So, unlike Alcatraz, the Cryptonomicon takes more than 6 hours to read. It's like 1000 pages or some crap.

Everybody really seems to like this book. I'm not sure I agree. I mean, it's got plenty of interesting bits. They cryptography bits were fun, but half the time it seemed like Stephenson was just using the plot as an excuse to explain the crypto. The thing is, you don't need 1000 pages to excuse about 15 pages of technical junk.

But it's good that there's some technical junk in there. The plot alone didn't really have enough going for it to sustain the thousand pages. Maybe that's because I only found one or two of the characters compelling. Or because he started about 50 plot threads and only finished about 3.

I really started to lose interest about the 6 or 7 hundred page mark, when it was as if Stephenson realized that had a book to write and he should really start thinking about that. It felt rushed. The conclusion was not satisfying.

Ok, that sounded like a rant. I didn't really mean for it to. I did enjoy it enough to read the whole thing. So, um, yeah...


jrhyley said...

That's my main problem with Stephenson, too. The first 3/4 or so of his books just meander along, and then he realizes there needs to be an ending. I catch myself re-reading his books more often than other, more plot-driven authors though. I suppose it doesn't really so much matter if you know how it ends if you don't remember everything that happens on the other 999 pages.

If his books were ever adapted for the screen, it'd have to be as a TV series, not a movie.

leff said...

I'm glad it's not just me. It was a pretty fun ride.

Though it wouldn't hurt my feelings if he planned out the end before he started writing. I get the feeling it's a very seat-of-the-pants process for him.