Monday, February 1

Book: Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson Click for more info

I'm really not sure where to start with Cryptonomicon. I mean for sure it was an amazing read and has definitely made my top ten of books ever read. But to describe why I enjoyed it so much is difficult.

Cryptonomicon is ultimately a work of fiction, but that is kind of diluted by how much of the real world it borrows from. Not only do we have a mention of Turing, but he's actually quite important as a character in the story. We have a world war going on, as well as the impending dotcom bubble of the 90s brewing. For me it actually be came a little tricky navigating what was fiction and what was not, but after a while I did manage to start trusting the book.

Cryptonomicon is also mainly a thriller about technology. But that too is diluted by the immense level of characterisation built in by Stephenson - see the chapter that describes the motivation behind and physical response to having a bowl of Cap'n Crunch for breakfast.

Cyrptonomicon is also very well structured and accessible. But this is despite having multiple arcs and sub-arcs and being set in two time lines and multiple locations. The book has a level of depth which places a lot of trust and even burden on the reader, but I suspect a second reading would be extremely fulfilling.

So yes, Cyrptonomicon is a book that makes you work hard but rewards you for that effort. Recommended.

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