When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage--not by guns or bombs -- but by a code so complex that if ...
When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage--not by guns or bombs -- but by a code so complex that if released would cripple U.S. intelligence. Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves.
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Digital Fortress by Dan Brown is a thriller revolving around secrets of the NSA (National Security Association). One of these secrets that Brown lets us in on, is the existence of "TRANSLTR" a code breaking machine that can comb through encrypted emails at record breaking speed. Susan Fletcher, a bright, beautiful young woman works as the head cryptographer, and is disturbed when she receives notice that TRANSLTR has encountered a mysterious code that it can't break. She soon uncovers that the NSA is being targeted by a familiar face, that hopes to destroy national security as we know it. Her fiancé David Beck is contacted to work undercover for the NSA, because of his proficiency in several languages, and tough minded ness. However plans go a wry and in the face of danger Susan finds herself fighting for her job, national safety, and even the man she loves.
Upon some research after reading this book, I have come to the conclusion that no true cryptographers, or even mathematicians were appointed to read the manuscript. Digital Fortress contains many factual errors (SPOILER ALERT FROM HERE ON) about 64 bit codes, mutation strings, rotating clear text and other important details from the plot. For example, 64 bit codes can be written with as few as 16 characters, however in the story it is stated as fact that they require at least 64 characters.
Aside from these flaws, the book it's self is entertaining and a fun read. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes, however disappointing the final one may be. Some dialogue seems stale or unrealistic to the characters, but where characters lack in characterization, they make up in creative circumstance.
I would recommend this book to any deep thinkers ages 13-17, but definitely not to those who truly love mathematics and cryptology. I was able to read the book and enjoy it because of my ignorance to these subjects, so if that's you, I highly recommend! But if it's not, you may find yourself distracted and annoyed by the over all incorrectness of the book; unable to enjoy the story itself.
One last point, David Beck... Dan Brown..
Food for thought.
Oct 10, 2013
This was one of Dan Brown first novels which was every bit exciting as DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons
Aug 25, 2009
I wouldn't normally pick up a title like this -- but because it was a Dan Brown book - I did. He is an excellent writer - this book is no exception. It's definitely not on the same lines as DaVinici Code or Angels & Demons, but it's still a good book that keeps you turning the pages.
Apr 16, 2009
Dan Browns books are quite formulaic but nontheless enjoyable
Nov 12, 2007
Consider this Shark Bait
Brown wrote two doppelgangers that twin the structure and style of this book: Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. And those two were better by far. Once again, Brown writes about a woman who is both a genius and graced with a supermodel?s body. Her other half is a very attractive, intelligent professor (they?re always professors). The language is a thin butter of overused clichés scraped over too many details of what the characters look like and how they function on a daily basis. The reader isn?t allowed to use their imaginations because Brown is too busy nailing down every person, place and thing with exact and dreary verbiage. I'm not a Brown-basher. I enjoyed "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons" for their entertainment value. But, perhaps I can only stomach two Brown books before the novelty wears off, and this was the third that pushed me to the brink. Had I read Da Vinci Code third, I may be complaining about it instead. But I?m not.
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