This book, which may seem intimidating in its length before you start, isn't long enough! No one explores the interweaving of layers of culture and realities the way that Neal Stephenson does. Nor does anyone turn the world into plot line as well as Stephenson. His attention to detail and insightful research is constantly evident in the gritty realism he manages to create as he takes us from nation to nation and sub culture to sub culture. This is an epic work of crime, gaming, espionage, terrorism, love, sex, death, and redemption that I just couldn't stop listening to.
Stephenson also takes us from inner world to inner world beautifully, jumping from protagonist to villain to new protagonist and so forth seamlessly and with a strong sense of emotional authenticity.
Malcolm Hillgartner is a wonderful narrator with a great range of characterizations that never get in the way of the story's flow and I never got tired of hearing.
I first encountered Neal Stephenson when I read Snowcrash (highly recommended)and I was impressed. I then read Cryptonomicon (highly recommended) and am a fan for life. Zodiac is an earlier work, slightly less well written but nonetheless very entertaining. Stephenon's science background shows throughout and makes his story all the more engrossing. As is always the case with Stephenson the story is a mixture of clever and intelligent plot with Gonzo elements. He is sometimes a little gross but that's just part of the fun.
The narrator does a good job and I found him easy to listen to.
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