Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Digital Fortress” as Want to Read:
Digital Fortress
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Digital Fortress

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  586,702 ratings  ·  9,781 reviews
When the National Security Agency's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage... not by guns or bombs, but by a code so ingeniously complex th ...more
Paperback, UK edition, 510 pages
Published 2004 by Corgi books (first published February 1998)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  586,702 ratings  ·  9,781 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Digital Fortress
Seizure Romero
Dec 18, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shite, zzzzznrk, fiction
There's a reason why everyone talks about The DaVinci Code and not about this book. I have no idea what that reason would be, because I thought Angels & Demons was mediocre so I never bothered to read the The DaVinci Code. Anyway, I was bored and a copy of this was sitting at the library for a quarter and I thought "WTF, mate, I'll give it a go."

The first page of chapter 1 starts with Susan Fletcher waking from a romantic dream to the ringing of the telephone:

"Susan, it's David. Did I wake you?"
Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brown-dan
One could already see the direction Brown would go with his recipe of conspiring the heck out of the literary world with his first work.

Not as good as Angels and Demons and The da Vinci code, but not as bad as The lost symbol, Digital fortress is the career start of a novelist who used good oldfashioned knowledge in a unique, new way on his way to literary immortality.

The art part is small in this one, as it´s more of a technothriller than the more blockbuster mystery high speed pursuit style
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Rimon Alania
I work in the Information Technology field so relating to this book was easy for me. I don’t know anything about NSA (National Security Agency) and how they operate but I know stuff like encryption, algorithm, anagram, computer virus, code-breaking, etc. So, this book glued me from start to finish. My officemate has been telling me that this is his favorite Dan Brown book. He said that since I’ve read all his 4 other novels, The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Deception Point (all 3 stars, i.e ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Digital Fortress, Dan Brown

Digital Fortress is a techno-thriller novel written by American author Dan Brown and published in 1998 by St. Martin's Press.

The book explores the theme of government surveillance of electronically stored information on the private lives of citizens, and the possible civil liberties and ethical implications of using such technology.

When the National Security Agency's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its he
AJ LeBlanc
May 08, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My book group chose this book and I will never forgive them.

I’ve never read anything by Dan Brown. He doesn’t write my type of fiction, so while I was aware that he’s a huge success, I never bothered to pick any of his books up because I knew I wouldn’t be interested.

What I didn’t know is how much of a shit writer he is.

I’m sure he cries into a giant pile of money every single time someone tells him that.

Digital Fortress is about the government and secrecy. Susan Fletcher works for a super top
Dan Brown is not just Da Vinci Code! This is a pretty good cyber-thriller. It resonates well in a world where data security and hacking are a part of the daily news. Check it out if you are a fan of fast paced thrillers with lots of suspense. (It has short chapters, too, which I like a lot)
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-we-own

Spine wrecking thriller. Never could I put my popcorn down.

A complete and comprehensive review on my lists this year!
Apr 07, 2009 rated it liked it
The topic is quite interesting & having an author perfectly fit the shoes of one so revered (talking, of course about the late great Michael Crichton) is truly magnificent, in my book. This thriller is fast (hooray!) & riveting. It is relevant to modern times & some reviewers have gone as far as calling it plausible.

But it must be said that its an adventure less compelling than The Da Vinci Code, even more contrived; devoid of interesting characters but plagued with dead ends, ineffective repeti
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-fiction
Digital Fortress is the first book Dan Brown published, and it's the last of his that I read. I am now up to date and awaiting whatever comes next (outside his newer children's release). I enjoy thrillers and suspense novels, but I haven't figured out my favorite authors in this genre yet. I'm determined to make that a 2021 reading goal. Before I head there, let's chat about this book.

Published in 1998, the key thing readers must remember is that if you're devouring it now, remember how much tec
Jul 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
I learned that Dan Brown is a bad writer and I will never read any of his other books. I also am upset at my friend for recommending me this book.

In short, the book is a bad novel, and a very bad novel if you know anything about math / cryptography.
Not only the technical errors were appalling, but the writing style itself is mediocre.

WARNING: spoiler here.

There is a scene where the heads of NSA along with some of the smartest people on Earth were trying to solve a riddle left by the bad guy as a

Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was just ok for me, I think I expected more because I enjoyed his others so much.
Ankit Agrawal
No matter what people want to say about Dan Brown or his books or hatred towards him you got to admire the fact that what he brings to the table no one else does.

This was the book which brought me to the beautiful world of books. Before reading this book I though reading was a bit cissy and a waste of time since everything is fictional, why not better read some spiritual/self help and knowledge books. After reading this book everything changed, I started to read more and more fiction and today b
Sanjay Gautam
A Good Thriller, if you ignore a few things.
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what to believe after reading this book. I've always liked Dan Brown's books because he writes so realistically, using big words to belittle readers about how little they know.
Or so I thought.
After reading this book, I did a little snooping of my own (OK, those were big words too, I just used Google) and realised that most of the technology, computers and cool machinery did not exist. In fact, Goodreads was an excellent source of information of unhappy reviewers tearing down this bo
Aug 19, 2009 rated it did not like it
I don't even remember what this one is about. There's a CIA computer technician, and all I can remember about her is the scene where a security guard is ogling her sweet, sweet ass and wondering in bafflement how a woman with a 192 IQ could be so damn fuckable. Also, I'm pretty sure she saves the world with computers, but we're not supposed to care because she does it while her shirt is partially unbuttoned. She may have gotten wet at some point, too.

Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit dramatic at places but overall, a pretty enjoyable thriller.
Saadia B. ||  CritiConscience
Susan Fletcher was the head of NSA's Cryptography Division while Becker was a university professor who helped government agencies with translation other than his full time job.

NSA built a new code decipher TRANSLTR worth $2 billion but kept it as a secret. They recieved a code which was indecipherable even by TRANSLTR. The code was sent in by Ensei Tankado who was an ex-employee of NSA. He was thrown out of the organization because he always broke rules.

Ensei believed in human rights of commun
Divine Anas
"Who will guard the guards?"
This is my first Dan Brown book and as cliche goes this would surely not be my last! Originally, I started reading this last May but never got around to finishing it after I stopped at Chapter 20, and I must say that despite of the 5-month hiatus, I could still remember the details vividly. This was a wildly entertaining and the kind of info-dumpy book that I'm eager to read. The way Dan Brown paces the whole plot with (surprisingly!) digestible chapters r
Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
Review also at

What a ride! All I can say is Dan Brown is one hell of a thriller writer! I will admit that this type of book is not really my cup of tea (I picked it up on a whim) because I’m more of a fantasy/ paranormal fan and this was far from that. I also will admit I nearly didn’t read this and nearly sent it back to the library so I could have more fantasy books. I’m so glad I thought otherwise!

From reading other reviews, Dan Brown has been described
Caela Harrison
Feb 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
Reading Dan Brown books is a bit like watching porn. Mildly enjoyable at the time, but not really something you'd like your friends or family to know about.

Digital Fortress starts as it means to go on, with two-dimensional characters in a whirlwind of mystery and action. The cast never evolves beyond cardboard cut-out level, but the plot does pick up through various levels of incredulity and intrigue to a climax that ends up shallow and disappointing, leaving the reader feeling cheap and cheated
Feb 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What would happen if every nation and person in the would, with a computer, could access every top secret file of the government? This is what Susan Fletcher and David Becker have to prevent in Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. With a lot of action and suspense Digital Fortress is a book for anyone who likes action.

Dan Brown wrote many other action novels. I have read all of them and this novel is just as good of a read as the rest. This novel is written in the same style as all the others. Leaving
This is one of the two stand alone novels authored by Dan Brown; other being the Deception Point. Both are of the science fiction genre. But no matter on what genre Dan Brown writes, one thing you can be certain to find; and that is the use of codes and puzzles.
With his unique use of codes and puzzles he creates a wonderful mystery, where the reader is taken on a suspenseful journey. I have always loved Dan's ability in keeping the reader on the edge and making him too run against the time to s
Amanda Bannister
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Full of twists and turns, and in true Dan Brown style, fast paced to keep you turning the pages. I had an inkling quite early on, but even that came with a twist!
Sep 28, 2007 rated it did not like it
Oh Dan Brown, how I love to hate you. It seems a universal truth that when you have run out of all of the books to read that you’ve brought with you, it is impossible to find decent reading material wherever you are.

