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Digital Fortress
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on 12 April 2014
A book about computers by an author who appears to know very little about computers. If you know very little about computers you may enjoy it, but if not it may grate a fair bit.
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on 22 June 1998
I picked up Digital Fortress on a bookstore recommendation and although I often don't finish novels I start, this one definitely held me. The technical stuff was easy to understand and quite cool (I had no idea about the NSA or code-breaking before reading this.)Although the chase scenes seemed a little drawn out, I found I just kept flipping pages. The twist is surprising too. Strongly recommended for anyone who likes fast-moving thrillers.
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on 21 November 1997
Do yourself a favor - get this book and find a nice Saturday afternoon to read it. What's great about it is that it not only is a great story, it's so relevant to everything that's going on in the world today. I actually came away feeling like I learned a lot about the government and the way it's dealing with the internet and the kinds of people involved. My favorite book in a while.
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VINE VOICEon 8 November 2008
Digital Fortress is just what you'd expect from Dan Brown, with one difference.

He continues to follow the join-the-dots RL Stine / Goosebumps school of writing, with short punchy paragraphs in short punchy chapters, each ending in a minor cliffhanger.

However, where he did teeny bit of research for the Da Vinci Code, he seems to have done almost none for this book. His version of Seville, for example, is a mixture of 19th century Mexico and a TV movie about the seventies. It certainly isn't the Seville I've been visiting for thirty years.

Still, bad research and bad writing haven't stopped people buying his books so far...
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on 30 March 2012
Mr Brown apparently took advice on the technical content of this book from staff at the NSA - the American National Security Agency.

This agency is, without any doubt, home to a considerable (nay enormous) number of the world's greatest cryptographers and mathematicians. To put this into perspective, when considering development of cryptosystems there are only two good ways to do this: in public (that is, under the eyes of the entire world's community of cryptographers) or within the NSA.

The NSA, as with any other similar organisation, necessarily also employs cleaners, receptionists, security guards and so on. It is pretty obvious (to anyone who knows anything about the subject matter) that it is from one of these groups of staff, rather than from anyone who actually knew anything at all about computer security or cryptography or mathematics, that this advice came. It is a shame that this is not made clear since the implied slur upon the competence of the NSA Cryptographers and Mathematicians is really not at all fair.

This book does serve two useful purposes; firstly, it is a great way to test staff claiming to understand security and/or cryptography: sit them down to read the book, and if they finish it without hurling it physically across the room in anger then they clearly do NOT understand these areas. Secondly, it burns extremely well in a wood-burning stove, presumably in the process releasing the considerable quantity of hot air that is contained within it.

If you see this book for sale in a second hand shop (indeed, this really applies to any of Mr Brown's works) then it is worth spending the very very few pence that it will take to purchase it. You will find a handy bin outside in the street, and you will have saved one more person from being misled or angered by this dreadful, dreadful travesty of a book. You will have done society a Good Deed.
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on 14 August 2013
Having enjoyed Dan Browns better known books I was dissapointed that this book was weekened by an attempt to introduce a romantic element to the story, an attempt which only served to weaken the plot development.
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on 4 November 2004
It's almost unbelievable that this was written by the author of the Da Vinci code. It is simply terrible. The writing is awful, the characters are paper thin, the dialog is laughable, and Brown's grasp of computers is so poor that it is incredible that he decided to write a book about them. He clearly doesn't know what he is talking about most of the time, the plot has serious flaws, and he is generally out of his depth. The final "puzzle" is so laughably obvious that you can work it out in about 2 seconds flat - yet the combined intellect of America's finest brains take about 20 pages to solve it in the book. This is drivel that should be avoided at all costs.
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on 20 June 2009
This is the first book i have read by Dan Brown, I have read it due to what ive seen as universal appeal, but its taken me a while to get round to it because I didnt read it as a sheep. I had no expectations, and was pleasantly surprised.

The story is clever, it dropped enough hints to make you anticipate the next act, sometimes the guess was right, sometimes off the mark.

The level to which you disappear between the pages and absorb yourself into the story such that you can not put it down is incredible.

Im not saying this is literary genius in the quality of the story, the depth of the literature or any such brilliance. But a more important sort of genius, one that means you can read and understand without trialling your brain too much, and one that sucks you in.

So its a great book, it would be brilliant on holidays or on late evenings when you dont want to think. Buy it.
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on 15 April 1998
Man, this book had me laying awake at nights wondering what was gonna happen to Susan next, and counting the seconds until I could grab the book off my dresser and open it back up. It was good, and I had trouble determining that this was Brown's first novel. While it is true that his main characters seem a bit perfect, I'd like to see him write another story with them in it.
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on 14 January 2005
This is the first Dan Brown book that I've encountered and it was certainly an entertaining read. Each chapter leaves you on a cliff hanger. This, combined with the fast pace, made it a tough to put down.
Recommended.
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