I'm a huge fan of Stephenson and also of crypto and computer science. But this book was boring. Where in other Stephenson books I find the level of detail fascinating, in this book I wanted to fast forward. Several minutes describing how to eat cereal! Argh! I couldn't feel anything for the characters and thus even had trouble keeping track of all of them. A monumental work but if you are a fan of past scifi entries from Stephenson, don't expect the same from Cryptonomicon. I only barely made it through and was grateful it was over.
You never have to wait for anything if you bring a good book.
Neal Stephenson weaves a masterpiece from threads of World War II cryptoanalysis and counterintelligence, contemporary digital cryptography and cut-throat business tactics, and buried Axis treasure. It's one of the best stories I've read (heard) in years.
The tale really illuminates the electronic warfare and associated deceptions that helped the Allies win World War II and gives a convincingly somber view of the unethical lawsuits exploited to fleece many entrepreneurial startups in the high tech sector.
I just was not prepared for the drawn out nature of the story.
Not his biggest fan. Realized after I purchased that I had other books of his that were not my favorites.
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.