Eastern Standard Tribe
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Eastern Standard Tribe

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  2,364 ratings  ·  175 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Eastern Standard Tribe, Cory Doctorow's second novel, can be best described as a story about a genius suspected of being insane, written by a genius suspected of being insane -- a brilliant blend of Ken Kesey's One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and Neal Stephenson's cyberpunk classic Snow Crash.

Art Berry is an agent provocateur in the Eastern St

Paperback, 244 pages
Published July 8th 2010 by Harper Voyager (first published February 17th 2004)
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Eastern Standard Tribe reads so quickly and flows so well that it feels like it must be light weight fluff -- a throw away entertainment and nothing more -- but it doesn’t take much, only a little thought and a willingness to engage with “dead bodies” and “living flesh,” to see that it is much more.

Cory Doctorow is an unrepentant blogger, and it shows in this, his second novel. His language fizzes and crackles like three bags of Pop Rocks burning their carbonated pleasure on a tongue, popping ou...more
Ruby  Tombstone [Uncensored or Else]
This is another great read, but I've found that Doctorow's first two books (This and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom) are a bit different to his later novels. They're both set further into the future, and while the concepts are interesting, it's all a bit more vague as to how the technology that supports them would actually function. This is to be expected when it comes to speculative fiction I suppose, but I much prefer the detail of the later books.

I found the first couple of sections of th...more
This book was written by Cory Doctorow, one of the writers at BoingBoing.net, so it might not surprise you that you that it's under the Creative Commons license and you can read it for free at his site. Being, however, a chump, I paid real Earth dollars for it in meatspace. Meatspace! I am a hip cyberpunk! From the future!

The book is near-future science fiction with just about one cool new idea: in a pervasively connected homogenized world, the most meaningful form of of group identity isn't ge...more
I liked parts of this; there were some interesting ideas and a few things that made me chuckle or even laugh out loud. It was short, so the things I didn't like didn't go on too long. I did like how things turned out for the main character, although the resolution involved a somewhat-too-tidy chain of coincidences.
The format/style was peculiar, telling part of the story in 3rd person, past tense and part of it in 1st person, present tense although the main character in both parts is the same per...more
I'm giving this a 3 because I thought a lot of the world-building was interesting and I found the voice engrossing. However, the book is deeply flawed in some irritating ways.

The narrator is sarcastic and not particularly likeable, but he is interesting, I must grant. He's affiliated with a group based in the EST but finds himself in London undercover trying to sabotage other groups. (There's a really interesting theory here about how the internet changes the way that people self-identify; howev...more
Lawrence Schoen
Doctorow's voice is so crisp, so clean, it leaps off the page and runs around the house like a puppy on amphetamines. The plot is straightforward, nothing subtle or complex about it. What's subtle is the ease with which Doctorow gets into your head with his ideas. In no time at all you find yourself nodding in agreement, as he explains how tribes work, how they've always worked, and how the global expansion and ease of communication continue to drive such sensibilities. I'm still not sure how mu...more
As I've said before, and will surely say again, I think Cory Doctorow is an amazing human being and I am glad he has sufficient influence to force his vision of the future onto reality, at least a little bit. I mean, seriously, if there are any other modern, (relevant*) authors whose entire literary catelogue I can download without guilt or financial expenditure, someone needs to point me to them immediately.

And for a few dozen pages each, Cory Doctorow's books really sing. I mean, really, who...more
Lis Carey
Art Berry lives in a world just slightly askew from the rest of us. In our increasingly wireless world of instant and constant communication, he gives his loyalty not to a state or a company or family and friends he sees regularly, but to the Eastern Standard Tribe—a largely faceless collection of people whose home time zone is the Eastern Standard Zone, who are locked in cutthroat competition with other tribes aligned with other time zones. Art himself is currently working in London, engaged in...more
Here is a near-future novel about an industrial saboteur who finds himself on the roof of an insane asylum near Boston.

In a 24-hour, instant communication world the need for sleep is the only thing that hasn’t changed. The world is splintering into tribes based on time zones; those in other time zones will be at lunch or sleeping when you need them. Only those in your own time zone can be depended upon.

Art lives in London, and he works for a European telecommunications mega-corporation. His "rea...more
Nicholas Karpuk
Ever like a person but drift off when they start discussing their pet obsession? Like a guy who is pretty well-rounded otherwise, but if you get him started on Warhammer 40K or Quantam Physics or his opposition to DRM, he sort of disconnects from you?

That's Cory Doctorow about a 1000 times over. The man appears to be made of pet obsessions. His books are littered with little rants and bits where you see the author poking through the narrative.

And it's a shame, because Eastern Standard Tribe has...more
Freaking. Awesome. I used this quote in so many college essays:

“So you’re a fish out of water. You live in Arizona, but you’re sixteen years old and all your neighbors are eighty-five, and you get ten billion channels of media on your desktop. All the good stuff—everything that tickles you—comes out of some clique of hyperurban club-kids in South Philly. They’re making cool art, music, clothes. You read their mailing lists and you can tell that they’re exactly the kind of people who’d really ap
Cory Doctorow's amazingly written Eastern Standard Tribe starts out with an amazingly epic first chapter, sebsequently following two stories that follow each other, the beginning of the first connecting with the end of the last just before the book ends. This leads to a very strange style of reading, where you know a little more of what happens in the early plot every time you visit the later, but never enough to make either boring.

