|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.
I really enjoyed Cryptonomicon, however, when it "ended" it simply "ended". There may be a sequel somewhere (I will look) that picks-up where Cryptonomicon... Read morePublished 4 hours ago by Chad
Not for a light-hearted read. Grit your teeth at the beginning. A strong tree requires time to grow. Not 5 stars because the tree was a bristle cone
pine. Read more
I got very sick of the stream of consciousness rambling style of writing and just wanted him to get on with the story, or series of stories. Read morePublished 1 day ago by mcdjoann
Brilliantly imagined. A feast of history, politics,science, mathematics, and cryptography. Fascinating insights into personalities both real and imagined. Most highly recommended.Published 4 days ago by Dr Oboe
I bought this book on recommendation of supposed crypto expert Bruce Schneier. Reading it was pretty much a waste of time.Published 6 days ago by Todd B. Marshall
I have been heavily involved in computing, security, and wireless networking since the 1970s. I have read many techno-thriller books and Cryptonomicon is the best of them all. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
The book is a masterpiece. My biggest issue is that I ordered a hard covered edition expecting larger print. What I got was a paperback with hard covers.Feel ripped off.Published 10 days ago by Gene Swan
Every smart person that I have met, and especially super-smart-genius people, have had Neal Stephenson on their book shelves, and have talked about his books at length. Read morePublished 11 days ago by J. Leinen
At first I didn't care for the characters, and was getting bored slogging through the chapters. Stick with it. Read morePublished 12 days ago by SEAdams