WOW!!!!! I have had friends recommend this book for a while, I have seen the book in the stores, however I never got around to picking it up and reading it. Finally, in one of my frequent book buying frenzies, I bought Cryptonomicon, and now I am kicking
myself for waiting so long to read such a fantastic book. Neal Stephenson takes the relatively esoteric ideas of cryptanalysis and higher level mathematics and distils them into a novel of pure entertainment for both the tech geek and the individual looking for some good fictional escapism.
Cryptonomicon follows the lives of two men, two generations apart. Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse is an introverted math genius who starts working for the code breaking section of the allies during World War II. During his tenure he meets some incredible characters and has some fascinating adventures, all in the setting of 1942 - 1945 England and the South Pacific. Two generation later, Randy Waterhouse is a technical guru who is working with several hacker friends to build an incredible data storage facility called The Vault. Randy is the grandchild of Lawrence, and tends to meet many individuals whom his grandfather knew or had interactions with.
This book is almost 1,000 pages in length, but don't let the size intimidate you. This is one of the only books I have ever read that left me wanting more. When I reached the end cover, instead of feeling joy at finishing such a large book, I just wanted to know what happened to the characters whom I had started to understand and look forward to reading about. Neal Stephenson has done a fantastic job of creating believable characters that follow logical plot points.
In case you haven't picked up on it yet, BUY THIS BOOK, it's a fantastic read by a great author!