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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

4.3 (5471 )
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4.3 (4557 )
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4.5 (4531 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joe S. 10-27-16
    Joe S. 10-27-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
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    Story
    "riveting . poignant and funny at the same time. A"

    A Stephenson masterpiece. All the converging time lines flow seamlessly into a river of beauty.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert B. Nisbet 10-18-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Baroque sequel"

    For those who enjoyed the Baroque Cycle, this book has it all. Engaging plot, sound science and well constructed dialogue makes this a joy to listen to. Add in Enoch Root, several Shaftoes', multiple Waterhouses and a heroine named America, what more can you ask for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan S GLASTONBURY, CT, United States 10-13-16
    Jonathan S GLASTONBURY, CT, United States 10-13-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    37
    3
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    0
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    "Awesome"

    great story, fascinating ruminations, all around fantastic book and listen. I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 10-10-16
    Joseph 10-10-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "just the one issue."

    when the dude reader did the girl voices during the sex scenes. that was weird

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert A. Picou 10-03-16 Member Since 2015
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    30
    6
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    "A great book that sucks you in"

    This was my first Neal Stephenson book and all I can say is wow. it was Awesome. It is a long book full of incredible detail, but in a way that makes it very fun to read/listen too. An abrupt ending leaves you wanting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CeC Chicago 09-29-16
    CeC Chicago 09-29-16 Member Since 2015

    CeC

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    Story
    "Best performance!"

    This is a great story of course but if all the audible books I've listened to this one is by far the best performance I've heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sneha 09-17-16
    Sneha 09-17-16 Member Since 2013
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    28
    2
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    Story
    "Extremely engaging!"

    It's been a while since I tasted a book 5 stars. But this was a very gripping book that I just couldn't put down. Keeping track of multiple story lines can be a bit daunting at the start - but hang in there, and you'll need rewarded!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Richmond 09-15-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    73
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Forgot what a great book this is!"

    I had read this about 15 years ago and gained a greater appreciation for it through this production.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry 09-08-16
    Terry 09-08-16 Member Since 2015
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    43
    2
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    "Smart, funny, interesting, colorful"

    simply loved it. great research marrying up history with a great story with hardly any (il)logical gaps.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Cumming, GA, US 09-01-16
    Amazon Customer Cumming, GA, US 09-01-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    20
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    "Great story"

    I really liked this book there were a lot of characters character development was good storyline was interesting even went out and bought the hardcover so that I could read along when I wasn't able to listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Johnny
    Dublin
    6/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long but worth it!"

    Good story, and a prospective on the Second World War from many prospective...

    Good insight into the development of modern computing and hacking

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    6/20/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not just for geeks but study may be necessary."

    A tome of knowledge and insight that's worth absorbing slowly over the course of its epic runtime. Sequences of drama amd action are crystalised in Stevensons gripping blockbuster style but the real worth is most often coded into the subtext.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Singapore, Singapore
    8/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Probably the best way to tackle this behemoth!"

    Having read Stephenson's Quicksilver over a couple of months and having tried to get going on Anathem (currently put to one side, but that's partly because it's a hard copy brick) I thought this would be a good medium for Stephenson's brilliant but voluminous style. Boy was I right! I typically listen to audiobooks for about 2 hours a day (commuting) but sometimes a little more when I travel for work. This must have taken me over a month, but I really enjoyed it and was quite sad when it was all over.

    In a way it doesn't feel like one immensely long opus, because there are actually 2-3 different narrative strands being brought together here, each of which has its own eddies and diversions. Stephenson loves to fit in some (sometimes gratuitous) mathematical and scientific digressions, which I personally enjoy, but I imagine could be a bit tiresome if you're really just looking for character and plot.

    Fundamentally, this is a tale of the interaction of mathematics with the material world and of the impact that this apparently theoretical discipline can and does have on the world in which we live. There's quite a bit of philosophy and history thrown in too. Stephenson always writes with the assumption that his readers are as curious about everything as he himself is and seems to be at his best when exploring the hows and whys. His characters are vehicles for this and work perfectly well, if they're a little flat at times, this rarely feels like it really matters.

