HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
Loading...

Cryptonomicon (original 1999; edition 2002)

by Neal Stephenson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
13,380219165 (4.22)442
Member:w0rx
Title:Cryptonomicon
Authors:Neal Stephenson
Info:Avon (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 1168 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:personal

Work details

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (1999)

  1. 202
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (moonstormer)
  2. 132
    Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter (Zaklog)
    Zaklog: Cryptonomicon strikes me as the kind of book that Hofstadter would write if he wrote fiction. Both books are complex, with discursive passages on mathematics and a positively weird sense of humor. If you enjoyed (rather than endured) the explanatory sections on cryptography and the charts of Waterhouse's love life (among other, rarely charted things) you should really like this book.… (more)
  3. 110
    The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet by David Kahn (grizzly.anderson)
    grizzly.anderson: A great and fairly easy to read history of much of the history and cryptography the novel is based on.
  4. 100
    The Code Book by Simon Singh (S_Meyerson)
  5. 112
    Anathem by Neal Stephenson (BriarE)
  6. 91
    Pattern Recognition by William Gibson (S_Meyerson)
  7. 71
    Secrets and lies : digital security in a networked world by Bruce Schneier (bertilak)
  8. 40
    The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (ahstrick)
  9. 51
    Daemon by Daniel Suarez (simon_carr)
  10. 40
    Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis (tomduck)
  11. 62
    The Alienist by Caleb Carr (igorken)
  12. 30
    PopCo by Scarlett Thomas (daysailor, Widsith)
    daysailor: Same kind of edgy writing, intertwining cryptography history with good story-telling
    Widsith: More cryptography and conspiracy and earnest philosophical asides (though Thomas writes women characters a lot better than Stephenson)
  13. 1614
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (lorax)
    lorax: Seriously. A big fat book immersing the reader in a bizarre and alien culture, with well-written infodumps on subjects of interest to the narrator interspersed throughout the story. It's a very Stephenson-esque book.
  14. 31
    Reamde by Neal Stephenson (Anonymous user)
  15. 10
    Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II by Stephen Budiansky (Busifer)
    Busifer: Many of the events featuring in Stephenson's Cryptonomicon have actually happened and while Budiansky isn't the most eloquent author his book is an interesting companion read.
  16. 21
    Enigma by Robert Harris (ianturton)
    ianturton: Another fictionalized look at Bletchly Park, shorter and with fewer Americans.
  17. 10
    In Code: A Mathematical Journey by Sarah Flannery (bertilak)
  18. 21
    The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel by David Mitchell (psybre)
  19. 11
    The Martian by Andy Weir (sturlington)
    sturlington: If you like books with a lot of math in them...
  20. 00
    Join by Steve Toutonghi (jbizroe)

(see all 24 recommendations)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 442 mentions

English (210)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  Romanian (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (219)
Showing 1-5 of 210 (next | show all)
Loved the audio book just as much as the print. This might well be my favorite book of all time. ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
Set in two time periods - World War II and the modern ages. There are a lot of interwoven stories, shifting time periods and perspectives. It does a good job with all of them. ( )
  nx74defiant | Jul 16, 2016 |
At close to 1,000 pages Cryptonomicon is not a quick read, it's got to parallel time lines, plenty of detail, trivia about a bit of everything and what I would consider to be a very good story to tell.

It's definitely let down by the disjointed start, as it chops from timeline to timeline, character to character you find yourself questioning if it's worth persevering. Thankfully, it is and after the first quarter or so you get used to the characters and settings so it becomes less of an issue (although it at later times noticeable).

The story itself is great, excellent even - a world war 2 tale running parallel to a present day business venture that becomes intertwined with the past. Both timelines are appropriately ended and the tale between the first page and last is definitely worth the time the book takes to read.

Whilst someone very much into mathematics and cryptology would very much relish the contents one certainly needn't be a student of either to enjoy the tale. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Jul 13, 2016 |
At times gripping, with many shifts of gear (too many for my taste). Some beautiful prose contained within. ( )
  apomonis | Jun 2, 2016 |
It takes about 200 pages to really get into the plot, but when you do ... WOW!

