Cryptonomicon: A Comparative Analysis Of Bobby Shaftoe And Lawrence Waterhouse

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Cryptonomicon alternates between the 1940s, where the infant science of cryptography is winning World War II for the allies, and the 1990s, where an eclectic group of businessmen, hackers, and thieves are using the same science to create an Internet data haven. That 's the very very simplified version of course even the simplest of Stephenson 's plots defies description.
The 1940s storyline mostly revolves around Bobby Shaftoe and Lawrence Waterhouse. Shaftoe is a badass marine who has developed a taste for writing haiku’s and eating sushi, perhaps inappropriate considering that he 's "killed more nips than seismic activity." Waterhouse is everything Shaftoe isn 't -- a cryptography savant, a true geek who learned mathematics by disassembling a church organ, and who thinks of his own sex life in terms of quadratic equations. The two of them are
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Stephenson 's prose is fast, intricate, and involving. His plots are unbelievably complex; a treasure hunt that could easily take up a book in itself is just one more strand in Stephenson 's web of looping, whirling, tangled storylines. He regularly spins off and spends way too much ink describing some weird piece of technology or culture. The half dozen pages on how to eat a bowl of Captain Crunch leaps to mind.
It 's possible that there are a few people out there who will read this book and not enjoy it. I 'll grant that it gets pretty technical at times.
Oh, and it 's loooong. Very long. And there 's at least one more book to follow. I get the impression that Stephenson would have written the book even longer if he could the ending seems tacked on, as if he had to cut it short to be marketable.
But the real reason I was disappointed in the ending was because it was the end. If he had written another thousand pages, I wouldn 't have been satisfied just farther behind on sleep. Neal Stephenson has produced a brilliant, involving, painstakingly researched and lovingly constructed novel that I 'll be re-reading
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