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Disappointing for Stephenson,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Cryptonomicon (Taschenbuch)
I had lukewarm expectations for this book and wasn't let down. Unlike his earlier books, which I think will remain timeless, imaginative, inspiring, and thoughtful (the Mouse Army in Diamond Age is one of the most inspiring and meaningful concepts I've read and made me believe again that computers may do something good and revolutionary for this world), this one reeks of second hand knowledge, macho robotic characters, and cliches. The writing is also not great, reading more or less like some casual email (too many paragraphs starting with "Anyways," among other things.)
Stephenson was trying too hard and some of his examples sound clever but are very one dimensional in that especially irritating geeky way; the self-righteous geek arguments in this book (IE the "information highway" vs TCP/IP [a transport protocol that is irrelevant when considering the effects of the net]) contrast poorly with Stephenson's earlier wide vision views and is along the lines of pointless techno name-dropping. And while I'm hardly an expert on history or cryptography, some of the information presented in the book is wrong (Turing did not invent the Bombes) or even laughable (excuse me, I have to boot up BeOS now so I can view some JPEGS.. yeah right).
If you glorify geeks and don't have that much technical knowledge then perhaps you will really enjoy this book but otherwise I think it is simply a sign that Stephenson is no longer a inspired writer and must now move on to the "career" stage where he is compelled by publishers to write the equivilant of current events mini series/travelogues full of content dictated by his fans. Not the end of the world because I'm sure he still has lots to say but I hope he finds a way to move in a different direction or at least drops the geek romanticism because he can be truly an inspiring writer.