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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 (4377 )
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Performance
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  •  
    kevinàparsons 10-26-15
    ratings
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    24
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    Story
    "Maybe I should have read it..."

    There is so much information packed into this novel that simply listening is not enough. I liked the story, the characters, even the style, but a year after completing it, I barely remember what I liked so much and find myself wishing I had taken notes on the mathematics, computations, inventions, history and cryptography. I remember really getting into the information and understanding everything. Now, I feel a bit like a student who didn't study and forgot everything for test. I will read/listen again, but this time I will take notes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas S. texas 10-22-15
    Thomas S. texas 10-22-15 Member Since 2014

    honory

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    13
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    Story
    "what is the square root of 983"

    very good book for engineers. there's a good story in there. nice long way read if you can handle the code breaks and deciphered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianne Oregon, Untied States 10-14-15
    Dianne Oregon, Untied States 10-14-15 Member Since 2016

    A busy Mum and Accountant. Listen to books while driving to work or sunbathing is my guilty pleasure.

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    Story
    "Who knew? Great story."
    Would you listen to Cryptonomicon again? Why?

    I would listen to this story again.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I enjoyed how each generation story intertwined.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 10-13-15
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 10-13-15 Member Since 2016

    l'enfer c'est les autres

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    "Life is short, this book is long."

    The author explains the math, the context, and the reality of breaking encryption schema and concentrates on the breaking of the Enigma code with its various players and the moving parts of WW II and relates that to a modern plan for finding a secret cache of gold in the Philippines.

    The author even foreshadows the coming of digital currency. Overall, I would say the book is long, and live is short and one might be better served by listening to "Seizing the Enigma", by David Kahn and "The Second World War" by Anthony Beevor both books looks at the topics mentioned in this fictional book but does it in the guise of reality. Fiction can confuse me and this author's jumping between time periods led to my mind wandering. Non-fiction always stays on point (for me), but my wife much prefers fiction and this was a way for her to learn a lot about things she knows very little about.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toronto Chris 10-08-15

    Chris

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    "Boring and overly detailed"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christian Smith 10-08-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Wow!!!"

    Great book with a great story! One of the best books I've ever listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ethosian Earthquake Zone, California 09-19-15
    Ethosian Earthquake Zone, California 09-19-15 Member Since 2013

    You never have to wait for anything if you bring a good book.

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    "Weaves history and cryptography into a SOLID story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Simpsonville, SC, United States 09-16-15
    Kenneth Simpsonville, SC, United States 09-16-15
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    "Could not focus on story"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Nothing


    What could Neal Stephenson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I just was not prepared for the drawn out nature of the story.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Not his biggest fan. Realized after I purchased that I had other books of his that were not my favorites.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Wood Columbia, Maryland United States 09-14-15
    Mark Wood Columbia, Maryland United States 09-14-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Some confusion"

    After the 42 hours of this book I'm still not sure I get what it was all about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 09-13-15
    Michael 09-13-15
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    "Long and dissappointing."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    Has Cryptonomicon turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, but of this is indicative of the authors style I would be reluctant to read another one from him.


    What about William Dufris’s performance did you like?

    Performance was great. Its how I kept the characters apart.


    Do you think Cryptonomicon needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. I have lost interest.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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