Customer Reviews


474 Reviews
5 star:
 (159)
4 star:
 (89)
3 star:
 (66)
2 star:
 (64)
1 star:
 (96)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars To call this 'tripe' would insult all sheep stomach linings everywhere
Of course, very few people would have bought this book but for the extraordinary commercial success of the same author's The Da Vinci Code, and I must be named among that larger herd. Digital Fortress was written, I believe, in or around 1998 when relatively little was known, among the masses, of Dan Brown or such computer terminology as viruses or worms, but today just...
Published on 30 May 2006 by OEJ


‹ Previous | 1 248 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars To call this 'tripe' would insult all sheep stomach linings everywhere, 30 May 2006
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
Of course, very few people would have bought this book but for the extraordinary commercial success of the same author's The Da Vinci Code, and I must be named among that larger herd. Digital Fortress was written, I believe, in or around 1998 when relatively little was known, among the masses, of Dan Brown or such computer terminology as viruses or worms, but today just eight years later the subject matter of this book is far from science fiction - indeed it seems almost quaint at times. The essence of this tale is that an underground super-computer run by the NSA (in the USA) is under threat by a code that, if not beaten, will render all of the most confidential information about military operations and deployments, criminals in witness protection programmes, top-secret political and financial data - and much more - accessible to anyone with a PC and a modem. This is supposedly a bad thing, and that all of America's secrets being known would effectively mean the end of the world. Yeah, right.

If this machine really exists, then I suppose it means that it can read this email I'm sending to Amazon before Amazon do. Oh my God, even as I write that sentence, a van has parked across the street with two men in the front wearing sunglasses.....oh oh, one of them's pointing a pair of binoculars right at me, the other's talking into a microphone running down from an earpiece, possibly alerting the SWAT team hovering above my house in black helicopters.....

To describe Digital Fortress as a thriller would be akin to calling a toilet roll a potential Pulitzer Prize winner. This had me laughing out loud throughout, it was so embarrassingly and pathetically awful, in fact it would not surprise me if Dan Brown (now that he's rich) tries to disown it, claiming that Brown's a common name, there must be lots of other Dan Browns out there. For example, very early on we are told that one of the key characters, the creator of the evil worm in fact, is one Japanese man named TANKADO who claims to have a 'partner' on the inside at the NSA whose nickname is NDAKOTA. Now, you don't have to be a crossword buff to be able to instantly see the anagram between the two names, yet, impossibly, it is on page 363 before this bombshell of a secret is worked out by the super-brainy top-knobs who operate the giant computer. They all slap their foreheads and shout out "Of course! Why didn't we realise it before!!"

Meanwhile, there just had to be a Robert Langdon look-alike in this tale, didn't there. He's called David Becker, an elbow-patched professor at Georgetown University and a celebrity in the world of academia. Sound familiar? Oh and apart from being a lecturer on etymology and linguistics, he just happens to be a handsome and thoroughly decent chap in his mid-thirties. Never hurt a fly, yet within the 24-hour time period that this story covers, he manages to carry out covert agency work for a US secret service, get chased by a contract hit-man, visit a punk bash, negotiate with a whore and - what was that other thing he did? - oh yes, he killed someone. And someone else gets killed seconds after buying his khaki jacket. To top that, he works out how the mega-code works, something none of the code-breaking geniuses back at the NSA had previously been able to do. What a man! What a hero!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad a recent reviews would lead you to believe, 28 Nov 2004
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
Most people will be reading this book because they read The Da Vinci code, liked it, and thought they would try the other Dan Brown novels - that's what I did. Of all 4 books he's written I have to admit that this is not as good as the other 3 (my favorite being Deception Point), however that doesn't make it a bad book. I think it suffers because the Da Vinci Code has been so successful that everyone expects this to be on the same level. It's still good though and despite what a number of other reviewers have said, I'm glad I read it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An interesting disappointment, 25 Mar 2006
By 
A. Parry "arwel parry" (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
Having read the Da Vinci Code I decided to see what some of Dan Brown's earlier work was like. Oh dear. At least this is encouragement to new authors that you can write a poor first book and still make a fortune!
Characterisation is very two-dimensional, and Brown makes Spain look a very backward 3rd world type of place, which might have been true in the 1970s but certainly wasn't in the late 1990s - did no-one tell him that Seville was thoroughly spruced-up for Expo 1992? The final denouement was quite literally incredible - unbelieveable - I simply cannot credit that a roomful of the NSA's brightest, from the Director down, couldn't work out what the passphrase was once the clue was revealed -- even a relative ignoramus like myself knew instantly what the passphrase was, yet these characters took another fifteen minutes to figure it out!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but flawed thriller, 20 Dec 2005
By 
Sarah J. Marquis "SassyJ" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
Another pulp fiction thriller that gallops along at a good pace. It's somewhat far fetched and you find yourself a bit lost in who the crooks are, but it's still quite enjoyable for all that. This is better than the Da Vinci Code, possibly because it hasn't spawned a spin off industry (now there's a relief). It's definitely another commuter read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Dan Brown's best, 4 Dec 2004
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
Of Dan Brown's four books this is the one I liked least. If it had been the first one I had read I doubt I would have read any more which would have been a pity. Although I liked the ending I found the plot in Spain becoming more and more implausible and the plot in the USA being computer related needed a list of technical terms for the non-mathematical e.g. algorithm.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to the standard of the DaVinci Code, 2 Nov 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Digital Fortress (Paperback)
If you've read the DaVinci code, don't expect this one to live up to the same standard. The plot is pretty silly and although its worth a read (with the usual amount of action and plot twists), you'd be better served with either the DaVinci code or Angels and Demons.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 248 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Digital Fortress
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown (Paperback - 28 Aug 2009)
5.00
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews