Customer Review

278 of 301 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hacker's delight - others will enjoy it too, February 15, 2000
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This review is from: Cryptonomicon (Hardcover)
Stephenson's writing style is unique: flippant, indulgent and fun. He doesn't mind pausing for 2 or even 5 pages to set up the perfect metaphor. You won't see a highly delinieated plot but a playful flow from scene to scene through the book. I found the characters interesting, the story worthwhile, and the writing amazing.
I love it whole heartedly, but I'm a Computer Scientist. I understand the programs, the math, and the cryptography which comes up from time to time. People totally unfamiliar with it will find these sections boring, possibly pompous. I think you can skip over these without losing the story.
Even though the writing style is usually light-hearted, Stephenson does tackle big topics. A major focus is on the role of money in a society. He also looks at anticipation being more enjoyable than the actual event, especially in relationships.
If you're a hacker - buy it without thought. If you're not a hacker - stop by a brick-and-mortar store, read a few pages, and, if you like what you see, take a chance. Truly, I can't think of a book I enjoyed more. Besides, if you read it you'll find out what the phrase "the most cigarettes" means. :)
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 19, 2011 1:39:13 PM PDT
Caddis Nymph says:
Thanks, Michael. Just so others like me who are not programmers, math heads or cryptographers know, the story's terrific. What impresses the heck out of me is that not only is this a real stem-winder of a tale, the graphics are all perfectly in place! HarperCollins didn't get it right (or even *close) with Holy War: How Vasco da Gama's Epic Voyages Turned the Tide in a Centuries-Old Clash of Civilizations ... no links in the text to the footnotes, a list of illustrations but none included. But whoever set up the digital version of Cryptonomicon deserves a bonus!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2011 12:24:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2011 12:26:49 AM PDT
Stochastic says:
I LOVE Cryp! Thanks for making me notice the programming parts could be daunting Mike. I've been coding for a long while to the point that hadn't ocurred to me. Explains why the best "OMG Thanks"'s have been from other techies and sci-fi fans, which as "Snow Crash" and lots of Gibbson have demonstrated, time's made pretty verbatim real now.
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