Saturday, September 12, 2009

09.30 Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Little Brother (2008) by Cory Doctorow

Kudos to Doctorow for breaking the publishing paradigm and making this book (and many of his others) freely available under the Creative Commons license. I downloaded this book to my iPod Touch and read it with an app called Stanza. Obviously not the ideal way to read a novel but I found it was nice to be able to pull it out any time and read a chapter or so. Also, given the content of the story I thought it was pretty cool to be pushing the envelope of new reading techniques.

Little Brother is a YA book but I would suggest that people of all ages can read it. The story concerns Marcus a teenager who lives in San Francisco. One day when he and his friends arou out cutting school a terrorist bombing destroys the San Francisco Bay Bridge. In the ensuing chaos, he and his friends are picked up by the Department of Homeland Security, held incommunicado and tortured. Upon his release, Marcus fights back against the police state that the city has become using his tech and hacking know how.

Doctorow writes here in a very broad manner and clearly sets up the straw dog of the terrorist attack to drive home his points about freedom of speech and government repression. Nevertheless he manages to make the story fun and interesting without getting too preachy. Buy a coy for all the teenagers that you know.


beemused said...

nice! this sounds like a book Olman would enjoy too. earlier this summer, Doc's 50 also gave this a favourable review.

Doctorow seems like an interesting writer with some forward-thinking views on copyright and intellectual property.

Crumbolst said...

Just borrowed it from one of my students.

Kate W. Ladell said...

Way to be on the cutting edge! Now I know what you were reading when you'd pull that thing out.