Brooke's Reviews > Cryptonomicon

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
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it was amazing

*Re-reading this book, started early January 2009

Note: This review is from my blog, circa 2005.

I finished reading Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson about a week ago. It took me over a month to finish, not because it wasn't great and exciting, but because it was 937 fucking pages long!

I have to say that Neal Stephenson is one of the most interesting and unique authors I have come across in some time now. The book had three main characters/story lines, and each of them had it's own strongly independent voice, yet strung together with a unifying, sardonic edge. I don't think I'll bother much with plot summary, as it was very complex and spanned the course of at least 60 years and about 10 different countries. What I really loved about it was that the three main storylines that all seem so separate at first, come together over the course of the novel through family ties, etc, but are unknown to the modern characters because of war time secrecy, among other things. I have never studied WWII in much depth, but this book brought it all to life extremely vividly and from perspectives I have never read about before. Although this book was in the science fiction section (probably because of the author's other novels) it is definitely more of a history novel. For instance, it had real historical figures as characters, such as Alan Turing in close relation to one of the main characters. Not only is it interesting from a historical war-time perspective, it is also extremely nerdy in its math and cryptographic details...not to mention computer programming and the history of how the modern computer came to be invented as a result of WWII cryptologists needing to break codes. Although the majority of the characters are fictional, I do think that most of the historical elements are well preserved and not too overly exaggerated. However, I am no expert.
Basically, I couldn't put this book down, in spite of its weight. ;) The story was compelling, the characters multi-dimensional and interesting, and the locations and events intriguing.

Also, in the original hard back edition that I got from the library, there are a large number of typographical/grammatical errors that many have speculated to be a hidden code! Not that anybody has broken it...I'd give my left toe to know what Mr. Stephenson is hiding in that book.
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Reading Progress

October 2, 2007 – Shelved
March 13, 2009 –
page 897
78.75%
Started Reading
April 8, 2009 – Finished Reading

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