Difference between revisions of "Cryptonomicon"

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'''''Cryptonomicon''''' is a novel that is a mix between a historical fiction and techno-thriller by [[Neal Stephenson]], published in 1999. The story jumps between two primary stories, one of WWII cryptography and espionage, the other of late-1990s entrepreneurs trying to become both extremely wealthy and change the world by introducing a new electronic crypto-currency. There are several other characters with back-stories that converge on the primary stories.
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[[Image:Cryptonomicon - Hardcover - USA - 1st Edition.jpg|thumb|256x256px|First edition US hardcover.]]
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'''''Cryptonomicon''''' is a novel that is a mix between a historical fiction and techno-thriller by [[Neal Stephenson]], published in May 1999. It would later serve as a later book in the chronology of [[The Baroque Cycle (universe)|The Baroque Cycle]]. The book jumps between two primary stories, one of WWII cryptography and espionage, the other of late-1990s entrepreneurs trying to become both extremely wealthy and change the world by introducing a new electronic crypto-currency. There are several other characters with back-stories that converge on the primary stories.
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Stephenson created an ancient book called the ''Cryptonomicon'', a dense tome discussing the growth and progress of cryptography over the centuries, for this story. He later talks about its fictional creator in a subsequent book, ''[[Quicksilver]]''. I would love to see such a book created in real life!
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==Personal==
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I was already a fan of Neal Stephenson's work having read ''[[Snow Crash]]'' when I a coworker gave great praise after having finished ''Cryptonomicon'', so it was added to my to-read list, but it took several years before I got a hold of a copy (in audio book form) to read it. Once I did, I loved it.
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==Status==
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I do not own this book, but have listened to an audio book recording.
  
 
==Review==
 
==Review==
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{{Spoilers}}
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===Good===
 
===Good===
 
* The story is extremely engrossing, and telling the two stories at once is a great way at keeping everything fresh.
 
* The story is extremely engrossing, and telling the two stories at once is a great way at keeping everything fresh.
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* There are plenty of moments when you want to cheer from a victory, cry from something heart-breaking, and laugh out loud from a clever joke.
 
* There are plenty of moments when you want to cheer from a victory, cry from something heart-breaking, and laugh out loud from a clever joke.
 
* I enjoyed the numerous detailed forays into technology and math.
 
* I enjoyed the numerous detailed forays into technology and math.
* The idea of a cryptographic currency was really ahead of the curve in 1999 (although Stephenson didn't count on something like Bitcoin which doesn't need gold backing).
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* Though cryptographic currencies did exist in 1999 when the book was published, they were still very fringe, so it was very forward-thinking for Stephenson to include them, although, he didn't count on something like [[Bitcoin]] which doesn't need gold backing.
  
 
===Bad===
 
===Bad===
* Stephenson's use of jumping back and forth between plot lines effectively keeps suspense, while also teasing the reader with premature information. However, the disjointed chapters require the reader to infer a fair amount information and often becomes confusing.
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* Stephenson's use of jumping back and forth between plot lines effectively holds suspense, while also teasing the reader with premature information, however, the disjointed chapters require the reader to infer a fair amount information and often becomes confusing.
 
* Stephenson tends to go on and on about unrelated topics that seem to only exist to pad the book. However, he has such a wonderful writing style, it's forgivable.
 
* Stephenson tends to go on and on about unrelated topics that seem to only exist to pad the book. However, he has such a wonderful writing style, it's forgivable.
 
* The ease at which Van Eck phreaking is implemented is far too easy to create.
 
* The ease at which Van Eck phreaking is implemented is far too easy to create.
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===Ugly===
 
===Ugly===
* Nothing really. This book was always a joy to read.
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* Nothing really. This book was a joy to read.
  
 
==Links==
 
==Links==
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptonomicon en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptonomicon] - Wikipedia.
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{{Link|Wikipedia|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptonomicon}}
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{{Link|GoodReads|https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/816.Cryptonomicon}}
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[[Category: Book]]
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[[Category: Books]]
 
[[Category: Fiction]]
 
[[Category: Fiction]]
 
[[Category: Speculative Fiction]]
 
[[Category: Speculative Fiction]]
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[[Category: Historical Fiction]]
 
[[Category: Techno-Thriller]]
 
[[Category: Techno-Thriller]]
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[[Category: Media Theme - Adventure]]
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[[Category: Media Theme - Cryptography]]
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[[Category: Media Theme - Japan]]
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[[Category: Media Theme - War]]
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[[Category: World War II]]
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[[Category: Trope - Queer Character]]
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[[Category: Trope - Strong Female Character]]
 
[[Category: Books I've Read]]
 
[[Category: Books I've Read]]
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[[Category: Favorite]]
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[[Category: Favorite Books]]
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[[Category: Books With Unknown Bechdel Test Status]]

Latest revision as of 14:43, 16 June 2020

First edition US hardcover.

Cryptonomicon is a novel that is a mix between a historical fiction and techno-thriller by Neal Stephenson, published in May 1999. It would later serve as a later book in the chronology of The Baroque Cycle. The book jumps between two primary stories, one of WWII cryptography and espionage, the other of late-1990s entrepreneurs trying to become both extremely wealthy and change the world by introducing a new electronic crypto-currency. There are several other characters with back-stories that converge on the primary stories.

Stephenson created an ancient book called the Cryptonomicon, a dense tome discussing the growth and progress of cryptography over the centuries, for this story. He later talks about its fictional creator in a subsequent book, Quicksilver. I would love to see such a book created in real life!

Personal

I was already a fan of Neal Stephenson's work having read Snow Crash when I a coworker gave great praise after having finished Cryptonomicon, so it was added to my to-read list, but it took several years before I got a hold of a copy (in audio book form) to read it. Once I did, I loved it.

Status

I do not own this book, but have listened to an audio book recording.

Review

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The story is extremely engrossing, and telling the two stories at once is a great way at keeping everything fresh.
  • I found practically all of the characters very interesting. The ones I liked, I really liked, the ones I hated, I really hated. Even the villains were quite human and relatable.
  • There are plenty of moments when you want to cheer from a victory, cry from something heart-breaking, and laugh out loud from a clever joke.
  • I enjoyed the numerous detailed forays into technology and math.
  • Though cryptographic currencies did exist in 1999 when the book was published, they were still very fringe, so it was very forward-thinking for Stephenson to include them, although, he didn't count on something like Bitcoin which doesn't need gold backing.

Bad

  • Stephenson's use of jumping back and forth between plot lines effectively holds suspense, while also teasing the reader with premature information, however, the disjointed chapters require the reader to infer a fair amount information and often becomes confusing.
  • Stephenson tends to go on and on about unrelated topics that seem to only exist to pad the book. However, he has such a wonderful writing style, it's forgivable.
  • The ease at which Van Eck phreaking is implemented is far too easy to create.
  • I didn't much care for how the book finishes in such an open-ended fashion.

Ugly

  • Nothing really. This book was a joy to read.

Links

Link-Wikipedia.png  Link-GoodReads.png