Digital Fortress

Digital Fortress

Book - 2004
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A computer whiz takes on the government in defense of the right to privacy. On hearing the National Security Agency has secretly installed a program that can read anyone's e-mail, Ensei Tankado comes up with a program to paralyze it. A conflict ensues and people die.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2004, c1998.
Edition: St. Martin's paperpack ed.
ISBN: 9780312995423
Characteristics: 429 p. ; 18 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 17, 2017

This book had a smooth pace to it, not too fast and not too slow. Definitely not one of Dan Brown's best works; and it seems when you read it that Dan was just scribbling down ideas and just wrote them into an organized format which is Digital Fortress.

Dec 27, 2014

Kyanite's comment is by far the best one, and most erudite one, here. Never been a Dan Brown fan, consider his fiction too simple minded, but to have written a book with NSA as the main character, he should very well have done some applicable research!

Sep 19, 2014

My least favourite of Brown's books by far. Dude knows nothing about NSA.

Aug 30, 2014

This book is rather the same as Deception Point - an exiting and somehow sick crime story about code-breaking, so there is no secret message in front of Big System. This book also shows that some highly placed members of the system can act arbitrarily and order the elimination of persons who "are in the way" to them or the System. The Japanese programming genius who allegedly invented an unbreakable code is ordered to be assassinated by the head of the code-breaking monster's institute. It's known he has a weak heart and a foreign pro assassin is engaged to fire at his chest a "trauma pod," which hits, causes heart attack and falls apart so as not to be obvious to observers. All persons connected with the Japanese guy are killed by the hired assassin, and although the code-breaking monster cannot solve the Jap's puzzle (because it's actually not a secret code), the people involved realize the Jap put up there another puzzle for them, which they solve in the last moment, before it causes damage to national security. Lots of people killed in the action, but for me the message is that there is no secret before the eyes of the Big System and there is no unbreakable code. The book gave me a rather bad feeling, and it wasn't entertaining at all as other thrillers usually are. Read Ted Flynn's book: "Hope of the Wicked", where he says that every phone conversation is scanned by giant programs in 200 languages and even coded messages are being opened up by them. The System invests big in having an eye and ear on us.

ravishri Apr 11, 2014

VERDICT: Loved it. would recommend to anyone.

That said... I think it is a great book from some points of view with some shortcomings in other areas..


1. Storyline: great story that keeps you glued. Surprising twists & turns that keep you on your feet.

2. Writing: great writing style that walks the reader through the thought process of the characters as they go through the story. In other words its like you are inside the characters' minds

3. It feels like you are rreading the manuscript for the next hollywood blockbuster.. pretty exciting


1. The pros may feel that it is removed from the reality... I cant say about how real life spies & secret service personnel would feel about the way their profession is portrayed here but as someone with a background in computer software & technology some (not all) scenarios were flat out unreal and/or deliberately movie-fied

2. Sometimes Dan Brown undertakes the challenging task of describing complex visuals with words and words alone - this was true in Inferno and also in this book (though to a much lesser extent). I personally am not a big fan of this "stage setting" exercise because:
a) The "stage setting" breaks the continuity of the story a little bit
b) While doing his "scene setting" exercise in digital fortress Dan Brown inadvertently mentions (as a thought in a character's head) that basically says "a picture is worth a thousand words".. If you feel that way why dont u show add a simple picture in your book and just refer the reader to that??

Having said all that the verdict still stands: definitely worth reading.

kmcinto Nov 16, 2013

It's his first book and it shows his great imagination and love for looking at a controversial issues. In this case, internet privacy. It does have problems and is now my least favorite of the books he's written. It's a bit one-sided at first with David doing all the physical challenging work while his fiancee Susan is a building the whole time sending a tracer. Near the ending, it is very predictable referring to a clue the team tries to figure out and analyze the pieces of the message. I was skipping a few pages because it a bit pointless to read through when you knew what the outcome would be. It is fast pace with the chase periods and easy to understand the foreign language that is used at times. Overall, it's still a worthwhile book to read just to get a feel how the author started out and knowing that his later books would be a success, that he can only get better with time.

Sep 15, 2013

Good story but a little predictable.

Jul 16, 2012

easy to read, a bit easy to predict. not overly exciting concepts. very fast paced and smooth moving

Superv Aug 31, 2011

Not as good as his other better known ones such as Da Vinci Code/Angels & Demons. Is it me, or do I find the penmanship here is different the rest of his novels? It's as if this book is not written by him

Aug 30, 2011

I read this book 4th, so I was already a code breaker, so I figured out the bad guy way too early. It was a good book, and if you haven't read Dan Brown (but really, who hasn't?) I'd recommend you start with this one!

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Dec 31, 2012

Olive_Jellyfish_3 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Bazooka_B9 Jul 19, 2011

Bazooka_B9 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Quote
Dec 12, 2011

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at CAPL

To Top