Neal Stephenson is smarter than I am. By a long shot. I really deserve a medal for finishing this book. Not because the book was bad; not at all. But because it was so math and computer science heavy that I was really lost at times. I still enjoyed the book, though, and gave it 4 stars.
For the 2017 book challenge, I had to read an espionage thriller. And Goodreads told me this book was along those lines. And it was, but not wholly. But let me tell ya, I’m counting it! Part of the plot dealt with WWII and the Enigma code, which obviously works. The story was told from a variety of perspectives and time periods. During WWII, we have Laurence Waterhouse, who is a codebreaker, Bobby Shaftoe, who is a Marine, and Goto Dengo, who is a Japanese military man. In present day (book was published in 2002, so present day enough) we have Randy Waterhouse, Laurence’s grandson, and Amy Shaftoe, (I’m going to leave her lineage a mystery because it isn’t fully revealed at first, but yes, the last name is important) in the Philippines trying to set up some Internet whatnots.
I don’t do math. I have to count on my fingers. So, the math in this book is way WAY more than I can even comprehend. But that’s okay. The story is interesting enough to keep my attention, but I imagine a math/computer person would be in heaven with this book. There was a lot of logic puzzle solving as well. At 900+ pages, I feel like it could have been condensed without missing a lot, but overall I still enjoyed the book.