Books: Little Brother – Cory Doctorow

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Moments after I finished Little Brother I wrote Cory:

Just finished Little Brother – sweet jebus man! I generally like your stuff but you’ve never made me cry before!  Bravo! 

This goes on the shelf of ‘must reads’ for my kids too, to be sure. 

If you show up in Boston on the tour, I’ll be the guy in line wearing the top hat.


[click through for the whole review]

This book starts off like a cyberpunk Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – all of the elements are there including the vice-principal obsessed with taking our protagonist down.  I could almost hear that Bohmp-Bohmp–Ooh-Yeah! from the movie soundtrack in my head as the book began.

But things quickly turn dark and real.  Marcus Yallow, High School student, gamer, LARPer, hacker, and all around good guy is playing hooky and leading his team in a game of Harajuku Fun Madness when his home, San Francisco, is the target of a terrorist attack.

Marcus and his crew are picked up by Homeland Security and are subject to investigation and interrogation of the sort that that should shame any patriot.  Each of Marcus’ friends react differently to their experience and their individual reactions mirror those of society at large.  Oh yeah, this is a book with a definite message.

I read Little Brother straight through, I couldn’t put it down.  It’s action packed, cover to cover, and many of us will see ourselves in Marcus and his friends.  For me it was Dungeons and Dragons and 3 AM waffles at the Deli Haus in Kenmore Square rather then Harajuku Fun Madness and burritos in The Mission and Zork on a dumb terminal dialed-in via a 300 baud modem to a PDP-10 rather then Clockwork Pirates on an X-box Universal. 

But I kept coming back to the thought ‘Wow, this kid is me’ and that’s where the crying part comes in because by the end of the book I was so very, very proud of Marcus. 

Little Brother is available as an audio book (mp3 without DRM) a hardcover and as a free text download from Cory’s site.  I highly recommend the audio version, it is wonderfully voiced by Kirby Heyborne, click through for a preview.