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Cryptonomicon

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With this extraordinary first volume in what promises to be an epoch-making masterpiece, Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse—mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy—is assigned to detachment 2702. It is an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists, and some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. The mission of Waterhouse and Detachment 2702—commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe-is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy's fabled Enigma code. It is a game, a cryptographic chess match between Waterhouse and his German counterpart, translated into action by the gung-ho Shaftoe and his forces.

Fast-forward to the present, where Waterhouse's crypto-hacker grandson, Randy, is attempting to create a "data haven" in Southeast Asia—a place where encrypted data can be stored and exchanged free of repression and scrutiny. As governments and multinationals attack the endeavor, Randy joins forces with Shaftoe's tough-as-nails granddaughter, Amy, to secretly salvage a sunken Nazi submarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat. But soon their scheme brings to light a massive conspiracy with its roots in Detachment 2702 linked to an unbreakable Nazi code called Arethusa. And it will represent the path to unimaginable riches and a future of personal and digital liberty...or to universal totalitarianism reborn.

A breathtaking tour de force, and Neal Stephenson's most accomplished and affecting work to date, Cryptonomicon is profound and prophetic, hypnotic and hyper-driven, as it leaps forward and back between World War II and the World Wide Web, hinting all the while at a dark day-after-tomorrow. It is a work of great art, thought and creative daring; the product of a truly iconoclastic imagination working with white-hot intensity.

Review:

"Big, complex, and ambitious....This fast-paced, genre-transcending novel is full of absorbing action, witty dialogue and well-drawn characters." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Review:

"Stephenson's new book proves that he is the rarest of geniuses." New York Post

Review:

"Detail-packed, uninhibitedly discursive, with dollops of heavy-handed humor....[H]uge chunks of baldly technical material might fascinate NSA chiefs, computer nerds, and budding entrepreneurs, but ordinary readers are likely to balk..." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] heck of an action/adventure story....Stephenson...lives up to his reputation as a steely-eyed word hacker....[A] hell of a read." Wired

Review:

"Stephenson follows his startlingly original Snow Crash...with proof that he can do as well at twice the page-count....Imagine Tom Clancy turning to cyberpunk, and you have some idea of its broad potential appeal." Roland Green, Booklist

Review:

"An engrossing look at the way the flow of information shapes history. (Grade: A)" Entertainment Weekly

About the Author

Neal Stephenson is the author of the bestselling Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World) as well as the novels Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac.He lives in Seattle, Washington.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 10 comments:

chipkerchner, March 24, 2013 (view all comments by chipkerchner)
This novel is a very large, in-need of pruning, book. Could have easily done without 500+ pages. It has a lot of cool concepts - cryptology, invention of digital computers, electronic money, more gold than Ft. Knox, intelligence agencies, etc. The evolution of cryptology was interesting. Certainly appealing nerds and techno-geeks.
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Peter Young, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Peter Young)
Cryptonomicon begins with a real time haiku, and journeys from pre-WWII to post-today, showcasing Stephenson's rich imagination throughout. It's big, but exhilarating all the way. You will meet characters having roots in the Baroque Cycle and learn how PGP works, and why it has to.
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David Fogg, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by David Fogg)
Simply the best, most interesting, suspenful, fascinating novel I've read in a very long time.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780380788620
Author:
Stephenson, Neal
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Author:
by Neal Stephenson
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Espionage/Intrigue
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Adventure stories
Subject:
Technological
Subject:
Data encryption.
Subject:
World War, 19
Subject:
Science / High Tech
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Cryptography
Subject:
Adventure fiction
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Cryptography.
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Technothrillers
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Perennial ed.
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series Volume:
86
Publication Date:
June 2000
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
928
Dimensions:
8.08x5.36x1.61 in. 1.65 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Star Wars
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Technothrillers
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Adventure
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Sale Books

Cryptonomicon Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 928 pages Perennial (HarperCollins) - English 9780380788620 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Big, complex, and ambitious....This fast-paced, genre-transcending novel is full of absorbing action, witty dialogue and well-drawn characters."
"Review" by , "Stephenson's new book proves that he is the rarest of geniuses."
"Review" by , "Detail-packed, uninhibitedly discursive, with dollops of heavy-handed humor....[H]uge chunks of baldly technical material might fascinate NSA chiefs, computer nerds, and budding entrepreneurs, but ordinary readers are likely to balk..."
"Review" by , "[A] heck of an action/adventure story....Stephenson...lives up to his reputation as a steely-eyed word hacker....[A] hell of a read."
"Review" by , "Stephenson follows his startlingly original Snow Crash...with proof that he can do as well at twice the page-count....Imagine Tom Clancy turning to cyberpunk, and you have some idea of its broad potential appeal."
"Review" by , "An engrossing look at the way the flow of information shapes history. (Grade: A)"
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