Ambrosia4All, February 21, 2010 (view all comments by Ambrosia4All)
Delightfully complex, full of quirky characters, and Stephenson's trademark wit is packed in this novel of World War II, high-tech finance, and treasure hunting. It seems so long when you start, but it moves so fast that before you know it you're at the end and can't believe it's over.
Stephenson's thoughts on the human psyche, technology, religion, government and more are interwoven with two timelines - one in modern(ish) times and the other during WWII. Long passages of cryptology and mathematics are well-explained, so this book should be accessible to the ignorant reader as well as the math whizzes.
So delightful to read, I've already recommended it to everyone I know!
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tbob, January 5, 2010 (view all comments by tbob)
Wonderfully complex and engrossing plot line. Computers, treasure, pirates,Nazis,romance, war,international finance, villains and geeks; what more could you want?
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Nancy McClure, January 4, 2010 (view all comments by Nancy McClure)
It was hard to decide whether to read this book headlong or with particular care. I wanted to read it headlong, because it's so full of events and I didn't want to lose track of the interweaving scenarios. On the other hand, I wanted to pause and absorb ideas, because Stephenson can effortlessly include more ideas on a page than most writers can in a chapter.
It's educational about what was going on during WWII, and I know the crypto included is good because it was provided by Bruce Schneier, who writes the afterward.
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Karl Knaub, January 3, 2010 (view all comments by Karl Knaub)
This is the most fun I've had reading a book as an adult. A non-stop adventure ride plus diversions to finance, cryptography, WWII lore, and mathematics (ever wonder what the mathematically correct way is to divvy up a complicated inheritance - wonder no more). I know I should be commenting on the literary merits of the book, and there are greater prose stylists, but...relax and have some fun for once.
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