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am 25. Juli 2000
The point of most books is the plot. The plot is a sequence of events that carries you from A to B, where A is the opening of the story and B is the conclusion. The only elaboration may be in the inclusion of a prologue and/or and epilogue. Most books are, to use a convinient metaphore, a book like a one way ocean voyage where you start at one beach and end up at another.
This book is not like that. Oh, sure, there IS a beginning and there IS an end, and there is a plot that takes you between them. But the fun of the book *isn't* in the plot. It's in all the wild and unexpected detours that you in strange and interesting directions.
To return to our metaphor, if most books are an ocean cruise, this book is a surf board: you do end up at the beach, but it isn't a straight and sedate path; sometimes you'll be heading straight for shore, sometimes you'll be swingly wildly to the left or right, and sometimes you'll be under the water without any clear sense of where you are or what direction you're facing.
It's like that.
Is it a book for everyone? No. In fact, the author has a FAQ that does a good job of answering the question of whether or not you would enjoy the novel at [...]
In short, if you don't like long novels, novels with lots of exposition, novels that deal with technical materials, novels with sex, violence, and obscenity, etc, then you probably should give this one a miss.
If, on the other hand, you want to take an interesting journey with lots and lots of (apparently) random detours into a whole variety of sub-topics, then I think that this might be a book that you would enjoy.
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am 26. Februar 2009
Dieses Buch ist absolut brillant. Es ist geschrieben für die Onlinegeneration die wahrscheinlich die einzigen sind die es wirklich zu schätzen wissen. Es ist in meiner Auffassung immer noch das beste werk von Neal Stephenson und vom Niveau gravity's rainbow von Thomas Pynchon. Sein späteres werk wie der Dreiteiler baroque cycle erreicht nicht diese Schärfe, diese Geschliffenheit.
Es geht in diesen buch letztendlich um das selbe Thema wie in die baroque cycle, warum hat Gelt einen wert. Das ist aber nur das Leitthema, es geht auch um Kryptographie und dessen Wichtigkeit für die wirtschaft und Kriegsführung und wie einzelne Leute einen Großen Einfluss haben können auf die lauf der Geschichte. Dies alles gegen den Hintergrund vom Zweiten Weltkrieg in Europa und Asien, Cyberkrieg und Internethandel.
Ein muss für Leute die Themen des 21 Jahrhundert verstehen wollen
0Kommentar| Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 8. August 1999
I have always like Neal Stephensons writing, its funny and insightful. Cryptonomicon is no exception. It is his best work so far. It reads like he has been writing it for years and wrote all those other books to make money to get by.
One of the wonderful things about the book is that it reads like hard science fiction, yet the story is not (yet) really anything science fiction. It also takes a rare talent to write about complex mathematical concepts in such a brilliant and simple way. Stephenson is, in my humble opinion, one of the best writers of our day...and Cryptonomicon proves that beyond a doubt.
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am 24. Februar 2000
An excellent read, Cryptonomicon swings rhythmically between between two WWII characters and two in the present whose narratives cross tangentially: mathematical ubergenius Lawrence Waterhouse, cynical roughneck Bobby Shaftoe and their grandchildren Randy and America. This engaging structure echoes the parallel between the archaic codebreaking universe of Enigma machines and vacuum tubes and modern cryptography and network security. Note that the book's pace also swings, from adrenaline-pumping to deliberate and expository; it's not uniformly a page-turner. The depth of historical detail adds greatly, but the lengthy Cap'n Crunch diatribe and an equation for Lawrence's libido are superfluous. I also wish the only prominent woman, Amy Shaftoe, was more developed than being a mere prop in Randy's story. Overall, the entwined plots make this a rapid read for its length, worthy of its acclaim (anointed the quintessential cypherpunk epic of 99/00, though as much by the Luddite press and its own publishers as the crypto-hacker community).
Separately, while I don't blame Stephenson, Avon's editing was notably shoddy; the book contains typos and errors of continuity and grammar. A 4096-bit crypto key morphs into a 4069-bit key. A 'T' in a partially decrypted message becomes the third 'R' in "Attack Pearl Harbor December Seven." Randy powers his laptop with "a twelve-bolt adapter." What are evil publishing conglomerates for, if not to catch these things? Nonetheless, if you have any question about whether to pick up this book...
0Kommentar| 2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 25. Juni 2000
If you loved Snow Crash, and who wouldn't, you might be a little put off by Cryptonomicon because it's not a sci-fi cyber-thriller. This is literary fiction, brilliantly executed. Stephenson is a maturing novelist who can cross from one genre to another and never lose me as a reader because he's so good. Frankly, I'd pay to read his grocery list.
Cryptonomicon is a very simple story: a doped-up ex-marine and runaway ex-codebreaker aboard a submarine that all sides wish to blow up seek a vast hoard of Nazi gold reputed to exist in the Phillipines, where meanwhile, um -- O.K., it's not a simple story at all. It's just great reading. I work at a bookstore and I have two current favorite recommendations -- Cryptonomicon and Brauner's Love Songs of the Tone-Deaf, another well written intelligent novel. The customers not only buy the books, they come back and thank me! This makes me feel puffed up with a false sense of pride, as though I had written the books myself, but that's alright, I need the attention.
