Re: Turn of the Century / Cryptonomicon

Mike Masnick (
Wed, 07 Jul 1999 10:02:31 -0700

At 09:35 AM 7/7/99 -0700, Chris Olds wrote:

>Having just left Seattle for San Francisco (again), I couldn't be happier
>about these inequalities. The only things I don't like about SF is that it
>doesn't rain half enough, and it's full of Californians.

Yes, but fewer and fewer native Californians. This is a good thing, for
the most part. The thing I don't like about SF/Bay Area is the fact that
no one knows how to drive. If the speed limit is 65 you should *NOT* be
going 50 in the left lane. Can anyone explain this? It happens all the

>> ... on a related note, who's reading Cryptonomicon?
>I liked it too, but I'm glad Neal's planning on writing more books in the
>series. At 900+ pages, you'd think he could devote more to the wrapping-up
>than he does (although he has gotten a little better, he still has a long
>way to go).

I thought it was great. First time in a long time I really didn't want the
book to end because I wasn't sure what I would do then. Since I finished
it I've started about 6 or 7 other books only to stop after a chapter or so
because it just wasn't the same. I've been ruined... But I do agree on
the one point: the ending was disappointing at best. The other problem was
that throughout the book there were plot issues. What's funny is that
while reading the book I kept thinking, wow, this is the longest time I've
seen a book spend on character development. Where does the actual plot
start? I began to realize that the plot begins to sneak in a little around
page 300 and grows gradually until it gets frantic with about 30 pages
left. Everything else is character development. Different way to write a
book, I guess.

>> I'm having a blast reading it (I'm about 2/3 done).
>> There is so much to love about the book, including the
>> Pychonesque/D.F.Wallacesque absurd hyperbolic
>> descriptions where you start off having NO idea
>> what the hell Stephenson is talking about; or, where
>> it all looks okay for a while and then you catch on
>> slowly that you're being snowed.
>The one that amazed me was the three pages of pornographic description of
>Avi eating Cap'n Crunch.

There are a few others that had me laughing out loud... but I don't want to
ruin the surprise.