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
Great story but this is definitely an abridgement. If you're looking for unabridged recording, be warned: this isn't it. Otherwise, it's pretty enjoyable.
Loved Anathem, enjoyed the Baroque cycle. Cryptonomicon is, sadly, not in the same league. The plot is mostly fine, but Stephenson's talent is in world building, and this world is cartoonish. Most of the characters are frustratingly childish, and the sex scenes are awful. Skip it.
The author is great, there are a ton of characters and he provides distinct voices for each. The story is unique and far ranging but does suffer a bit when it gets too deeply technical or bogged down in the math.
Copyright does not protect the idea for a game
This was a great listen--lots of fun characters & interesting plot twists. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in sci-fi
The ending! By the end book its clear that Neal Stephenson has run out of ideas and tries very unconvincingly to end it early.
The cryptographic detail is good but now dated.
Good clear dictions
Its too long and would have been better if the story had been simplified and a more comping ending to the plot constructed. Ending feels very rushed.
This book is story telling at its finest. Puzzles are layered within puzzles in a book about puzzles. The performance was outstanding! If you have an interest in ciphers you'll enjoy Cryptonomicon.
The audio chapters do not correspond to the book chapters, and they are out of order.
Listen to Chapter 1, then Chapter 3, then Chapter 2, then Chapter 4.
1, 3, 2, 4.
I don't know if this pattern continues, because I haven't finished Chapter 4.
My ratings are based on the first 3 1/2 chapters, plus "The Baroque Cycle."
Note to William Dufris:
I think the Filipino language Tagolog is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable.
Mostly like non fiction are tech, business and history. Like tech based fiction
This is my second Stephenson book having listen to Snow crash a few years ago. His increased skill as a writer is very evident , but retaining the signature light hearted tone. At 42 hours this a long story, but the tale Stephenson weaves is a long and intricate one. If you love detail this book contains lots of it on a vast number of themes. I loved the way he was able to meld together a story based on WW2 cryptology and a bunch of modern day hacker treasure hunters. Hang in there the story is worth it
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