Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Cryptonomicon is a brilliant book (yes, I know, it has been around for a long while… I’m very behind in reading through my backlog of books).

I admit I have never read anything else that Neal Stephenson has written (but I certainly will now) I mostly read short stories and trade books right now, so when a novel so thoroughly tosses me into another world, I very much appreciate it. These are the best kinds of experiences, where you become so wrapped up in the lives of these characters who are living in the same world as you and how their experiences both reflect your own and show you aspects of your own existence that you have not really considered. I had no idea the magnitude of work involved in assembling the cables that connect us all now, in a way that most of us would say is a necessity to our lives.

The novel flows through time, from World War 2 to ‘present day’. The World War 2 scenes, and the characters, were fantastic, really diving into the experience but not getting caught up in the whole bloods and glory things, instead focusing on the characters, their lives, and the Big Picture — that being how the technology evolving during that period would continue to evolve into what has been the very underpinnings of our society. This is a novel about crypto, war, money, and people. And I just loved it, and I loved the writing style, Mr. Stephenson really brings you into the rich (and bizarre) mental life of the characters.

Very much recommended.