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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it in 3 days
I felt it started strongly with good character introductions and building people's backgrounds and reader affinity with them. There's plenty of action and some great events which are (to those who've already read Brown) now-familiar action capers with some fast changes and lots of near-misses. Plenty of fun there and it keeps you hooked.

The bit where it fell...
Published on 2 Jan 2007 by Jay

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, not great
'Digital Fortress' is Dan Brown's first book, and it happens to be the last one of his that I've read. It's clear to see that he got better the more he wrote, particularly with 'Angels and Demons' and the 'Da Vinci Code'. But that's not to say that Digital Fortress isn't enjoyable.
In this novel we follow Susan Fletcher, who is the NSA's leading cryptologist, and the...
Published on 24 Oct 2004 by S. Mazumder


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it in 3 days, 2 Jan 2007
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
I felt it started strongly with good character introductions and building people's backgrounds and reader affinity with them. There's plenty of action and some great events which are (to those who've already read Brown) now-familiar action capers with some fast changes and lots of near-misses. Plenty of fun there and it keeps you hooked.

The bit where it fell down for me was the ending, where I felt he had one eye on the action-adventure Hollywood adaption. It just seemed a bit too formulaic and there wasn't the depth. You could see what was coming - and the main bit of world-saving 'brilliance' of a genius codebreaker, well, I got it straight away, and the NSA don't want me!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, not great, 24 Oct 2004
By 
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
'Digital Fortress' is Dan Brown's first book, and it happens to be the last one of his that I've read. It's clear to see that he got better the more he wrote, particularly with 'Angels and Demons' and the 'Da Vinci Code'. But that's not to say that Digital Fortress isn't enjoyable.
In this novel we follow Susan Fletcher, who is the NSA's leading cryptologist, and the whole book takes place inside just one day. In it, Fletcher is taken through a whirlwind of conspiracies and secrets involving the US government's intelligence, in particular their ability to read anyone's email. The adventure is business and personal for Fletcher, as her fiancee is brought into the equation as well. This all makes for an entertaining read. So, certainly worth looking at, but by far Dan Brown's best.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read this after Da Vinci code -- big mistake, 8 April 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
When Dan Brown wrote the Da Vinci code he had had three previous books as 'practice'. This is his first book and it shows. The plot is reasonable, but nothing like as compelling or page turning as say Angels and Demons. The characters are skeletal versions of characters in subsequent books and I read through it with a nagging feeling that all the jargon and constant reminders of just how brilliant the main characters are was merely covering a lack of substance and real interesting ideas. There are the charactaristic Dan Brown twists but little else.
About twenty pages before the end I began to wonder "is this it or is he saving the best for the final few pages. It was, and he wasn't.
Disappointing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thought I'd re-read DaVinci by mistake, 25 Feb 2006
By 
D. J. Turner "t_p_o" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
After reading DaVinci Code and accepting it for what it is (a story, not a 100% factually correct account) I ordered Digital Fortress.
A collegue at work warned me that reading these books "the wrong way round" would be dissapointing, and he was unfortunately correct.
Both have an American academic jaunting across Europe like a CIA field agent, in search of something they do not fully comprehend while some sinister world organisation (in one, the NSA, in the other the Church) pull the puppet's strings. And both have a physically impaired assassin out to hamper the whole thing.
The characterisation is shallow, such as the depiction of the NSA workers by phrases like "...he knew she was right; Ms X's instincts were infamous for always being right..." which doesn't create any reader empathy - in fact it makes you wonder how they didn't avoid the whole crisis in the first place it they were all so perfect!
I think Dan Brown has a random plot generator:
<insert main charachter's name> is an academic with language skills, sent to <insert European city> by <insert world organisation> to look for <insert mythological artifact or technological breakthrough>. However, <insert name of main character's oldest trusted friend> has other ideas and has sent <insert assasin with single physical perculiarity> to muck it all up. In the end though, the assasin is despatched and the hero returns home while his friend is exposed and probably killed.
No wonder DVC was a best seller, he'd had a few practice attempts beforehand...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book by a still raw-writing author, 21 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Digital Fortress (Hardcover)
During the reading of this book, I just couldn't stop wondering if these jerks were actually the real people who actually run the NSA. If the answer was yes, then our USofA would definitely in big trouble. The author had inevitablely gave me an impression that the whole NSA scenes inside out were just so obviously fake, since he could only imagine the tight security for entry, but once got in, he just could not provide us with more realistic pictures, so he just failed to visualize correctly and to deliver. So, what we got here from him were couple of very unprofessional, sexual harassing jerk like Hale, an egghead nerd, a very unconvincing IQ170 woman, her multi-lingualled sweetheart, an old, stress sticken No.2 guy, a steel-rimmed killer, plus several security guards outside the NSA building. Putting a Japanese American as some kind traitor, doing some personal vandetta to NSA and its personnel is still a legacy of the pathetic American syndrome orginated and still die-hard from WWII--the Asian Americans simply would not be accepted completely as other racial Americans, so, guilty until proven innocent; put them in concentration camp before they become the snitches, informers, or traitors--the (Japanese)American, even he had passed the security check to be qualified as an NSA employee, but he's doomed to be unstable, untrustworthy and would inevitablely became a traitor and sold his 'Digital Fortress' to his Japanese folks in Japan. This is a disgusting logic that made me appreciate more to the "Mercury Rising" movie. At least there were only real Americans being betrayed and killed, and all the Japanese people in that movie were just purely innocent, big dollar-spending tourists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best introduction to Dan Brown..., 23 Jan 2008
By 
Ms. M. Bulger "lycanthropeboy" (Didcot, Oxfordshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
This is the first Dan Brown book I've read, having been gifted with 'Digital Fortress', 'Angels and Demons', 'Deception Point' and 'The Da Vinci Code' and to be honest, I'm a little hesitant to read the other 3 now, even after being told that the others, especially 'Angels and Demons' are really worth looking at.

