Neal Stephenson (Author)


With this extraordinary first volume in an epoch-making masterpiece, 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 Waterhouse and Detachment 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 granddaughter, 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; the product of a truly iconoclastic imagination working with white-hot intensity.

Product Details

$19.99  $18.39
William Morrow & Company
Publish Date
May 03, 2000
5.36 X 1.61 X 8.08 inches | 1.65 pounds

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About the Author

Neal Stephenson is the bestselling author of the novels Reamde, Anathem, The System of the World, The Confusion, Quicksilver, Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac, and the groundbreaking nonfiction work In the Beginning . . . Was the Command Line. He lives in Seattle, Washington.


"Electifying...hilarious...a picaresque novel about code making and code breaking, set both during World War II and during the present day."--"New York Times Book Review"Suspenseful...moves along as such a fantastic clip."--"Wall Street Journal"Rambling and revelatory...[Stephenson is] the hacker Hemingway."--"Newsweek"An engrossing look at the way the flow of information shapes history."--"Entertainment Weekly(A)"Fascinating...hysterical."--"USA Today"Big, complex, and ambitious...Promises to be one of the most extravagant literary creations of the turn of the millennium--and beyond."--"Publishers Weekly (starred review)"A hell of a read."--"Wired"Stephenson's new book proves that he is the rarest of geniuses."--"New York Post"A powerfully imagined story revolving around a vast conspiracy affecting history and different generations in one family who attempt to unravel its secrets."--"Seattle Post Intelligencer"There is a scope here, a wildness, that you rarely find in fiction today. Buckle up."--"Minneapolis Star Tribune