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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

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  •  
    Steven Wells MODESTO, CA, US 06-14-15
    Steven Wells MODESTO, CA, US 06-14-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Fantastic"

    This book was fantastic as an audio book. I would recommend it to all :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Barclay A. Dunn Clifton, New Jersey 06-10-15
    Barclay A. Dunn Clifton, New Jersey 06-10-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great performance by William Dufris"

    I can't get through Stephenson in print but a friend recommended the audio book and it was absolutely great. I didn't see any other Stephenson titles narrated by Dufris, which is a shame - he's fantastic!

    I did feel the very end was slightly a let down and abrupt but it was a minor quibble.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vijay 06-09-15
    Vijay 06-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Sucks !! Worst book I hv read in audible so far."
    What would have made Cryptonomicon better?

    After more than 5 hrs of listening, I hv still no idea what the main story line is.
    The author should hv hv been more focussed in his thoughts, not rambled on endlessly.
    And the lousy narration made it even worse


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

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Cavano 06-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Even the digressions are entertaining"

    Okay this presentation purports to be very smart. And it is. Also very ironic and iconoclastic. And full of math-geek ruminations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Mike Olah 05-30-15
    Mike Olah 05-30-15
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    "Unredeamable dull"
    Would you try another book from Neal Stephenson and/or William Dufris?

    I was a huge fan of Neal Stephenson's Anathem (although it does dip in quality by the third act), and I tolerated William Dufris' grating narration. I also enjoyed The Diamond Age, but this book has me questioning if Stephenson is my cup-o-tea.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Neal Stephenson again?

    I only made it through this book on the good-will I had remaining from Anathem. That good-will is officially spent.


    What didn’t you like about William Dufris’s performance?

    The vocal affect that Dufris adopts whenever he's reading one of Stephenson's terrible jokes/snarky asides drives me up the wall.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not particularly. The book is too dated to be all that interesting from a computer science point of view. There's some interesting parts about cryptology, but I think a non-fiction book on the subject would be more easy to get through.


    Any additional comments?

    Dull characters and a duller plot. Skip this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yarnfish 05-19-15
    Yarnfish 05-19-15
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    "Wonderfully Engaging"

    It's a long one, but I even though I listened once before years ago, I enjoyed every minute of this multi-faceted and multi-generational tale all over again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Liu Los Angeles, CA 05-11-15
    J. Liu Los Angeles, CA 05-11-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A very good reading of an excellent book."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you're already read Cryptonomicon, this audiobook is a good way to "re-read" it while you're on the go. Dufris does a great job with the narration, despite what other reviewers have said. I don't know what they expect, but Dufris does all the voices well. Accent, infection, tone, emotion. The biggest downside to the audiobook version is the lack of diagrams, maps and the problems inherent in listening to mathematical formulae and code-text instead of seeing it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Bobby Shaftoe. Crazy. Smart enough to do his job well, but not smart enough to understand it. Dufris does a great job with his voice, conferring the "ready for anything" nature of the character. Not how I voiced him in my head when I read it, but a great rendition.


    Any additional comments?

    Cryptonomicon is one of my favorite Stephenson novels. Dufris does a great job narrating it, about as good as can be expected given the source material, but overall, I believe it's a book better read than listened to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ROBERT 04-30-15
    ROBERT 04-30-15 Member Since 2011
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    "NOT an Unabridged Version"
    What disappointed you about Cryptonomicon?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan 04-27-15
    Evan 04-27-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Underwhelming"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Dr Dion Forster 04-12-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Great story, great detail, well performed"

    Loved it. Well researched, great plot. Superbly performed. I look forward to more Neal Stephenson

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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