We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Cryptonomicon Audiobook

Cryptonomicon

Regular Price:$53.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (5205 )
5 star
 (2943)
4 star
 (1440)
3 star
 (524)
2 star
 (172)
1 star
 (126)
Overall
4.3 (4315 )
5 star
 (2521)
4 star
 (1118)
3 star
 (399)
2 star
 (166)
1 star
 (111)
Story
4.5 (4288 )
5 star
 (2753)
4 star
 (1110)
3 star
 (282)
2 star
 (85)
1 star
 (58)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Eric Maui, Hawaii, United States 09-28-16
    Eric Maui, Hawaii, United States 09-28-16 Member Since 2011

    Audiobooks Make Weed Wacking a Pleasure

    HELPFUL VOTES
    93
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Auditory equivalent to watching paint dry"

    I picked up Cryptonomicon after listening to Seveneves. I took Cryptanalysis in college and continued to have an interest so even though Seveneves was long and overly-descriptive I thought it would be worth a gamble. I lost.
    Cryptonomicon is slow, boring, has lengthy descriptions just for description-sake. Neal Stephenson tries to be light and funny, but the humor is adolescent and falls flat. It's also overly-nerdy, like a lengthy discussion of the satisfaction after masturbation vs. sex that apparently had to be expressed as boring mathematical functions to gain insight. The lengthy exercise completely lacked originality, humor, or wit.
    There was no redemption for this audiobook. It started slow and ended slow.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joni 06-27-16
    Joni 06-27-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "way too long"

    would work with half the length. many of the longest scenes are quite detached from actual story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-20-16 Member Since 2016

    I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    991
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    214
    167
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    46
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Two thirds through and quit"

    Neal Stephenson books are always highly rated on Audible, but man, this guy just doesn't do it for me. Cryptonomicon jumps around in it's narration for no discernible reason. If you're not listening to it all in one sitting, you're not going to follow the multiple story lines.

    But it really doesn't matter because all the story lines are boring anyway. I mean, a couple of them start strong, but boy do they get stale fast.

    Two thirds through the book and I barely care about any of the characters. I'm a bit confused as to what's going on in a couple of the plot lines, and too bored by the book to go back and re-listen.

    This is the third Stephenson book that made me feel this way. I'm done. And I'm not going to punish myself by sitting through the rest of this plodding nonsense.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garry D. Leonard 06-02-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great book with time jumps that can be jarring"

    really good book. the overall story is good. Alot of the villains are poorly set up and are thus not very meaningful. it's more about the journey and it's a good one. in audio format there are these time jumps that don't play well, and at first it can be confusing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Russell 05-21-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME"

    Except for a few chapters, the story is just page after page of the author's written indulgence. Too many words with too little impact. Like the author, the narrator worked very hard, but his voices were usually over the top and often irritating. Ok, they earned my $14.95 . . . But I would like my 42hrs back!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billy SEATTLE, WA United States 05-03-16
    Billy SEATTLE, WA United States 05-03-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting, but it ultimately goes nowhere."

    While I enjoyed many aspects of this book, including the characters and different time periods used, it was overall a letdown as the story just peters out and doesn't really leave me satisfied.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Classics Rock Washington, D.C. 03-31-16
    Classics Rock Washington, D.C. 03-31-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A big investment"

    I read the book on the recommendation of an IT friend thinking that it would be more about cyber. They did talk quite a bit about cyber and although I found those portions to be interesting, they were a little disjointed and really seemed more to be an excuse to talk about sex and masturbation. A popular topic, to be sure, but not really important to the story. After I'd finished, my first thought was about the 40+ hours I'd spent listening to it and how many other books I could've listened to during that time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book fan 02-14-16
    Book fan 02-14-16

    book fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    186
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book - chapters STILL in wrong order."

