©1998 Dan Brown; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.
"In this fast-paced, plausible tale, Brown blurs the line between good and evil enough to delight patriots and paranoids alike." (Publishers Weekly)
"Digital Fortress is the best and most realistic techno-thriller to reach the market in years....A chilling thrill a minute." (The Midwest Book Review)
"Exciting...will rivet cyber-minded readers." (Booklist)
This book had really strong word of mouth when it was released-- the 1st hard cover edition became a Modern Firsts collector's favorite rapidly. So either time has passed it by or Mr. Brown needed to do some research in computer design. His all mighty computer had a definite retro feel to it-- like those 1950's alien invasion movies. And his characters! The female lead was clearly a male fantasy. While I don't necessarily expect a major amount of character development in a suspense /action thriller I do want characters thicker than the paper the book was first printed on.
For any one that works with databases, encryption software, etc. Or for anyone who thinks "Big Brother" is up to something and likes to read about it. I found this to be a very thrilling book of what might actually be a possibility in the future. Any maybe Brown has some "inside" information that we don't had is already happening. It was easy to dicpher the villian early on, so the great surprise was in the key.
Dan Brown can really tell a story that keeps you listening, and the concepts are great, really well thought out; finally the locations make the whole thing more enticing. But then he undermines his story with clunkers that are obvious to anyone who has been to the locales he describes (mountains near Paris for DaVinci code; why not look at an atlas for god's sake?).
In this case, he substitutes out dated cliches for reality in his description of Seville. Just a couple of points: In Digital Fortress, he has masses (pun semi-inentional) of people going to Church in Seville, a country supposedly more Catholic than the Vatican. A Betis football match maybe, but church hardly. Churches are far fuller in the US than in Spain, a country about to legalize gay marriage. Similarly, medical care is described as pathetic in Spain, but really it's about the same as the rest of Europe. I've had first hand experience at that. Trust me.
OK, I like Spain, and don't like to see the place trashed, but the real problem is that these inaccuracies just contribute to the sense that Americans don't know and don't care about what happens outside the US. If he'd just gone to Seville and poked around a bit for a couple of weeks, checking out what he was planning to describe, he would have been able to add more unexpected and realistic descriptions and added to the delight of the book rather than taking away from it.
Also, the narrator might have pronounced the Spanish a bit better. Hardly an exotic language.
This guy has wonderful plots - I really wish he were a better author. You could make a drinking game out of every time one of the characters "stops short" in this book. Be careful though, because you'll pass out in the first hour.
I agree with one of the reviews that spoke of inaccuracies in how the NSA probably works in reality. Yet, I found it fun - a good listen.
From this book began a string of books that lay the foundation of sequels and masterful writings that I have ever read by this gentle soul! This book cannot be explained - it must be listen to as the reader is soo good! Danger, intrigue, love, sex and deception - all in a book! It is amazing what the pen can do!
I loved this book and Dan once again is a master of the written word! A must read - even better when it is listened to! A most exciting and delicious book!
I had high hopes for Dan Brown's latest, Digital Fortress. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The plot, while twisty, was paper thin, depending largely on a chain of coincidences that seemed more strained as each one came along. The characters were dangerously close to caricatures, starring a beautiful and heroine with glasses and an IQ of 170, and a rugged university professor over whom the sophomores swooned. And let's not even get into the whole basis of the plot, the cryptography and code cracking. When I was 12, I read a book called "Codes and Secret Writing", and having read that, 30 years ago, I knew more about cryptography than Dan Brown seemed to know. I know that uncrackable codes, computer viruses, and internet hacking are the stuff of modern myths and Hollywood distortions, but really, Mr Brown didn't even get the basics right, and for me, that just added to the annoyance.
To give the plot credit, I did listen all the way through, even when the heroine (with the IQ of 170) seemed unable to solve a riddle that wouldn't have stopped my kids for more than 3 minutes, and when the Hollywood hero improbably completed his mission and saved the day. So I gave it 2 stars for that.
I have worked in Computer Network Security for 8 years. The inaccuracies in this book are staggering. If this gaggle of idiots really ran the NSA we would be in deep trouble. There are flaws in every aspect of this fictional computer network. I would list them here, but won't, for fear of ruining someone's listening to this book.
I am certain that if the author had consulted a real IT security specialist this book would rate 4 or 5 stars. I loved the DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons. Mr. Brown dropped the ball on this one. It is well written and technically inaccurate.
This audiobook is very immersing and, as the title says, the last few hours will keep you on the edge of your seat. Since the entire book occurs during only a few hours, you realize that you have to finish this book soon (I'd say a couple of days, no more than a week).
However, there is one flaw, and that is with Dan Brown's writing style. This book is his first, and it shows. There are unnecessary allusions to sex spread throughout. His style is immersive, but the adolescence is unmistakable. Glad to see he's grown as a writer in his later books.
Paul Michael does a fantastic job narrating this book, as he does with all others. Every character's voice is instantly recognizable.
I was very glad I bought this one. I love Dan Brown and he was in great form woth this novel. A twist at the end, and worth the listen.
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