I Finished Cryptonomicon

by Patrick on August 19, 2009

If you’re expecting a lot of analysis here, forget it.  It’d be like asking a man who’s just run a marathon to help you move.  I started reading it in late April.  In between beginning and ending the book, I finished at least five other books, probably more. Was it good?  Yes.  Was it, at times, irritating?  Yes.  My favorite character was Goto Dengo.  Dude was on a battleship that sank, floated to New Guinea where survived a run in with cannibals, and was generally the most badass character in a novel ever.  Not necessarily the best written or the one I most identified with, but like, if Huck Finn tried to kill him, Goto Dengo would survive.  He’d find a way.  I bet he could even finish Cryptonomicon.

Does any of this make any sense?  I don’t really care.  I’m just happy I don’t have to carry Crypotnomicon around with me anymore.  I may have more thoughts on this later.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy Krueger 08.23.09 at 10:22 pm

Hi Patrick,
I hope you have visited my blog and seen all the pretty book covers that you taught me how to download and post. Thanks again.

Really I am leaving this comment because I am a drooling Neal Stephenson fan. I even fought my way through the author lunch at BEA last year and was rude to his publicist, just so I could gush and all that. I found Cryptonomicon the most fun of maybe any book I’ve read. You are right; it is heavy to carry around and takes a LOOONG time to read, but who cares? I read Quicksilver, the first of his trilogy and it is also great but lately I can’t figure out how to find time to read the other two. Am I getting like those Twitter people? Even though I don’t Twitter?

Thanks for bringing back a fabulous reading memory.

Alessandro Cima 08.24.09 at 9:49 am

I had major trouble getting through Cryptonomicon also. It covered many months for me, with ten or tweleve other books completed during the same stretch. I find the book irritating as hell. Goto Dengo is the best character. The entire novel heats up in the last third as his situation becomes more dangerous.

But the book is so full of repetitious scenes and conversations that go nowhere. Everyone in the book tries to talk smart all the time. All the time. The characters all have smart man disease. Actually, I threw the novel in the trash at one point because it’s so poorly written. But then I felt bad, retrieved it and finished it. But Stephenson is a very bad writer. Just an abomination. He can hardly write a coherent scene.

I think he should write a book in which every single character is stupid and utters only the most banal of comments.

If you want an even worse book than this one, just try Anathem. Oh my goodness, that might be the single worst book I have read in twenty years.

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