Cryptonomicon by Neal StephensonCryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson


byNeal Stephenson

Mass Market Paperback | November 5, 2002

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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.

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 ...
Title:CryptonomiconFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:1168 pages, 6.75 × 4.19 × 2.92 inPublished:November 5, 2002Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060512806

ISBN - 13:9780060512804

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stephenson My introduction to Neal Stephenson. Not for the light-reader, this book is a beast but is rewarding when finished
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cunningly twisted This novel twists historical facts and figures, with fantasy, and parallels to actual people and places. At times it is difficult to decrypt what is fact and what is fiction, what is truth and what is a false flag. The characters clearly have ancestors in other books by this author. The events also have vague parallels. In places the events foretell actual (read current) events. it all makes for a mind-bender of a novel. The math that's built in is fascinating. I knew (or thought I knew) plenty about codes and cyphers. I was aware of much of Turing's work and personal history. But the books paints some interesting pseudo-facts around him -- and others. It all makes for a long adventure over oceans, jungles, and secret labyrinths. The books is too heavy to be a 'can't put it downer' , but I certainly had to get through to the end -- even as the tale seemed to go off the rails at times. There's always a twist. Put simple: I really enjoyed this read.
Date published: 2015-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A really thrilling ride World War II cryptology! Modern day Asian data havens! A secure cypher you can do yourself with nothing more than a deck of playing cards! (Or use the included Perl program) and of course a thrilling story and to top it all a history of the laying of transatlantic cable. It takes a great writer to bring this all together in one volume that will keep you turning the pages as fast as your e-reader can refresh them. Neal Stephenson managed this most admirably well. A "must read" for cypherpunks and WWII-history afficionados alike.
Date published: 2014-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "That darn book" I have recently discovered Neal Stephenson and enjoyed every paragraph of Cryptonomicon, my introduction to his work. I am not a "geek, mathematician, WW2 buff or computer person" but a reader of fiction, a lover of language and am fascinated by character development. That darn book completelyl distracted me from my usual routines and responsibilities and kept me chuckling and enthralled from the first chapter to the last paragraph. The rabbit trail about grandma, the maintenance of her car, and dividing her treasures between the kids and grandkids was worth the purchase price all by itself. Somehow Stephenson manages to tuck such gems into the book without distracting from the central stories at all. Quite a skill. I 'm going shopping for more books by this author. Now.
Date published: 2009-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great job Bobby Shaftoe! Alot of action, comedy, some history, and a little cyber-thriller thrown in for good measure pave the way for this novel to be one of my favourites. Neal Stephenson does use alot of metaphor, maybe too much for some people. I enjoyed how he was able to tell a story while peaking my interest in computers, presenting some history, making me laugh at times, making me feel bad at times. He was able to incorporate so much in to this 1100 page novel and keep me interested in almost every paragraph. This is a novel I certainly could read a second time. Does this help?
Date published: 2008-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Math was never so cool! Mixes history with a possible future were data is the new currency. Stephenson mixes math, history and mulitple character times lines in a really new and interesting way.
Date published: 2007-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best action mystery I have ever read Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon is an gripping story that takes place over two timelines mixing espionage, treasure hunting, action and math. Thats right, math. The cryptonomicon's main premise is finding the lost Nazi and Japanese gold that was stolen during the second world war. This action packed novel will leave the reader at the edge of their seats and unable to put the book down.
Date published: 2006-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not Stephenson's best This was, for the most part, a great book. The action was realistic and exciting. The author's ability to combine three novels into one was, admittedly, mind-blowing. I must admit that I was a little overwhelmed by its length, but it was a quick read. I thought, though, it could have been a couple hundred pages shorter. Yes, the characterization was rich, but Stephenson rambled at times. A better Stephenson read is Snow Crash
Date published: 2005-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a keeper Despite it's length, it's a surprisingly brisk read. Very engaging characters and there are plenty of them. Way better than The Da Vinci Code.
Date published: 2004-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well researched, well written I found myself constantly absorbed by this book. I spent my waking hours waiting to get the chance to get back to reading the book. Meticulous research, and an amazing writing style. I love this book.
Date published: 2004-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wow! I read this one 2 months ago and have yet to be as entertained by the 5 or 6 books I have read since. Simply amazing!
Date published: 2003-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How to think about 20 different subjects at once Love, love, love this book. Everytime I read it, it gets better. It's fantastic for people who enjoy using both their left and right brain. He explores so many topics at once but still keeps them all interesting and topical to the story lines. I found myself trying out math equations and becoming much more interested in the history of the modern world, and started to pay greater attention to world economics. For those who may find this book a little overwhelming, start with Diamond Age (which I did) or Snow Crash (He coined virtual reality ) and work your way to this book.
Date published: 2002-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from all over the place !! One of the craziest books I have read. It is all over the place describing how to eat cereal, going to the dentist, German U-boats, Marines, Nerds, Math Geeks etc... The miracle is that it all makes sense !! Those with an interest in all things internet and how computers got their start should read this, also anyone with the slightest interest in to how WWII was really won should delve into this. It is very long (900 plus pages) but well worth it. Highly recommended for anyone looking for something a little off the beaten track.
Date published: 2000-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eerily Prescient In addition to being a gifted writer, Neal Stephenson seems to be able to predict the future. Part of Cryptonomicon is set in the near future (as of the time of writing), and much of the story is now coming true (witness Sealand and e-gold). This book has earned a special place in geek culture, and is worth a read for anyone interested in where technology is taking society. The portion of the book set in WWII may also be of great interest to history buffs, particularly those who are knowledgeable of encryption and Enigma (a cypher used by the Germans). In short, a great read. Cryptonomicon is fascinating both for its historical element and its persective on the future.
Date published: 2000-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Incredible! I cannot say it enough, this is an incredible book! An intense storyline weaving through two generations, stretching from 1940's Britain and Germany, to present day Phillipines, with side trips to the US, Italy, Africa, Japan...The unpredictable plot ties together many diverse elements, and is completely unpredictable. Even more than the plot, this book serves as an excellent introduction to cryptography, information theory, WW2 history and computer hacking. Definately worth a read!
Date published: 2000-08-18

Editorial Reviews

"A hell of a read." (Wired)