    William Dufris's reading really brings the whole thing to life and simply being able to sit back and absorb the story, rather than wading through a punishing 1000-odd pages of novel is a much more manageable way to enjoy this book. For me, anyway.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • stuart
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    7/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Philosophical, geeky, gripping"
    Would you listen to Cryptonomicon again? Why?

    I'm considering re-listening to Cryptonomicon right away. It's a completely immersive experience and it's one of the only audiobooks where I could just sit an listen without needing to do something else at the same time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    each storyline is gripping and they connect together in satisfying ways. There is a grand, philosophical arc to the story expressed in its own way in each narrative of the book, but there is also great small scale detail which adds lightness and accessibility.


    What does William Dufris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    William Dufris is an excellent narrator. He manages to give each main character his own distinctive voice (though Bobby Shaftoe probably sounds a little dumb). I especially liked the theatrical, surreal quality he brings to Douglas McArthur.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    If the world is on the line, make sure the geeks are on your side.


    Any additional comments?

    I've listened to a lot of audiobooks and this one may be my favourite.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • F Gibb
    Dumfries
    3/1/13
    Overall
    "Crypt-Enormicon!"

    I loved this book.

    Sure, it was massive. And I take what the other reviewers said about there being unneccessary diversions though the book.

    But the fact is that, despite its size, I didn't want it to finish. I love Neal Stephenson's style. He can capture a complicated mesh of emotions with a single sentence- sometimes a single word. His writing style is loose and very very funny. The story itself rambles around in a massively entertaining meander through the decades- but it gets you there in its own good time.



    I disagree with comments that it's so full of technical jargon that you need to have a degree, an anorac, or a specialist knowledge of Dungeons and Dragons esoterica to get it. All the technical stuff is explained for non-technical folks like me, and it's nearly always very daft, and very funny.



    It being funny and daft doesn't mean that it is without a moral compass. There is a strong 'under-story' that will, at times, capture your heart by creeping up while you're not expecting it, and getting in there by stealth. Neal S's writing style makes this happen seamlessly.



    A word for the narrator. He pulled the story along with a slick and beatifully timed delivery. Good at accents, so you know who's saying what. It's an understated delivery, but it's exactly how it should be. He presents the words without imposing himself onto them.



    However: This is not a life-changing book. It is enlightening, but never profound. It is a book that will entertain you rather than tranform you. You may think that 42hours (or 900+ pages) is too much of an undertaking merely to be entertained. I'd argue that you'll know whether you like it or not within the first hour of reading it- so the commitment is only until then. By the time Bobby Shafto and his team have knocked over the money carriers you should have an idea of whether you want to keep reading.



    So- go on. You've nothing to lose!

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • WillThePirate
    12/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A rambling epic through war, dotcom and maths"

    A couple of stories nested together, that all intertwine at the end. Has some weird sex scenes in but it's 99% a fantastic tale of a whole bunch of weird people

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. J
    10/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Geek heaven"

    Shifting seamlessly through history and technological exposition I was hooked.

    Straight on to more from this author for me.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • C Martin
    UK
    9/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Verbose, but worth it"

    I'm a geek and I enjoyed the technical detail, but elsewhere there were too many rambles with limited payoff. I'd also say there were a few loose ends and the odd detail or explanation lacking. But overall a thoroughly absorbing story.

    A note on the narration: it was as good as I have ever heard. the characterisations fit, and the range and consistency of voices was excellent.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • P. Wise
    7/5/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Jumped around too much."

    Too many barely related plots. And a very slow start. Definitely no replay potential. Very disappointing.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Chinnor, United Kingdom
    5/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "5 stars all the way..."

    Wow! I enjoyed this so much. As anyone who has researched the book at all will have gleaned (with a view to possibly reading it) it is long, and hugely detailed in places it doesn't really need to be. For me the side roads and avenues it explores throughout really added so much to the whole experience. If you want a book to stay on target and not beat around the bush - you possibly will not enjoy this.

    William Dufris does a fantastic job of narration. He brings characters to life and absolutely captures intonation and tone brilliantly. I'm not sure I'd have enjoyed reading it myself - Dufris adds to the experience immensely. There is a lot of humour in it - and I laughed out loud many times.

    Now that it's finished I am somewhat bereft. I enjoyed this substantially more than some other Stephenson work (e.g. Baroque Cycle - although I've only ventured as far as book 1).

    Highly recommended!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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