    While the book is quite good, Audible has still not fixed the out of order chapters people have noted before. Selling defective books is really not acceptable.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim 01-04-16
    Tim 01-04-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved the book, but not the reader's Japanese"
    Did William Dufris do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I think he was doing a fine job until he got to the Japanese. Here he totally butchered all of the names. It is one thing if they were filtered through the American characters ability, or lack thereof, to pronounce Japanese, but when during Goto Dengo’s storyline Ninomiya became Ninomaya I turned off the book. I’m not looking for perfection, but that was just horrible. I eventually went back to listening because I really wanted to know the rest of the story, becuase I really, really loved this book, and didn’t have the printed book at hand.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ken22 06-24-15
    ken22 06-24-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun,educational and relevant"

    Full of dynamic characters and historical fact. Excellent humor and pragmatism. Bobby Shafto is my hero. The reading is done masterfully.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Saul
    London, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Deep and technical, but accessible."

    Underneath all the cryptography and tech, Cryptonomicon has a great story with well rounded, modern characters. The original novel features graphs and diagrams to explain pretty technical topics like frequency counting and van eck phreaking, but you don't notice them missing in this audio book, as the narrator carries you along with the in depth descriptions while progressing the narrative.



    It's ensemble cast, split across two timeframes, provide plenty of variety, the occasional laugh, and lots of relatable geeks. It's a very long book, but it never drags. Once it's over, you want to find out what the characters are up to.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • M. Dawes
    Birmingham UK
    9/2/11
    Overall
    "Just genius"

    Like a piece of cryptography, patterns and associations begin to emerge the more you delve into this story. About two thirds of the way in, the disparate strands of the timelines and characters begin to come together in the most riveting way.

    Worth 40 hours of your life? - Absolutely.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan
    EdinburghUnited Kingdom
    2/7/10
    Overall
    "A milestone in fiction"

    Where to start...who but Neal Stephenson could write a book so epic in scope, seamlessly weaving a tale from the hayday of computing, WW2 wartime espionage and contemporary eCommerce underpinned by the fascinating field of cryptography. To call the book gripping is like describing the South Pole as "a bit nippy" Superlatives are rarely merited. In this case they are.

    17 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    Piacenza, Italy
    6/20/10
    Overall
    "Great book"

    I really enjoyed Cryptonomicon. It's a dense story which requires the reader to involve themselves in a bit of brain work. Suprisingly, for an author who has a reputation as a cyberpunk I found the narrative of this book reminded me of authors such as Ken Kesey and predictably Joseph Heller. For some reason it reminded me alot of Kesey's 1992 book Sailor Song, which is hardly a bad thing.
    Only down point; about half way through Neal starts recounting a letter a character is writing for Playboy, which goes on wayyyy too long. Stephenson obviously enjoyed writing that part too much.
    Heartily recommended.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • J Sinner
    Brussels, Belgium
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Excellent capture of the book"

    I first Cryptonomicon around 10 years ago, and find myself rereading it every couple of years. Part WW2 spy thriller, part modern day geek drama, part introduction to basic cryptography, it is all brain candy.



    On my last reread, I tried this audiobook version, and was extremely happy with how it captured both the tone and the charcters of the book.



    William Dufris tone and consistent delivery manage to capture the underlying humour and bring life to Neal Stephenson's baroque prose. He manages to evoke the different settings and characters through subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) use of accents



    I definitely recommend this.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Tom
    West Wickham, United Kingdom
    10/14/10
    Overall
    "wonderful if very long book"

    This is a superb book which I enjoyed listening too very much but it is not without flaws and peculiarities.

    To start with it is arguable that it is unnecessarily long. One or two reviewers on Amazon have suggested that the author could have done with a good editor, and there is some truth in that; in some places the detail is mind-boggling and quite difficult to follow, particularly in an audiobook. However, I confess that I liked the detail - it must appeal to the inner nerd in me I think - and I do like books that explore the byways of history away from the main road, as it were. And the storyline is satisfyingly complicated and hooks you in gradually; do stick at it as it improves a lot after the first section.

    Narration is excellent - indeed it makes the book. I do like William Dufris' style, amused and kinda laid-back, and he brings the book brilliantly to life, and his characterisations are perfect.

