A bitingly sharp wit, irreverent self awareness, and a brilliantly tangled plot make Stephenson's book a delight. Although it's technically about cryptography during and after WWII, the book reads more like an action/mystery/adventure/historical thriller. Although Stephenson takes many seemingly irrelevant detours and doesn't seem like he's in any hurry to move the story along, he keeps the reader spellbound. Everything ends up coming together - so hang in there and you won't be disappointed. "Cryptonomicon" has earned a place among my absolute favorite books.