Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
Cryptonomicon is quite simply the finest book written by Neal Stephenson to date. It combines absolutely stunning writing with incredibly engaging characters (both fictional and historically based).
Stephenson's true gift is his storytelling. The beauty of Cryptonomicon is that it anchors a 'too crazy to be believed' story in the bedrock of historical events that are too crazy to be made up.
In short, the book tells two parallel stories. One is the story of a group of code-making and code-breaking soldiers and scientists during World War II. The other story is about their descendants, a group of computer programmers who are looking to utilize codes and computer secrecy to make big money.
Both stories are amazing, and they intertwine to tell a bigger story about the history and development of computers, codes and information technology over the past 50 years.
The book can be a bit challenging at times. I believe it is perfect for any book club group with intellectual or historical interests.
Stephenson's prior books were works of science fiction, so if your club likes science fiction, you will almost certainly love Cryptonomicon.
Note from Megan, Editor of the Book Club Guide
Thanks for taking the time to post this excellent review, Dylan. You're right, this sounds like the perfect choice for a SciFi book club!
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