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Digital Fortress | [Dan Brown]

Digital Fortress

When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage, not by guns or bombs, but by a code so complex that if released it would cripple U.S. intelligence.
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Publisher's Summary

When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage, not by guns or bombs, but by a code so complex that if released it would cripple U.S. intelligence. Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves.

©1998 Dan Brown; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (2459 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.1 (965 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (952 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (11)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kathleen North Scituate, RI, USA 04-09-05
    Kathleen North Scituate, RI, USA 04-09-05 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "Skip It"

    I really enjoyed the DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons -- but, the talent seen in those books was not visible in this effort. The characters were cookie-cutter stereotypes, the plot was a misery and the technical details inaccurate. Save your book credits for Mr. Brown's later works.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Conifer, CO, USA 11-11-04
    Aaron Conifer, CO, USA 11-11-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    "technological marvel, spellbinding"

    This is another of Dan's great works... suspense, thrill, moving, and an excellent progression thru the whole thing! Lots of technology, and a long climactic ending keep you drawn in thru the whole thing! Whether or not it's factual I don't know, but he writes like it is, and because off that, the story builds on its own foundations. I would love to read more stuff like this.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher B. Oxford, Mississippi USA 06-29-04
    Christopher B. Oxford, Mississippi USA 06-29-04 Listener Since 2004

    sybotcb

    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    "Entertaining"

    You can definately see that Dan Brown has improved his writing skills immensely from Digital Fortress to the Da Vinci Code. That being said, it's not like the guy was writing 6th grade papers when this was written.

    It is a well thought out and entertaining story containing just enough information for you to care about the main characters but not get bogged down with their personal histories. The story welds these histories with a proper amount of action to keep you listening. Dan Brown is a master of leaving those end of chapter Cliff hangers that keep you in your car out in the parking lot wanting to see how a situation or problem will turn out.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Canada 03-26-12
    Dan Canada 03-26-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic read!"
    If you could sum up Digital Fortress in three words, what would they be?

    Fast paced action


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Digital Fortress?

    I loved all of the technical talk around the encryption used.


    What does Paul Michael bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voices are fantastic and he really draws you into the story


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RosanneP 12-03-11
    RosanneP 12-03-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Imaginative and Creative!"
    Where does Digital Fortress rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    This book ranks among the best that I have listened to thus far. It has a creative storyline and most of all, it was read very well by the narrator. I didn't get lost or sleepy as can sometimes happen without good narrators.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favourite character has got to be Susan Fletcher. I do have to admit that this is a biased choice as she is a very accomplished woman and holds a significant position in a highly secure organization. She holds many responsibilities but most of all she is well respected by men in the organization. She is someone that I respect and commend being a woman who is also accomplished and can relate to her with respect to the characteristics revealed.


    What about Paul Michael???s performance did you like?

    He read the book with great enthusiasm and interest. I could hear it in his voice. This brought out all of the suspense and drama into the arena of performance rather than just feeling as though he was reading it because he had to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There had to be many moments but the end brought me great relief. After all of the events that brought the blood pressure up and the heart racing, it was nice to relax and hear the end worked out in a calm and relaxing atmosphere, and informative and educational as well.


    Any additional comments?

    Although the book was written in 1998, it still held its modern relevance within 2011 when I listened to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james Hartselle, AL, United States 10-11-10
    james Hartselle, AL, United States 10-11-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Geniuses should be smarter than this."

    Audible had a deal on this title and I was curious to see if Brown's writing was worth the incredible hype surrounding him so I gave it a try.


    As for the style of Brown's prose: it's entirely adequate, but nothing exceptional or even distinctive.


    As for plot: Riveting, but far from believable. Plenty of deus ex machina and unlikely coincidences balance stupid decisions made by the characters. I'll give him credit for making all parties equally fallible yet insanely lucky.

    The climax was hard to listen to, not because it's very tense (which it is) but because the tension is for the wrong reason. They need a code and have a clue to finding it. I don't have a background in science or history, but the minute I heard the clue the answer is instantly (and blindingly) obvious. Yet we're supposed to believe that a brilliant cryptographer, a genius software coder, the Director of the NSA, and a room full of others take nearly 15 MINUTES to figure it out?


    It's paced well and makes you want to see what happens next, but as with so many other thrillers the cookie-cutter writing and characters like the supermodel cryptographer and the action hero linguistics professor make it seem like an otherwise good book dumbed down for the best-seller market.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawnalene Groton, CT, USA 09-19-09
    Dawnalene Groton, CT, USA 09-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic"

    Dan Brown just gets better and better! Every bit as good or better than Deception Point! Just when you know you figured it out... you didnt.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wilsonchua 05-15-09
    wilsonchua 05-15-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SANS Security Primer meets Angels and Demons"

    I have only read up to chapter 23 and so far am thrilled with what i have heard so far. This novel is both entertaining and educational!