There's a lot of math involved, but the math-challenged reader can skim those parts and still enjoy this book. I think fans of Wilbur Smith would like it. ( )
  BookConcierge | May 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 210 (next | show all)
''Cryptonomicon,'' on the other hand, is a wet epic -- as eager to please as a young-adult novel, it wants to blow your mind while keeping you well fed and happy. For the most part, it succeeds. It's brain candy for bitheads.
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephenson, Nealprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pannofino, GianniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peck, KellanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
"There is a remarkably close parallel between the problems of the physicist and those of the cryptographer. The system on which a message is enciphered corresponds to the laws of the universe, the intercepted messages to the evidence available, the keys for a day or a message to important constants which have to be determined. The correspondence is very close, but the subject matter of cryptography is very easily dealt with by discrete machinery, physics not so easily." —Alan Turing
This morning [Imelda Marcos] offered the latest in a series of explanations of the billions of dollars that she and her husband, who died in 1989, are believed to have stolen during his presidency.
"It so coincided that Marcos had money," she said. "After the Bretton Woods agreement he started buying gold from Fort Knox. Three thousand tons, then 4,000 tons. I have documents for these: 7,000 tons. Marcos was so smart. He had it all. It's funny; America didn't understand him." —The New York Times, Monday, 4 March, 1996
Dedication
To S. Town Stephenson,
who flew kites from battleships
First words
Two tires fly. Two wail.
A bamboo grove, all chopped down.
From it, warring sounds.
Quotations
He is disappointed because he has solved the problem, and has gone back to the baseline state of boredom and low-level irritation that always comes over him when he's not doing something that inherently needs to be done, like picking a lock or breaking a code.
The ineffable talent for finding patterns in chaos cannot do its thing unless he immerses himself in the chaos first.
This conspiracy thing is going to be a real pain in the ass if it means backing down from casual fistfights.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Neal Stephenson enjoys cult status among science fiction fans and techie types thanks to Snow Crash, which so completely redefined conventional notions of the high-tech future that it became a self- fulfilling prophecy. But if his cyberpunk classic was big, Cryptonomicon is huge, gargantuan, massive-- not just in size but in scope and appeal. It's the hip, readable heir to Gravity's Rainbow and the Illuminatus trilogy. And it's only the first of a proposed series--for more information, read our interview with Stephenson.

Cryptonomicon zooms all over the world, careening conspiratorially back and forth between two time periods- -World War II and the present. Our 1940s heroes are the brilliant mathematician Lawrence Waterhouse, cryptanalyst extraordinaire, and gung ho, morphine-addicted marine Bobby Shaftoe. They're part of Detachment 2702, an Allied group trying to break Axis communication codes while simultaneously preventing the enemy from figuring out that their codes have been broken. Their job boils down to layer upon layer of deception. Dr. Alan Turing is also a member of 2702, and he explains the unit's strange workings to Waterhouse. "When we want to sink a convoy, we send out an observation plane first. Of course, to observe is not its real duty--we already know exactly where the convoy is. Its real duty is to be observed. Then, when we come round and sink them, the Germans will not find it suspicious."

All of this secrecy resonates in the present-day story line, in which the grandchildren of the WWII heroes--inimitable programming geek Randy Waterhouse and the lovely and powerful Amy Shaftoe--team up to help create an offshore data haven in Southeast Asia and maybe uncover some gold once destined for Nazi coffers. To top off the paranoiac tone of the book, the mysterious Enoch Root, key member of Detachment 2702 and the Societas Eruditorum, pops up with an unbreakable encryption scheme left over from WWII to befuddle the 1990s protagonists with conspiratorial ties.

Cryptonomicon is vintage Stephenson from start to finish: short on plot, but long on detail and so precise it's exhausting. Every page has a math problem, a quotable in-joke, an amazing idea or a bit of sharp prose. Cryptonomicon is also packed with truly weird characters, funky tech, and crypto--all the crypto you'll ever need, in fact, not to mention all the computer jargon of the moment. A word to the wise: if you read this book in one sitting, you may die of information overload (and starvation). --Therese Littleton, Amazon.com
Haiku summary
Encrypted message
Like an inaccessible
Mountain of gold bars
(swensonj)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

An American computer hacker operating in Southeast Asia attempts to break a World War II cypher to find the location of a missing shipment of gold. The gold was stolen by the Japanese during the war. By the author of The Diamond Age.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
5 avail.
305 wanted
5 pay5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.22)
0.5 6
1 53
1.5 9
2 112
2.5 26
3 402
3.5 140
4 1131
4.5 220
5 1637

Audible.com

4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 108,350,080 books! | Top bar: Always visible