The story and characters are all engaging, Switching back and forth between WWII, the birth of internet banking of sorts and how there intertwined. Full of intrigue, honor and betrayal, as seen through the eyes of some of histories greatest minds, and a cast of some of the most colorful characters ever conceived.
This is the first book of this type I've ever listened to, so I personally know of nothing to compare. It's just a great story and I enjoyed it very much.
His use of assorted voices and accents really brings the story to life. After a short time you know who is who without the need for the characters name, although it's stated as each one speaks or thinks.
I wonder, with the acceptation of Alan Turing if Chester, DMS and the rest are based on actual people? I mention Chester because he is one of my favorite characters.
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.