    Would be aspiring hackers can learn a lot of technics just by following the fast paced twists and turns of the drama.

    Cant wait to get to the ending of the novel!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryola Farmingdale, NY, United States 12-25-08
    Maryola Farmingdale, NY, United States 12-25-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved this book"

    This book was a very edgy book, I completely enjoyed it. It's a recommend read, it's very thought provoking.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark W. Putnam 12-06-08 Member Since 2014

    Putnam

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Will keep you in suspense"

    There are 3 plots all taking place at the same time. They develop quickly and two of the three have numerous twists and turns. You are kept in suspense to the very end. Enjoyable, hard to put down

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Roy
    Liverpool, MSY, United Kingdom
    7/26/06
    Overall
    "Bad Science Bad Writing Bad Book"

    But well read the two stars ar eentirely for the naration if the reader had been less skilled I'd have given up. If I'd been trying to read it I'd probably have burned the book and given thought to burning Dan brown as well.

    So what's so bad.

    It starts okay, the characters are cliches genius linguist in the Indiana Jones mold (yes I know he was an archeologist) meets genius cryptographer that looks like she stepped off a catwalk (Jessica Alba would probably play her in the movie she's very smart but never uses those brains for anything.)

    Any way they hook up and fall in love then get involved with a secret government project to secretly decript everyones e-mails. (this isn't really a spoiler you get this much on the back cover)

    Okay so the action moves on for reasons tha tonly become apparently late on and don't really work the hero is sent to France to get hold of a mcguffin. Meanwhile the gf is set to do clever things with computers in an I.T. section where RSI is the least of her worries.

    Okay so the plots bad and cliche, the characters aren't even cardboard they're paper thin and the environment are'ne hugely exciting even a cool IT suite is still a set of desks with a pc on the top.

    Coincidence piles on coincidence on a large wobbly stack that is neither structurally sound or that interesting to watch being built.
    Supposedly clever people act stupidly and miss things even the reader (who''s meant to be a lot less bright than these guys) has figured out and then the hero well meaing untrained amatuer that he is points out of all the things in this book this constant making everyone dumb so the hero seems start is the most irritating.

    For the author and the book no stars for the reader 2 stars for heroic efforts at turd polishing.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Jeremy
    11/29/11
    Overall
    "A good read for geek thrill seekers."

    I enjoyed the concept of book, although a plot line was a touch predictable. I would have like to have seen a little character building.
    None the less I found I really enjoyed it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia H.
    3/30/11
    Overall
    "Digial Fortress"

    A wonderfull read, would recommend.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tim
    High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
    3/5/11
    Overall
    "Don't believe the critics!"

    Despite what the poor reviews say, this book is not as bad as most people make out.

    Yes, it has the typical Dan Brown flaws - poorly verified facts, a tendency to be glib and a mostly predictable plot. Still, there are enough twists to make it an interesting yarn and some good charactors.

    I also absolutely love the epilogue where Ensei Tankando's dad has to bury him - it reminded me Theoden in the Two Towers. The depiction of the obnoxious little punk is also quite good, and you almost feel he deserves his fate (almost...)

    Anyhow, if you're after a bit of light listening / stg for the trip to work, you could do worse than this book although do try 'Angels and Demons' 1st...

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    McLaren ValeAustralia
    11/7/10
    Overall
    "recommended reading"

    a different direction from Dan Brown but still a very good listen.
    If you like Dan Brown's books you will enjoy this

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nigel
    9/1/09
    Overall
    "Digital Forresr"

    Very good loved it (iPod Sizzling)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • William
    Ironbridge, Shropshire, United Kingdom
    10/24/05
    Overall
    "Unbelievably Bad!"

    This book is laughably bad!

    From the corny hero decription 'seven foot tall with a rugged jaw and stealy blue eyes' etc, you know the kind of cliche drival at the start of the book, to the assassin who goes around killing characters for absolutely no reason midway, finally to the ridiculous end - five letter password - the baddy who's in love with Susan the heroin - can you guess the password?

    Terrible.

    14 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Soffie
    7/30/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not his best"

    I like the pace of Dan Browns books but I did feel that this story line was not as good as his others.
    It still kept me entertained but was a bit predictable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christopher Murphy
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amaizing "

    Very easy to listen to and finished with no problwm . The book was brilliantly written and performed greatly. Dan Brown is a fantastic author and would highly recommend his work to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel
    4/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyed the story, wasn't the best but easy"

    easy to listen to. mix between predictable and shocking but overall i enjoyed it :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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