The characters are VERY one-dimensional and you find yourself not caring what happens to them. The 'twists and turns' in the plot are badly conceived and blazingly obvious. Books like this tend to need a re-read to understand thoroughly but you can guess narrative sections easily and it makes the book lack any sparkle.

There are no descriptive sections, making references to environments hazy at best and still not open enough to let your imagination play.

If you're looking for a mind-killer for a quiet afternoon (and that's all it'll take you to read it) then 'Digital Fortress' is for you. If you're looking for some technical explanations and have a thing for computer-nerdery but don't fully understand it, this is for you. If you want an in-depth, thrilling ride, look elsewhere.

It's almost like Chris Ryan got his hands on wikipedia.

On the plus side, the cover-art and layout of the book look quite nice, and the short snappy childish chapters make it easy to find your place again if you need a cup of tea mid-read.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Debut, 9 Aug 2004
By 
Scottish Dave (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
I bought this, Dan Brown's first novel, on the strength of reading The Da Vinci Code. It's not as strong or as indepth as The Da Vinci Code but nevertheless I found it an excellent read.
It centres around code breaking and computing - there is no art history or religion in sight this time. Originally published in 1998 the computing and technology side of the book will no doubt date with time but six years on it is not too dated although I am sure experts will no doubt pick holes in some of it.
The book centres around a couple searching for a key for a newly developed code. The woman, and main character, is in her place of work, a highly secure NSA building dedicated to code breaking. Her partner is in Europe tracking down a second copy of the key which is held inside a ring.
The book is fast paced and I read it within 24 hours. I found it thoroughly ejoyable and although some of the story was a bit predictable there were enough twists to it to make it page turner.
It's not as good as The Da Vinci code but it brought to me a similar excitement when reading it. A great debut 9/10.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick entertaining read, 19 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Hardcover)
A reasonably entertaining page-turner. Perfect for when you want an easy read without a complicated plot e.g. on a long flight - as long as you can forgive the use of a perfect leading couple, a few super-coincidences and glaring plot holes (the car chase down airport runway - oh, please)
The ending really disappointed as I guessed the password as soon as the clue was revealed. Surely anyone with the most basic physics education would also - and yet here we have a roomful of super-intelligent NSA-types who resort to using Google. Yeah right.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoying enough read, but leaves a lot to be desired, 3 Nov 2005
By 
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
While I have generally enjoyed all of Dan Brown's stories, I found Digital Fortress somewhat unbelievable and far-fetched. For a work of fiction, an adventure and thriller, it meets the requirements, so long as you don't delve too deeply into the facts or science. The abilities of the characters also don't quite meet the mark - somewhat unbelievable and not in the realm of reality. While looking for something new to put a better taste in my mouth, I discovered a new thriller recently whose characters (unique) and strong science and facts, provided me with more thought-provoking ideas - Fusion, by Bruce Huntly. Huntly's techno-thriller has ideas and characters you can enjoy and take seriously, and he provides a possible solution to some of today's energy problems. I would recommend Fusion as a serious addition for readers of Dan Brown, Michael Crichton (State of Fear) or even Ian Caldwell (Rule of Four) and John Grisham (The Broker). Don't get me wrong, Digital Fortress, keeps your attention and is an entertaining enought book but it fell short on some of my expectations. Also recommended: Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code, Deception Point; Bruce Huntly: Fusion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining for a junk read., 9 Aug 2004
By 
Ozgur Altan (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
Well nobody should expect a paperback novel to get the Nobel, or have the plot or character variety of a literary classic.
This is a book you can enjoy a lot while travelling on the train or sunbathing at the park which is not very much demanding and easily enjoyable.
Moreover there is a political discussion embedded within a very basic dilemma as stated "who will guard the guards?" a very relevant question to ask and to be answered for our times.
Thanks Mr Brown for the pleasure.
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Digital Fortress
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown (Paperback - 28 Aug 2009)
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