    Not everyone's cup of tea, I'm sure, but five stars for me.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Wras
    Kildonan
    4/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The many levels of understanding and deception"

    War is not just about bullets but concealment and secrecy, we are living proof of this reality, the the war on terror is fought in the networks and in communications and messages, in lies and half truth. This book works within all this elements but begins at beginnings of the second world war exposing what effect cryptography, Allied Codebreakers and tactical-deception had on the european and pacific fronts, and how those ideas changed our world. We are introduced two to sets of characters one set in WWII and the others in in the late 1990s this group is related through blood to the first ones and share some the interest of their relatives in cryptography and communications. We are exposed to history at its most brutal, and intelligent, some truly funny episodes and dialog mixed with high adventure, mathematics, ideas, philosophy, programing, geeks, super geeks, dentists, soldiers, submarines and lawyers. There are plots, subplots, ramblings and thoughts expounded in all seriousness and some just taking the piss.
    This is more than a book it is an experience. A work madness and genius; madness because of its reach genius because of it erudition and entertainment value.
    The reader manages to create voices for all the characters and move through the book with amazing ease. .

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Putney, United Kingdom
    4/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Needlessly long and geeky"
    What did you like best about Cryptonomicon? What did you like least?

    The length was the worst bit. It was gratuitous. I like long books, deliberately seek them out, but this was pointlessly long. There was SO much that was unneeded.
    Also the link up between the younger generation retreading the older generations' footsteps wasn't played out in the story. They should've made more of the fact they were hanging around with the same people their grandparents were, in the same countries.

    I like the war stuff the most. Rudy, Laurence and Arthur.

    The narration was immense. Very good. Only a couple of times did it slip, where I wasn't instantly sure who was talking.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Cryptonomicon?

    The scene when Randy was doing a memo to his team. I HATED it. It was pure drivel and I had to skip the chapter. By this point I was tearing my hair out with the book, just wanted it to end. I had spent over 30 hrs on it, so wasn't going to give up but I so wanted to. This send was almost the tipping point.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The last few scenes with Laurence were good, the one when last complex code gets programmed was particularly pleasing.


    Did Cryptonomicon inspire you to do anything?

    Steer clear of Neal Stephenson.


    Any additional comments?

    The complexity of the story was mind blowing. Hats off to the author for putting it together.... BUT there was no need. It could have been half the size (it is LONG) and it would have been twice as enjoyable. There were whole chapters I had to skip as the drivel was mind numbing.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    United Kingdom
    2/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stunning"
    What did you like most about Cryptonomicon?

    The narrator, William Dufris. This book was amazing in itself, but Kramer really did a number on this. I can easily imagine myself not having enjoyed the book as much were it not for being able to hear his performance.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Waterhouse, the socially inept little nerd, loved him right from the start, and it wasn't long before I grew to enjoy every single section featuring sergeant Shaftoe as well.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The fog horn mounted on 'there but for the grace of god'


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. M. Bleck
    sharpy
    12/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mixed emotions"

    This was no doubt about it, a really good book. But it is way too long and frequently boring as hell. Trying to piece together parts from one end of the story to another can be like playing sodoku by memory. But seen as a series of smaller events that are all in their own right very good, which work together to create one whole tapestry, yes, it works and it works well. But by heck its a lot of work.

    When a chap in the story observes a spiders web and sees how the spider can react to different things, not because of the movement but because of the lack of certain movement, you should by that point know whether the book is for you or not. I loved this concept and all the concepts that tied in with it - and then their real world application and how they created a series of events that eventually became what they do.

    However, these concepts draw together like a diagram of the final fastest and shortest era on Earth (according to the Aztecs) as this era is cast off, but then never takes us anywhere. There is no realisation to this story. Its just launch pad of concepts. Unlike many a book though, I wouldn't take back the time I spent on it (and its a lot!) because it has helped with mature and put form to many of my own ideas.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.