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A book by Neal Stephenson

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One of my favourite books of all time

  • Jul 2, 2010
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Cryptonomicon is up there with my favourite books of all time.  I brought it last year, read the first chapter, and then never read any more until I purchased the audio version from Audible.  Its a thick book which equates to 43 hours of listening time, and read by William Dufris (who also read Neal Stephenson's Anathem) it really comes alive and made this story a lot easier to get into.  It seems to be a trade mark of Stephenson's books that it takes the first 100 pages to get into the story and connect with the characters.  

 To begin with the story taking place in 1942 following Lawrence Waterhouse, Bobby Shaftoe, and later Goto Dengo is the most engaging.  But by the end of the book as the stories merged I love the modern day storyline following the events in Randy Waterhouse's life as much as the WWII story.

I'm now reading The Baroque Cycle series of books on my Kindle, which comprises of "Quicksilver", "The Confusion", and "The System of the World".  The Baroque Cycle is in some respects a prequel to Cryptonomicon, and follows many of its characters ancestors living through the central events of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in Europe.  If you also enjoyed Cryptonomicon I'd highly recommend checking these books by Neal Stephenson out.

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More Cryptonomicon reviews
review by . July 02, 2010
Stephenson's Cryptonomicon is three stories in one, telling the tale of a World War II marine named Bobbie Shaftoe, his cryptologist colleague Lawrence Waterhouse (who incidentally invents the computer in his story), and the cryptologist's Silicon Valley techie grandson Randy Waterhouse. Written in the 1990s, many of the technological aspects are now dated, but that doesn't detract much from the impact of the story. Shaftoe's story is the most engaging and action-filled, from his …
Quick Tip by . June 19, 2010
I really enjoy the way Stephenson's mind works. This is a brilliant book. However, you must keep up with two different periods of time, present day and past tense. Keep track of your characters and if you get lost review it again. I struggled with this book as much as I enjoyed it.
Quick Tip by . April 20, 2010
Great book
review by . January 05, 2006
This is the kind of great novel that, without any pretensions of intellectualism (but an enormous display of intelligence), is both immense in scope, bold in vision, and lightheartedly cool and funny. No review could convey the range of issues, both mundane and enormous, that are covered in this book. More than that, no review could convince a reader how enjoyable and laugh out loud hilarious it is in more places than I can count. I really liked the fact that I could get lost in the novel for a …
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Neal Stephenson enjoys cult status among science fiction fans and techie types thanks toSnow Crash, which so completely redefined conventional notions of the high-tech future that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. But if his cyberpunk classic was big,Cryptonomiconis huge... gargantuan... massive, not just in size (a hefty 918 pages including appendices) but in scope and appeal. It's the hip, readable heir toGravity's Rainbowandthe Illuminatus trilogy. And it's only the first of a proposed series--for more information, readour interview with Stephenson.

Cryptonomicon zooms all over the world, careening conspiratorially back and forth between two time periods--World War II and the present. Our 1940s heroes are the brilliant mathematician Lawrence Waterhouse, cryptanalyst extraordinaire, and gung ho, morphine-addicted marine Bobby Shaftoe. They're part of Detachment 2702, an Allied group trying to break Axis communication codes while simultaneously preventing the enemy from figuring out that their codes have been broken. Their job boils down to layer upon layer of deception. Dr. Alan Turing is also a member of 2702, and he explains the unit's strange workings to Waterhouse. "When we want to sink a convoy, we send out an observation plane first.... Of course, to observe is not its real duty--we already know exactly where the convoy is. Its real duty is to be observed.... Then, when we come round and sink them, the Germans will not find it ...

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ISBN-10: 0060512806
ISBN-13: 978-0060512804
Author: Neal Stephenson
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Avon
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