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Posts Tagged ‘Cryptonomicon

Name : Snow Crash

Author: Neal Stephenson

Genre : sci-fi/cyber-punk

Pages : 400+

Language: English

Publication Year: June 1992

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book : –

Awards :

Rating: 4/5

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Published shortly before the dot.com boom, this book is the realistic look at the future of Internet, Games, Humanity, Religion and off course pizza delivery business. Snow Crash – a cyber punk novel is third novel by Neal Stephenson which I read so far other two are Cryptonomicon and Anathem.

The book is set in futuristic America, where everything is owned by private companies. In this world everything is for rent – the army, the police, the highway’s, everything except for pizza delivery business because it’s monopolized by the mafias.

Story revolves around Hiro – the pizza delivery boy and last of the freelance hackers and world’s greatest sword fighter in metaverse (he wrote the code) as well as in real world. He happens to be the only guy who standing between metaverse and a dangerous ancient virus called ‘Snow Crash’.

As with other Stephenson books, this books ending was little disappointing, was expecting one or more chapter’s to conclude the story apart from this I liked this book a lot. The research and technical details covered in this book are accurate except for few details here and there but we need to keep in mind that this book was written around 1988 before the internet craze and the contents in this book are way ahead of the time when it was written/published. The research done on historical & philosophical content in this book are real amazing, specially the content on Sumerian mythology and culture.

One more amazing thing about this book is the way Stephenson ‘re-engineered’ the Sumerian legends to fit into the story line is really ingenious. I read and re-read few chapter in this book and I deliberately slow down My reading to process more data, so if you are looking for something light and simple read – then this isn’t it. this book is thought-provoking though this book is published a decade ago. at certain point while reading this book, you will definitely think ‘what the/how the hell this guy come up with this?’, overall an amazing and thought provoking read. if you are sci-fi/cyber punk fan then this book is for you!

Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison—a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately!

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Name : Cryptonomicon

Author: Neal Stephenson

Genre : Historical/sci-fi/Techno-thriller Fiction

Pages : 1168

Language: English

Publication Year: 1999

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book : –

Awards : Cryptonomicon won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 2000.

Rating: 4.5/5

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Cryptonomicon is my first Neal Stephenson novel, this book appeared on many ‘Must Read’ lists so I decided to give it a try. I am glad that I did.

This book is huge (1116+ pages – paperback edition) and fun to read. This book is great mix of War (word war II), soldiers, code breaker, mathematics, computers, and technologies. The writing style of Neal Stephenson is brilliant and use of metaphors are brilliant, sometimes hilarious.

Cryptonomicon is not a single novel, it’s three novels in one what mean by this is, this novel has three different plots and each plot is related to the other plot. this novel is well paced, clever and  a real page turner. though the volume of the book is huge (1K+ pages) but once you cross 60+ pages you will never want it to end. the story revolves around four main characters and major part of the story is set in world war II era.

What I liked most is the kind of research and depth of the research Stephenson done for this book, either it is code breaking, ciphers, working of computers, mathematics everything well researched. the book is joy to read even-though the volume of the book is huge. I kept on reading till the end so when I got there the book kind of stopped, I was expecting something more or amazing end but it’s stopped.

The flow of story is not linear what I mean is the story is told by different person on different times. the plot is divided into three parts, tow parts set in world war II and one part in current time and all three parts amazingly linked together. the character development is amazing, so much so that you even start liking the bad guys in the book.

The writing style of Neal Stephenson style is unique, light-hearted and fun. If you want to have the fun with this novel, you have to be patience, this novel need great deal of patience as Neal explains the backgrounds, submarines, working of enigma, code breaking techniques, mathematical formulas and working of computers.

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 sumarine 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; the product of a truly icon

Amazing story, awesome characters and real page turner and a must and a splendid read for all fiction (sci-fi/historical/techno-thriller) fans. except for the ending overall this book is joy to read. I loved this book so much that I already started reading his Novel Anathem and planing to purchase his new novel Reamde.


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