Cryptonomicon-Neal Stephenson   Leave a comment

 

This is one of the largest books I have ever read, at 918pp. It is on the ‘1001 books to read before you die’ list, which I am ambitiously attempting to complete. I am almost halfway through, and felt ready for a challenge. The synopsis for Cryptonomicon intrigued me, so I took the plunge.

Cryptonomicon was written in 1999, by Neal Stephenson; an American author I had never read anything by. The blurb had spoken of a story about cryptography in WWII and referred to Alan Turing, which caught my attention.

The novel is too long to give a decent presis, but essentially the story is split between 2 historical periods which are related as most in the almost present day period are the children or grandchildren of the characters in the earlier WWII period.

There are several significant characters in the earlier period, whose individual war experiences are followed. These characters are all involved with cryptography and attempts to break the German codes either in research or as part of physical exercises related to them.

In the present era, the descendants of these significant characters are gradually drawn together, to work together to resolve a plan their ancestors hatched.

I found the book enthralling and couldn’t put it down. The plot is very complex and entangled. Even as the end approach and some of the denouements became predictable, I was not disappointed, merely chuffed I had worked it out. Some endings were obviously, but still according to the style of the ‘roman’,just had to work that way!

The book won an award, and to be honest, so should anyone who makes it through to the end of the 918pp. Stephenson appears to specialise in long books. It is often published now in 3 parts. I would suggest the audiobook version from audible, available for 1 credit, which costs 7.99 a month. I apologise for advertising, but that is how I managed it all.
As an audiobook, it becomes very accessible and a really good read.

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Posted September 21, 2017 by dianne7 in book review

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