Please indicate that this review was helpful to you, it will stroke my pathetic ego. O.K., I'm kidding, you don't have to. But you do have to read these books!
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am 8. April 2001
Im bekannten Stil schreibt Neal Stephenson über die ersten Gehversuche der modernen Kryptografie im 2. Weltkrieg, und überrascht den Leser immerwieder mit seinem Einfallsreichtum. Von vielen wird er bereits als Arthur C. Clarke des 21. Jahrhunderts bezeichnet. Am besten liest man Stephenson im Original. Stephenson's Buch nimmt einen von Anfang an Gefangen, und macht, meist indirekt, auf die drohenden Gefahren der zukünftigen Gesellschaft aufmerksam; ein rundum lesenswertes Buch, für jeden, der wissen will, wer gesendete e-mails und Handy-Anrufe noch empfangen kann, ausser der, für den sie bestimmt sind....
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am 25. Juli 2000
Racing from one millenium to the next you want something that flies along with you. Stephenson delivers again. The setting is mostly World War II, but the feeling is as contemporary as the morning paper, and Stephenson's writing is always the greatest living experience. Second is Brauner's Love Songs, also the fast, contemporary, well-written thing I really love. Highest recommendation for both novels.
Let me put it this way: if you liked Snow Crash, you'll love Cryptonomicon. If you haven't read it, you should. If you have read it and didn't like it, you're nuts. But Cryptonomicon is even better.
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am 8. Mai 2000
First of all, let me dispel something straight from the start. An awful lot of people have been making some rather shocking comparisons between this book and the Illuminatus! trilogy. I want them to stop right now. Stephenson is not above trying to achieve the same vibe, but it falls deadly short. In Illuminatus!, when a piece of the puzzle fell into place, you leapt up and down and shouted "yes! yes! yes!". With Crypto, it's more like, "oh... well, yeah, I guess". The one or two trippy scenes do more to detract from the story than add to it. Never mind the fact that comparing anything to the Illuminatus! trilogy is like trying to find a poster to compare to an original Picasso... it ain't gonna happen any time soon. Stop with the Illuminatus! comparisons!
Now, as for the book itself: It's good, but you have to commit to it. For the first half - yes, half - you may suffer under the burden of a plot that goes nowhere - heck, isn't even a plot! - and really really two-dimensional characters. But by halfway through, the two stories - WWII and sorta-present - start to converge and things start happening and the characters start evolving and you sigh heavily in relief. From there on out there are few problems. It gets pretty hilarious in places, and some parts started music action pounding in my head - which is good.
Careful however. This book is decidedly lacking in twists. Oh, it LOOKS like there are twists, but they really aren't twists because when the twists are tied off it is always in some mundane and rather obvious manner. Then again, some twists are just left hanging. Why the heck does that guy turn up in the jungle? So does this guy die or what? Why put those in if you're just going to ignore them later? Stephenson could have written juuuust a little more and left me much more satisfied over all.
And don't let the crypto-babble make you think this is a book that is about crypto! It ain't. The technical rants are about as complex as a four-piece puzzle. You won't learn anything about number theory, cryptoanalysis, heck, nothing even about maths, from reading this book. The book description might try to convince you this book is actually about a code called Arethusa. This code comes up and is practically ignored as a plot device and eventually rendered obsolete.
However, where the book his HEAD ON is with its skilled depiction of some very contemporary struggles, and with its wonderfully lush WWII scenarios. This might as well be a primer for fighting a Big Brother-esque information-society, and what makes it even more creepy is that almost everything that happens in this book is happening RIGHT NOW, although the places they're happening in have some more realistic names ;-)
All in all, this is a fine read, but not for the faint hearted and not for those actually seeking to get a whole lot out of it. This is an odd criteria, to be sure, but as truthful a one as I can manage.
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am 8. Juli 2000
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.
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am 16. Juli 1999
This book was a great pleasure, especially for a beach vacation, when I could read 6 hours a day and not feel guilty or sleep deprived. It was often very hard to put down. I found myself admiring the characters of the WWII era more than their modern counterparts for some reason. They were more ernest and less cynical, what they were doing REALLY counted for them.
The Marine Bobby Shaftoe was most memorable.
The humor, very similar to Thomas Pynchon's, was outrageous, and left me laughing out loud in two or three dozen different places. Stylistically, the book owes a genuine debt to Gravity's Rainbow.
There was nothing fictive about the abundant science, philosophy, or the mathematics. Clearly Stephenson did a great deal of in-depth research on the historicity and the Asian locals, both of which I appreciated.
It will not win a Nobel prize; but This is a fine piece of excellent writing and wit that offers a certain reader many hours of leisure time enjoyment and contemplation.
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