Cryptonomicon in January: Week 3

At this point, the “in January” and “week 3” are just a joke. But I really like this book and want to finish it and I’m honor-bound to write chapter summaries because I can’t find good ones online. Here’s week 1 and week 2.

  • OutpostGoto Dengo makes it back to “civilization” but is reminded that war is hell. He gets on a submarine.
  • Meteor: We catch up with the erstwhile crew of U-691 in Sweden, on the Gulf of Bothnia. While laid up with a new paramour, JulietaBobby Shaftoe is reminded of Glory back in Manila. A jet crashes.
  • Lavender Rose: Stuff is being brought up from the German U-Boat that America Shaftoe discovered in part thanks to Randy WaterhouseRandy gets an email from root presenting a new encryption scheme. Something comes up from the U-Boat the says WATERHOUSE LAVENDER ROSE.
  • BrisbaneLawrence Waterhouse tries to figure out what to do in Brisbane as his official orders have been essentially canceled.
  • DönitzBobby and Günter Bischoff talk. Bischoff will be rejoining the German navy. They decide to investigate the jet crash and discover Enoch Root and Rudy von Hacklheber.
  • CrunchRandy eats some Captain Crunch, checks his email, then goes to a dance with America among others. He receives some mysterious coordinates.
  • GirlLawrence find a job breaking smaller Japanese codes, he finds a room in a boarding house and then meets and falls for a girl named Mary.
  • ConspiracyRudy tells how he ended up in Sweden (he investigated what Lawrence and Bobby were doing with unit 2702) and Bobby hallucinates a bit. The Societas Eruditorum comes up, and they plan to meet in Manila.
  • HoardRandy flies to the USA to take care of some personal business and writes a long AF email detailing his trip to the mysterious coordinates, where he found literally tons of gold stacked neatly in the jungle.
  • Rocket: A new u-boat (matching the description of the one that Randy and America have found in Manila) arrives to pick up Bischoff, who gives intelligence on this u-boat to Bobby as he leaves. Turns out Bobby and Enoch have both been with Julieta (in THAT way) and they decide she needs an American or British passport. Germans come and Bobby kills most of them but they fatally wound Enoch, who is hurriedly married to JulietaEnoch then dies…or does he? Bobby leaves.
  • CourtingLawrence‘s libido and its effect on his work is detailed, with math. He has to adjust his routine due to his feelings for Mary. He goes to a dance where he discovers she is Qwghlmian, but from Inner Qwghlm.
  • INRIGoto Dengo is convalescing in a Catholic hospital in the Philippines, recovering from PTSD and injuries. He is cured but convinced they tried to convert him to Catholicism. He makes his way to his new post. The Societas Eruditorum is seen again.
  • CaliforniaRandy and Avi Halaby discuss creating a cryptocurrency after Avi picks Randy up at the San Francisco airport.
  • OrganLawrence goes to church with Mary and her brother (his roommate). He obsesses over the pipe organ there and (in my favorite sequence so far–I listened to a recording of the piece as I read this part) triumphantly plays Toccata and Fugue in D Minor while simultaneously working out plans for a digital computer.
  • Home: There’s an earthquake. Randy‘s house is destroyed. America is there somehow, with two of her cousins from the Tennessee Shaftoes. Theme of the chapter is: “you can’t go home again”
  • BundokGoto Dengo gets orders to dig.
  • Computer: Things are going well for Lawrence with Mary, the organ, and his computer. He knows the Japanese are going something with mining and gold in the Philippines.
  • CaravanRandyAmerica and the Tennessee Shaftoes take a car trip to Washington. Randy gets to know everyone better, especially America but not in THAT WAY.
  • The General: Bobby makes his way from Stockholm to New Guinea and offers his skills to General Douglas MacArthur directly. He is ordered to go to Manila.
  • OriginRandyAmerica and the Tennessee Shaftoes use a bizarre real-life graphing system to divvy up his grandmother Mary‘s possessions. He discovers that Lavender Rose was the name of the pattern on her wedding china.
  • GolgothaGoto Dengo draws up elaborate plans.
  • SeattleRandy tries and mostly fails to get information about his grandfather, Lawrence, but does end up with his trunk and punchcards contained therein. He meets up with a friend who collects obsolete technology (to read the punchcards). America decides to head back to Manila.
  • RockGoto Dengo walks through his massively labyrinthine over-designed vault with the general, going over all of the various traps. The general indicates that such a bunker will be duplicated in other sites (…maybe in Kinakuta?).

We’re reading from the chapter Most Cigarettes through the end of the book now. Good luck!