Cryptonomicon

Cryptonomicon

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
13
3
1
 …
Rate this:
With this extraordinary first volume in what promises to be an epoch-making masterpiece, 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 sumarine 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; the product of a truly icon

Publisher: New York : Avon Press, 1999.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780380973460
0380973464
Branch Call Number: SF/STEP
Characteristics: 918p. 24cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

s
StubbyD
Sep 26, 2017

this book is quite the lengthy read. but IMHO, well worth it. When this author is on, he's on!
Snow Crash was good but Cryptonomicon is a once in a lifetime achievement.

And I tried this on a whim - after not even finishing Anathema.

Good read, especially if you like stories that weave historical accuracy into them.

t
tjdickey
Dec 28, 2016

Certainly worth the length! Comparisons elsewhere to Umberto Eco are certainly valid, as well as a young Tom Clancy (when Clancy still was tighter in plotting). The story is deep and well-crafted, with layers which only slowly emerge into sight.

JohnK_KCMO Dec 05, 2016

This is it - the book that single-handedly made me a fan of Neal Stephenson. Grand scope, geeky technology, and characters you care about. All of Stephenson's greatest strengths as a writer are on full display.

s
sat7
Oct 11, 2016

Great book! This author rocks. I found this took an investment that was worthwhile. Great epic novel -

1
1tarheel
Sep 15, 2016

It's almost impossible to go wrong with Neal Stephenson. The search continues....

h
humbleworm
May 18, 2016

The writing style reminded me of Flash Boys, although this is fact-based fiction and simply drags on forever with detail. Interesting but not really engaging.

a
ace_combs
Oct 22, 2015

There's good reason Stephenson is often mentioned in the same sentence with Pynchon, David Foster Wallace and other literary luminaries. He deserves to be. The characters in WWII portion of the book all echo in the present day. Some foks have said the math is daunting and it is, but I read it as I do the long and sometimes tedious theological ramblings in Umberto Eco's work or Pynchon's lapses into physics. If it pertains to plot I'll try to understand it and if not, I'll skim it. No one should really approach a book like this thinking they'll understand cryptology after reading it but you'll definitely have a sense of it's complexity and the tremendous effort that went into breaking WWII codes and how the computers that grew out of that effort make it hard to keep secrets these days.

s
sujacart
Jan 03, 2015

i am unable to download
January, 2, 2015

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 20, 2014

Stephenson is brilliant, and this 1000+ page novel is an epic of WWII cryptography, late 20th-century high tech business, and treasure hunters. Reads like a Pynchon novel without the inscrutability.

j
jennabraunstein
May 05, 2014

This book is fun, funny, intelligent, and exciting the whole way through! Definitely worth a read or four.

View All Comments

Notices

Add Notices

b
Batman
Mar 11, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.

b
Batman
Mar 11, 2008

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

b
Batman
Mar 11, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Age

Add Age Suitability

b
Batman
Mar 11, 2008

Batman thinks this title is suitable for

Summary

Add a Summary

b
Batman
Mar 10, 2008

a generational tale of the waterhouse family, secrets, codes and nazi gold.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Related Authors

  Loading...

Find it at PDL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top