My first introduction to Neil Stephenson was In the Beginning was the Command Line, which I strongly recommend to anyone with an interest in computers. It's a relatively short read, and is very interesting in a lot of ways. Crytonomicon on the other hand is a looooong book. Coming in at almost 1200 pages in paperback, it takes a while to get through. There are 3 major plotlines, stretching across 50 years. These story lines interweave in ways that keep you guessing at what will come next, and frequently guessing wrong. This book is a great mix of action, cryptography, business, and technology. With as much focus as it has on mathematics and cryptography, it doesn't focus on them to a point that it goes above the head of someone looking just for a good story. And yet, if you have a facination with those things, there's enough depth to keep you interested. This book will definately make it into the category of books I read over again every few years.
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