Although not as hilarious as Snow Crash or as speculative as The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon is a good book. It has two story-lines, both of which are part action and part political intrigue, with a little romance thrown in; one involves WW2 code breakers and the other is about modern-day hackers who are trying to set up a data haven on a Pacific island. Cryptography plays an important role in the story, but no technical knowledge is assumed. Although it moved slowly in places and could certainly have benefited from tighter editing, I enjoyed Cryptonomicon a lot -- it's funny, thought provoking, well plotted, and fairly politically incorrect.
copyright © 1999 John Regehr