Monday, 8 June 2009

Book Review – Dan Brown, Digital Fortress

Ever wondered why you read a book? Digital Fortress was exactly one of those for me, the plot was pretty predictable a lot of the technical mumbo jumbo simply laughable for anyone with even a modicum of computer knowledge and an underlying theory running through it which again was laughable – i.e. that the US government had built a computer so supremely powerful it was lightyears ahead of anything else out there… oh and nobody knew. Yeah right! And they used this supercomputer to break into every encrypted message sent on the internet every day in a matter of minutes, I’ll not go into this but 64bit encryption is a bugger to break and 128 needs years of processing to get close, there was some reference to quantum computing but then Dan goes on about the silicon chips in this computer… er that don’t add up binary vs quantum… is a quantum leap (pun intended). Still I battled on in a desperate hope it’d get better and that there might be a stunning un-foreseen twist at the end… there wasn’t. I was virtually screaming the answer to the conundrum left by the dead genius at the book myself as it was so patently bleeding obvious but the collective brains of the USA secret service had to waste a chapter or two on it to build the suspense. So a laughable thriller that really has little thrill in it as you can pretty much predict the outcome at the start and definitely every next step along the way. Not recommended.

The one saving grace – I got the book second hand so I only wasted a small amount of money. I should have know – I read the DeVinci code when my Mum passed it on to me after all the hype, a reasonable book if most of the hype around it referred to Brown’s statement that it was “all true” or something like that which was somewhat a load of nonsense. I then read the prequel Angels and Demons which was again a preposterous romp but I thought actually better than his huge seller – I’ve not seen the film yet but may soon go. Then Deception Point – now actually that wasn’t bad at all in many ways, probably his best. Still totally unbelievable but not bad. Digital Fortress in summary, if you get it given to you or buy it to support a charity good for you and read it with a comic smile but frankly don’t bother otherwise, I believe a new Dan Brown blockbuster is soon to be released, let’s just say I think I’ll wait until the paperback is in the bargain bin before I go there.


  1. I've not gotten around to the Dan Brown stuff. It must be the Tom Hanks connection...

  2. I can't remember if I read digital Fortress. I read the one about ice and ... something. memorable.

    But I did enjoy Da Vinci. A page turner and easy read.

  3. the ice one is deception point

  4. ah well, you gave it a go... have to say i'm not crazy about Mr Brown and his very average writings.

    Did you see Stewart Lee slag him off on his programme a few months back??!

    Lee pulled out this genius ACTUAL QUOTE from a DB novel (Da Vinci Code?) ‘The famous man looked at the red cup’ !!