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Cryptonomicon Audiobook

Cryptonomicon

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Publisher's Summary

Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse - mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy - is assigned to detachment 2702. It is an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists, and some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. The mission of Watrehouse and Detatchment 2702 - commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe - is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy's fabled Enigma code. It is a game, a cryptographic chess match between Waterhouse and his German counterpart, translated into action by the gung-ho Shaftoe and his forces.

Fast-forward to the present, where Waterhouse's crypto-hacker grandson, Randy, is attempting to create a "data haven" in Southeast Asia - a place where encrypted data can be stored and exchanged free of repression and scrutiny. As governments and multinationals attack the endeavor, Randy joins forces with Shaftoe's tough-as-nails grandaughter, Amy, to secretly salvage a sunken Nazi submarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat.

But soon their scheme brings to light a massive conspiracy, with its roots in Detachment 2702, linked to an unbreakable Nazi code called Arethusa. And it will represent the path to unimaginable riches and a future of personal and digital liberty...or to universal totalitarianism reborn.

A breathtaking tour de force, and Neal Stephenson's most accomplished and affecting work to date, Cryptonomicon is profound and prophetic, hypnotic and hyper-driven, as it leaps forward and back between World War II and the World Wide Web, hinting all the while at a dark day-after-tomorrow. It is a work of great art, thought, and creative daring.

©1999 Neil Stephenson (P)2009 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

  • Locus Award, Best Novel, 2000

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (4970 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark_42 New Jersey, USA 07-14-16
    Mark_42 New Jersey, USA 07-14-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Among the most long-winded authors around."
    Would you try another book from Neal Stephenson and/or William Dufris?

    Not my first Neal Stephenson book, but certainly my last.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Much, much better.


    What about William Dufris’s performance did you like?

    The narrator was great and did a fine job voicing the many characters.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Regret that I wasted a credit.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent 07-14-16
    Kent 07-14-16 Member Since 2016
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    32
    8
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    Story
    "great story telling"

    very fun story, excellent reading, historically interesting. all around good read. some minor glitches, but not sure if that was just my downloaded copy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer California 06-10-16
    Amazon Customer California 06-10-16 Member Since 2009

    GC

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    134
    3
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    Story
    "Always excellent!"

    I love this meandering story. A must have in your library for any Stephenson fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Yates 06-03-16
    S. Yates 06-03-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You'll love it or hate it"
    Where does Cryptonomicon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Likely in my top 15 (I listen to about 100 books a year, so that is saying something).


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Cryptonomicon?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by William Dufris – was your favorite?

    Bobby Shaftoe - at first I found him annoying, but he really grew on me.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Considering it is 43 hours long, no.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Bernhard WASHINGTON, DC, US 06-03-16
    Paul Bernhard WASHINGTON, DC, US 06-03-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Epic saga of the digital era since WWII"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 05-25-16
    Dean 05-25-16 Member Since 2009

    a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.

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    "Great till the end."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JW los angeles 05-20-16
    JW los angeles 05-20-16

    armistead

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    "Decryption needed"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew D. 05-16-16
    Drew D. 05-16-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Long, but well worth it."
    Would you listen to Cryptonomicon again? Why?

    Yes, it embodied two things I'm very interested in. WWII history (more especially the code breaking involved) and computers/encryption.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GerryO denver 05-16-16
    GerryO denver 05-16-16 Listener Since 2007

    book addict

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    "An amazing adventure"
    What made the experience of listening to Cryptonomicon the most enjoyable?

    I have always been crazy about this book.


    What other book might you compare Cryptonomicon to and why?

    Can't think of one. In a class by itself.


    What about William Dufris’s performance did you like?

    Good accent on characters. Good narrator.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Just found it facsinating. Very informative on many subjects.


    Any additional comments?

    One of my favorite books ever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Holmes 05-15-16
    R. Holmes 05-15-16 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "One of my favorite books"

    This has always been one of my favorite books since it came out. Neal Stephenson is such a strong and creative story teller. The dual storylines with intersecting characters and plot
    Points has always entertained me.

    Over all I enjoyed the reading by William Dufris but his choice of voices for some characters did digger what I "heard" in my own mind while reading. Bobby Shaftoe came across dimmer then I would have liked but that was also part of his manner so I don't complain too much. I wish Amy sounded stronger to match her persona but again it's easy to nitpick these small points in a story and performance I truly enjoyed


    Highly recommended!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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