30 November 2008

Holy Conspiracy Theory Paranoia Batman!

Doctorow, Cory. (2008). Little Brother. New York: Tor. 365 pages.

Disclaimer: I love Cory Doctorow.

I've been an rabid Boing Boing reader for a while now. So while I hadn't gotten around to reading any of Cory's other fiction, when I saw this I knew I had to read it pronto. I also need to preface this with saying that, yes, I am somewhat of a conspiracy theorist and do not trust the government as far as I can throw it.

That said, I loved Doctorow's book Little Brother. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time takes on a whole new meaning for Marcus and his friends when they are scooped up by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after a terrorist attack and brought to a secret prison (read: Guantanamo-like). Had Marcus and his friends not been the hacker/computer types they may never have been given a second look, but because they were aware and knowledgeable of technology and their rights as US citizens they were targeted. After being released Marcus et al. realize their home of San Francisco has been turned into a police state where everyone is a suspected terrorist. Knowing that he will forever be watched and that no one will believe his story, Marcus decides the only thing to do is to take on the DHS himself. Creating a phenominal underground network of teen hackers (remember the movie Hackers with Angelina Jolie?!?) Marcus will teach you more about computer technology and security, as well as it's history, than you ever thought possible. For those who don't like the mini computer science lessons this book may not be for you. Those who are technilogically inclined or are eager to learn more about technology will love this book.

Now for the (few and far between) things that I did not like. I thought that the writing was choppy in places. It just didn't flow as nicely as it could have. Could be it just needed a little more time on the editors table... The only other thing that peeved me was the portrayl of Marcus' Dad. A librarian! It miffed me that he was so closed minded about everything. In real life Doctorow is a champion for libraries and librarians and spoke at the big ALA shin-dig this year. Besides those pretty trivial things I loved the book.

I would definitely booktalk this but only to a selective audience, it's not a book for everyone and I can appreciate that. The conspiracy theory and computer hacking aspects are great pull-ins for kids.

No comments:

Post a Comment