Cryptonomicon Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

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Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century. 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 submarine 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.



  • Neal Stephenson's narratives demand your undivided attention as you listen due to their information-rich content. As a result, I wouldn't categorize his novels as mere "Escape Fiction" or "Thrillers." "Cryptonomicon" specifically evoked a mix of emotions in me, occasionally disturbing and upsetting, while also eliciting laughter. Stephenson's graphic depictions of the horrifying atrocities of World War II left me disturbed. He also amusingly portrays the anguish, discomfort, distraction, and obsession that men experience due to sexual abstinence, which was unexpected and disconcerting. It made me sympathize with men to some extent, although I believe they would still choose horniness over childbirth if given the choice. This portrayal also sheds light on the Mars/Venus phenomenon. Like Stephenson's other novels, "Cryptonomicon" delves into technology, science, and math, requiring at least some intellectual inclination to fully appreciate the story. Those without a cerebral inclination may not enjoy it, as it places significant cognitive demands. Throughout the novel, Stephenson consistently refers to the Japanese as "Nipponese" and Japan as "Nippon," even when American soldiers in the story use these terms instead of "Japanese" or "Japs." While I expected an explanation for this nomenclature, it never materialized, and I doubt it accurately reflects how WWII soldiers actually spoke. It could be an attempt by Stephenson to showcase respect and political correctness, albeit at the expense of authenticity. William Dufris delivers an exceptional narration, as always. I particularly appreciated his skill in portraying the challenging German/Australian accent of one of the characters. However, I wish to address the audiobook production quality. The copy I downloaded had bookmarks every hour, evenly spaced, without aligning with chapter or even sentence breaks. I urge the service not to employ such a spacing strategy. Instead, bookmarks should be placed at intervals of 3 or 4 minutes, corresponding to logical breaking points. Thank you for allowing me to express my frustration on this matter.
  • I've gone through the book multiple times, eagerly anticipating the release of the unabridged audiobook. I'm roughly an hour in, and my only issue is with the narrator. If you've listened to Anathem, you'll recognize that it's the same person. He did a fantastic job with Anathem, but the voices he gives these characters are so similar to the ones in Anathem that sometimes I forget which book I'm actually listening to. While they worked well for Anathem, they come across as too comical for Cryptonomicon. Just be patient and let the story unfold; it's definitely worth your time!