mrtns blog


a real human being writing about infosec, coding and other stuff. maybe.

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Neil Stephenson - Cryptonomicon

31 Jul 2020 - mrtn

It’s been quite a while for a post around a book i’ve read - which has nothing to do with a shortage of books. I’ve recently finished Can’t hurt me by David Goggins as well as 10x DNA by Frank Thelen and re-read several Books from Daniel Suarez. Can’t hurt me had a very intense impact on me and will be honored with a bigger post in the future (soon(tm)).

Cryptonomicon might be one of the books that y’all read several years ago - or at least are aware it exists. A friend told me it is

basically recommended reading for everyone in infosec

and that peaked my curiousity. As I had a spare audible-credit lying around, i’ve bought the book and dove right into it. After several hours in, I still had no idea what the fvck was going on - and i’ve let it sit in my library for a while. This had nothing to do with the writing or the characters. These aspects of the book were great. Relatable, nerdy characters combined in interesting or funny or thrilling scenes that are jumping between two times and over the while globe. It was just the amount of seemingly not connected plots and actions that threw me off and finally killed my interest.

Luckily I’ve read on twitter, that someone else went through the same struggle in the beginning - and told me to push trhough. And it was true. I broke through the book (although it was basically in the middle of the book) and enjoyed it from that point onward. It’s hard to tell what it finally was, but it felt like something clicked into place and I went with it.

My biggest critique probably is, that it took Stephenson so long to capture my interest - I mean, come on - cryptography, an action-packed World War 2 storyline and nerdy, weird and funny characters… Whelp, I’m glad it clicked finally and I might actually look forward for the moment, someone decides to make a movie based on cryptonomicon. Just pray it’s not Uwe Boll.