). Stephenson can sometimes be an acquired taste. This book meanders and wanders, strays and entertains tangents, twists and turns through numerous characters and events, jumping from WWII to the late 90s and back multiple times. The stories are rife with asides, sly jokes, word play, and abundant fact mixed in with the fiction. I found myself online more than once to sift the historical actualities from Stephenson's imaginative story, and I found myself utterly captivated. The book frequently forced sharp laughs from me and was incredibly clever. But for those who don't share the same sense of humor, or who like a little more directness and a little less wordplay and sightseeing, this book may miss the mark. That said, if looking for a quirky take on cryptography, WWII, Alan Turing, Axis power gold, prevention of future genocides, geekdom, adventure on the high seas, cannibals, and just a hint of romance, this might be the (incredibly long) book for you.
it's everything that any nerd would ever want in a novel about the emergence of computers and encrypted communication, sprinkled with excellent commentary about humanity's relationship with technology. it was really long, but i was still sad when it ended. it never dragged, although some of the shorter vignettes were not much more interesting/funny than personal blogs or facebook posts. but hey, this was written before that stuff proliferated -- once again showing stephenson's prescience.
the narrator was a 9 out of 10 and did a great job with the many ethnic accents and military personalities.
a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.
This great to the end story is not 100% great but 99.9% great. The story, cadence depth, historical fiction blend with modern drama, is all wonderful content. But, the author needs to work on the ending. It sort of falls flat at the last page of the story. I will definitely read more from Stephenson. I just hope his editors help him on concluding stories.
A brilliant reading of a gripping, intelligent conspiracy/war story. It has hands down the best fictional interpretation of cryptology . . . when you can understand what's going on.
Yes, it embodied two things I'm very interested in. WWII history (more especially the code breaking involved) and computers/encryption.
Probably the description of using early forms of packet radio to log into servers via ssh from the roof of his Acura whilst sitting outside the building that housed the server in question.
Yes, but unfortunately it was relegated to my time in the truck, on the lawn mower, or basically any other time I didn't need to interact with humans.