|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
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 suspicious."
All of this secrecy resonates in the present-day story line, in which the grandchildren of the WWII heroes--inimitable programming geek Randy Waterhouse and the lovely and powerful Amy Shaftoe--team up to help create an offshore data haven in Southeast Asia and maybe uncover some gold once destined for Nazi coffers. To top off the paranoiac tone of the book, the mysterious Enoch Root, key member of Detachment 2702 and the Societas Eruditorum, pops up with an unbreakable encryption scheme left over from WWII to befuddle the 1990s protagonists with conspiratorial ties.
Cryptonomicon is vintage Stephenson from start to finish: short on plot, but long on detail so precise it's exhausting. Every page has a math problem, a quotable in-joke, an amazing idea, or a bit of sharp prose. Cryptonomicon is also packed with truly weird characters, funky tech, and crypto--all the crypto you'll ever need, in fact, not to mention all the computer jargon of the moment. A word to the wise: if you read this book in one sitting, you may die of information overload (and starvation). --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Love this book! Yes it is long. The world Neal created completely absorbed me.Published 4 hours ago by Michael
Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in cryptology, World War II, and interesting writing. A unique book; highly recommended.Published 22 hours ago by smw14
So many interesting plot-lines layered carefully across time lines and time zones. Unfortunately suffering not only from moments of brilliance but also from periods where the ball... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Tomer Armarnik
This is the third time in 10 years that I have read this book! Just an incredible story with plenty of "techy" stuff to stimulate the brain.Published 4 days ago by James Daleiden
This is one of my favorite books ever--I have read it three times over the last twelve years. Cryptonomicon is a great mix of WWII historical fiction and present-ish day thriller. Read morePublished 7 days ago by C. Price
Got this to replace a lost copy. Exciting book. A really good read. Things about WW2 that most people never hear about.Published 7 days ago by Huland Hunt
The story didn't really engage me until about a third of the way in. I almost stopped reading. Then the treads of the story began to weave together into a more cohesive picture,... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Pamela Nielson