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BKCRPTNM.RVW 20030415

"Cryptonomicon", Neal Stephenson, 1999, 0-380-97346-4, U$27.50/C$39.50
%A Neal Stephenson
%C 1350 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019
%D 1999
%G 0-380-97346-4
%I Avon Books/The Hearst Corporation
%O U$27.50/C$39.50 +1-800-238-0658 avonweb@hearst.com
%O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0380973464/robsladesinterne
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0380973464/robsladesinte-21
%O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0380973464/robsladesin03-20
%P 918 p.
%T "Cryptonomicon"

 

A number of people, particularly those who liked "Snow Crash" (cf. BKSNCRSH.RVW) have said that they did *not* like "Cryptonomicon." I'm at a loss to understand why. "Cryptonomicon" is much closer in style to "Snow Crash" than either was to, say, "The Diamond Age" (cf. BKDAYLIP.RVW).

Yes, this book is quite convoluted; so was "Snow Crash"; and there is the same accuracy in terms of technology. (The cryptography, while not exhaustively covering the field, provides an excellent overview of some basic concepts.) Similarly, the current work also flips back and forth between generations. The extent of switching, in fact, is sufficient that some have wondered if there is a message encoded in the "change of state" from past to present between chapters. (I haven't yet heard from anyone who has actually tried to find such a message.)

The characters are sympathetic, the situations are entertainingly absurd, and, despite the demands that the book makes on you as a reader, I quite enjoyed it.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 2003 BKCRPTNM.RVW 20030415