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Publisher's Summary

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 Watrehouse and Detatchment 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 grandaughter, 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.
©1999 Neil Stephenson (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
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Critic Reviews



Locus Award, Best Novel, 2000
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Rob J. on 04-16-17

Fixed!

Any technical issues reported in previous reviews (missing or out of order chapters) have been fixed. I experienced no problems and double checked the whole time w the book on hand chapter by chapter.

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56 of 56 people found this review helpful


By Steven L on 04-03-10

Good Book But Missing Something

This is a great book and the unabridged audio version is a welcome addition to my library. However, having read the book several times, the audio version has at least one technical issue - there is about a chapter and a half of the story missing in part 5 at the beginning of chapter two. In the print version this is all of "Deluge" and part of "Captivity". Maybe it will show up later, that's happened before in other audio books.

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186 of 194 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Mr. J on 10-24-16

Geek heaven

Shifting seamlessly through history and technological exposition I was hooked.

Straight on to more from this author for me.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Johnny on 06-28-16

Long but worth it!

Good story, and a prospective on the Second World War from many prospective...

Good insight into the development of modern computing and hacking

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Sean Beckman on 04-29-16

Top rate performance of a cult classic novel

I never read it so this was my first exposure to the material. Very enjoyable. The actor had a good range of voices for the characters. I was never confused who was talking, even between Rudy of Bishov. Also the narrators voice changed when he was talking about WWII events or present day events. I found this really helpful but so subtle. I only noticed after about half the book. Top notch whosever idea that was.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Alison Zahra on 02-08-16

Epic historical and technical tale spanning decade

Very detailed with a number of story lines to keep track of, and quite technical.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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