Sounding more like an overly excited twelve-year-old schoolgirl than a law professor, Eugene Volokh reflects upon the virtues of Neal Stephenson's excellent and "amazingly kick-ass" book Cryptonomicon.
I duly second the motion. One of the things about the book that really held my interest, apart from the futurist musings on crypto anarchy, is the supergenius of the protagonist, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse.
What is it about genius that I find so interesting? Take, for example, the overrated and incredibly cheesy Good Will Hunting. Despite the tiresome plot, I greatly enjoyed the character's genious for precisely the same reasons I found Waterhouse so fascinating: the naive humility, the misallocation of talent, the eventual bettering of one's peers - these are worn-out clich?s, yet they continue to entertain me.
Another, albeit semi-fictional, character is Eugene himself. He skipped highschool and went directly to college, graduating with a degree in math and computer science from UCLA at age 15.
Still, nothing tops this kid, who is beginning medical school at age 12: