The Unsorted Room

April 10, 2012 at 2:47pm


Shaftoe looks around at the others, but none of them laughs, or even grins. They must not have heard it. “Come again?” Shaftoe asks, proddingly, like a man in a bar trying to get a shy friend to tell a sure-fire thigh-slapper. “Wehrmachtnachrichtungenverbindungen,” von Hacklheber says, very slowly, as if repeating nursery rhymes to a toddler. He blinks once, twice, three times at Shaftoe, then sits forward and says, brightly: “Perhaps I should explain the organization of the German intelligence hierarchy, since it will help you all to understand my story.” A BRIEF TRIP INTO HELL’S DEMO with HERR DOKTOR PROFESSOR RUDOLF VON HACKLHEBER ensues.

— Cryptonomicon (Neal Stephenson)