I had high hopes for Dan Brown's latest, Digital Fortress. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The plot, while twisty, was paper thin, depending largely on a chain of coincidences that seemed more strained as each one came along. The characters were dangerously close to caricatures, starring a beautiful and heroine with glasses and an IQ of 170, and a rugged university professor over whom the sophomores swooned. And let's not even get into the whole basis of the plot, the cryptography and code cracking. When I was 12, I read a book called "Codes and Secret Writing", and having read that, 30 years ago, I knew more about cryptography than Dan Brown seemed to know. I know that uncrackable codes, computer viruses, and internet hacking are the stuff of modern myths and Hollywood distortions, but really, Mr Brown didn't even get the basics right, and for me, that just added to the annoyance.
To give the plot credit, I did listen all the way through, even when the heroine (with the IQ of 170) seemed unable to solve a riddle that wouldn't have stopped my kids for more than 3 minutes, and when the Hollywood hero improbably completed his mission and saved the day. So I gave it 2 stars for that.
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