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Cryptonomicon
Cryptonomicon
von Neal Stephenson
  Gebundene Ausgabe

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Praise for the highly unusual, 8. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Cryptonomicon (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Cryptonomicon is an unusual hybrid of historical fiction, spy story, hacker lore and cryptography text book. With much of Europe, North America and the South China Seas as it's backdrop, this sprawling work deals with the codebreaking efforts of both the allies and enemy in the 1940's, and the repurcussions of such actions in the present day.
Fully two thirds of the book takes place immediately prior to or during the Second War, and it can sometimes be difficult to determine which parts of this are actually fiction and not history. Obviously, many of the characters will be familiar to everybody, but there were a few who I initially took to be fictional who turned out to be real.
There are many different characters in this book, and as there are really two stories being told there is a high danger of this novel becoming confusing. Somehow Stephenson has avoided this and in fact the large cast actually makes the nine hundred pages of this work justified. His characterizations are so deep that his narrative style has to change chapter by chapter to fit the person. Many times when reading a novel of this size, it can become tempting to skip over the less exciting characters. Thankfully, that is not the case here, Stephenson has the knack of leaving a character at the appropriate time and returning to them at just the right moment. All the characters are essential to the plot and none of them are boring.
The book move along at a fair pace with only a few stumbling blocks. Most of the sticking points are in the explanations of cryptography for the layperson. But, to his credit, Stephenson has done a great job of making the subject matter accessible and also impressing on the reader it's military importance. The author also helps the reader to visualize concepts and constructs by a use of diagrams that I have never seen in fictional work before, which is surprising given how effective it is.
Finding the correct genre for this book is difficult and it's premise may be off-putting to some, however this is a great book for anyone to read. Stephenson is an extremely talented and witty writer and he gets better with each book. Some of his prose makes me down right jealous. This is one of those books that you can almost open at any page and have a good time reading.


Gai-Jin
Gai-Jin
von James Clavell
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 7,70

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4.0 von 5 Sternen EXCELLENT FUN ALTHOUGH INCOMPLETE, 29. Juni 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Gai-Jin (Taschenbuch)
Halfway through this daunting novel with 600 hundred pages left to go, I couldn't see how Mr. Clavell, with his colorful if longwinded prose, was going to tie all the ends together satisfactorily. My suspicions were confirmed. Turning the final page, it became clear that the novel was unfinished and probably needed a couple of hundred more pages. Many reviewers have correctly noted the weak ending and the general unpolished feeling of this otherwise magnificent tale. However, in the authors defence, he passed away the year after it's publication. It is entirely possible that he was unable to complete the novel due to ill health. Having had the time to read through this romping tale of nineteenth century Japan, I am glad that it was published at all. Since time immemorial, sex and ambition have been the two of the major driving forces behind human advancement. James Clavell's novel is loaded with both. Strong, sometimes politically incorrect, characterization of Asian and European people and language bring this enjoyably detailed tale to life. If you are interested in recent history, Asian cultures and what ideas lie behind them, then Gai-Jin is a fascintating read.


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