Shamefully, I’ve actually read most of his books. I read Angels and Demons because someone recommended it to me. Though I found his writing to be extraordinarily poor, I found the story to be engaging enough to overlook that fact. I didn’t guess the ending, and it posited some fasci
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Brown's techno thriller that explores the relationship between the masses and the agencies and corporations that amass and store data on us as individuals - and it's impact on civil liberties.
Another monstrous global best seller who's books compose of the perfect storm of compelling story, weak writing, controversial subjects and pissing off the literati! Better than The Da Vinci Code in my opinion :) 7 out of 12.
Sep 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: beach read
Shelves: thrillers
Here’s the problem: Digital Fortress has a good plot, but it’s filled with weak characters. I really liked the plot. A disgruntled NSA employee develops an unbreakable encryption program (the Digital Fortress) and threatens to give both the encryption program and the key (which is buried in the program) away on the Internet. If the bad guys gain access to the key, they will be able to communicate without fear of the NSA decrypting their messages. This throws the NSA into a panic – as it should – ...more
Stefan Yates
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Based upon how very little I'd heard about Dan Brown's two non-Robert Langdon books, I went into this one with very low expectations. However, Digital Fortress is a fairly well-written and entertaining novel. The main storyline is based upon a hush-hush operation within the NSA to obtain and or destroy the only existing copies of a pass-key that, if made public, could enable the use of an encryption program that would create coded messages that would be entirely unbreakable thereby rendering the ...more
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this Dan Brown’s debut novel after enjoying he’s Robert Langdon series, it’s exactly what you’d expect with quick fast paced chapters and an intriguing mystery - this time digital codes and computers.

It’s a fun thriller than keeps you interested, I did enjoy it but missed that Harvard professors presence.
I’ll have to try he’s other standalone adventure - Deception Point.
Asghar Abbas
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it

Not a bad debut. The inaccurate and slanderous portrayal of Spain aside, this was pretty good, a fun ride, a little immature but really enjoyable. Considering Brown set out to best Sidney Sheldon, one of SS's books impelled him to start writing his own, to pen a "better" thriller. I'd say he achieved his aim not sure if that's a victory. DB is horrendous with the background. Say what you will about Sheldon but he got his research right, well most of it anyway.

Read this during good times when th
Lana *Lifeinwordsandlyricscom*
I think this was possibly my least favorite book by Brown. It lacked a certain something. Maybe it's just because I'm not that savvy in the things he wrote about, but I choose to think otherwise. He should stick to what he does best, historical mystery. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2021 Reading Chal...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Digital Fortress 9 61 Jan 11, 2020 07:29PM  
Fiction Fanatics: May 2019 - Digital Fortress 5 20 Jun 24, 2019 05:18PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect cover for Digital Fortress by Dan Brown 2 19 Feb 20, 2019 10:21AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Dan Brown Inferno (Robert Langdon) Unofficial Guide
  • The DaVinci Code: A Quest for Answers
  • The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1)
  • The Firm
  • Inferno: by Dan Brown -- Review
  • Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol
  • A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1)
  • Illuminating Angels  Demons: The Unauthorized Guide to the Facts Behind Dan Brown's Bestselling Novel
  • The Pelican Brief
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
  • The Client
  • The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan, #3)
  • The Silence of the Lambs  (Hannibal Lecter, #2)
  • The Girl on the Train
  • The Runaway Jury
  • Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1)
  • Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross, #1)
  • The Day of the Jackal
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 bestselling novels, including The Da Vinci Code, which has become one of the best selling novels of all time as well as the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars. Brown’s novels are published in 52 languages around the world with 200 million copies in print.

In 2005, Brown was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIM

Articles featuring this book

With clever detectives, missing jewels, murderous women, daring spies, and more, mysteries and thrillers deliver page-turning delight with...
315 likes · 351 comments
“Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.” 5367 likes
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards?” 90 likes
More quotes…