At times you stop and wonder where the author is going with the...more
Jeremy Stephens
Once again Cory Doctorow presents a weird world view shaped by realistic human interactions with technology. While this book wasn't as bizarre as Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom, it is worth reading due to its captivating story and ideas relating to the internet groups being the center of one's sense of community. In many ways, this book reminds me of JD Salinger's The Catcher In the Rye- the main character is a misfit who struggles with interpersonal relationships and is telling the story fr...more
Amazon.com Review

Cory Doctorow’s Eastern Standard Tribe is a soothsaying jaunt into the not-so-distant future, where 24/7 communication and chatroom alliances have evolved into tribal networks that secretly work against each other in shadowy online realms. The novel opens with its protagonist, the peevish Art Berry, on the roof of an asylum. He wonders if it's better to be smart or happy. His crucible is a pencil up the nose for a possible "homebrew lobotomy." To explain Art's predicament, Doc

Frank Taranto
An interesting near future story based on the idea that people with similiar attitudes and likes/dislikes will gather into electronic tribes.
Also a lot of high tech cell phone usage for communication and other things, plus a state psychological system gone very wrong.
The story is Art's, who's played by his friend and his lover. It tells about how he gets in and out of trouble at a very frenetic pace.
Best obligatory sex scene ever - three words - "Vigorous sex ensued"
The plot is okay, but the writing is sub par, and it contains some of the worst descriptive passages of sex I've ever read: "He smiles down at her nipple, which is brown as a bar of Belgian chocolate, aureole the size of a round of individual cheese and nipple itself a surprisingly chunky square of crinkled flesh". Put me off sex for a week that did. And who has square nipples anyway?
Tim Weakley
Another good story from Doctorow! I really enjoy his ability to take current trends and extend them forward in time without turning them into cartoons. He has a knack for believability. His highway mp3 swapping idea is comical and yet I can see people buying into it. The plot is a little contrived but I liked the characters enough to buy into the story.
This was another jaunt into the world of Audio Books for me, you can download it free here. I thought this book was fabulous. I loved the way it was written and the way Doctorow describes things. Although I must admit that listening while I drive does tend to cause the occasional rewind and re-listen ... usually when I get distracted by some idiot in front of me. So occasionally I was a little confused (my fault, not the books, I think) but all in all it was a cool story and very nicely and beli...more
Eastern Standard Tribe is easy enough to read, and there are some neat ideas here (though granted, they must have been neater in 2005). But as a novel, it's just not that great.

The premise is that in the near future (or, now!), online communication makes it possible to find kindred spirits anywhere in the world. Hate everyone around you? No problem! Live, work, and play online. Our protagonist, Art, does just that. But this lifestyle does not exclude one from the everyday drama of living. Befor...more
Heather Pearson
Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow was my selection for my local book club read this month. It had been sitting on my shelf for over a year and I was still curious. The premise is that that people are divided by time zones. They don't have to live in a particular time zone to identify with it. With an online world, it is easy to work and socialize/game with people anywhere. The main character Art Berry identifies with the Eastern Standard (EST) time zone even though he is currently working...more
There is a book here that I would love, but this isn't it. Tribes are self-selecting, internet-founded communities whose activities transition into the real world; members modify their lives (and sleep schedules) to interact with the Tribe and the Tribe rewards them with everything a community can, from socialization to business opportunities. But Eastern Standard Tribe isn't about that: it's about disintegration on the fringes of a Tribe, immersed in the technology that's created Tribes but pre...more
Read Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow 4/5.
Much better than some of the other detritus I've been reading recently. Starts off really well but the last 1/4 was a mixture of dull pointless family conversations and a rushed ending.

I'd have like the ending to go a bit deeper, I was left with a "oh is that it?" when all the loose ends were wrapped up in a couple of pages. Also the book alternates between First Person and Third Person which I found a bit jarring. Howeve
r it wasn't a bad read but...more
Joe White
Once I got past the fact that I didn't like the main character, and didn't care for the hip-hop delivery style of language used early in the book, I did get into the flow of the main creative foundations in the book.

This book exhibits a historical look at the late 90's through early oughts (oo's), where wardriving was a pastime, IPods and the music copying contention were rampant news, rapidly developing high end feature phones and early smartphones became ever-present tools, and the San Franci...more
First sentence: "I once had a Tai Chi instructor who explained the difference between Chinese and Western medicne thus: 'Western medicine is based on corpses, things that you discover by cutting up dead bodies and pulling them apart."

P. 99: "Fede stood and treated Linda to his big, suave grin."

Last sentence: "'Oh, I know,', I say, and dial up some music on the car stereo."

Plot Summary (Goodreads):

Art is a member of the Eastern Standard Tribe, a secret society bound together by a sleep schedule....more
Ron Arden
This was one quirky book, but I liked it. Doctorow wrote this book in 2004, but it seems like he wrote it yesterday. The book starts in the present, at least for the story, and then goes into the past to give us the back story that lead to the current story. You following so far?

Art is an interface designer. He is good at being the champion of users, since engineers have no idea how someone actually uses anything. He is currently on assignment and living in London. He really lives as part of the...more
Andy Parkes
Originally posted on: http://andyparkes.co.uk/blog/index.ph...

This book was another that I’d actually got on my Amazon wish list before I realised it has also been released under a creative commons license.

It took me quite a while to get into this. I read the first half of the book with a frown on my face as I just didn’t get the underlying premise. The main theme of the book is based around groups of people living and working around a specific time zone, regardless of their geographic location....more
Kate O'Hanlon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I took a sociology class in university in which we learned about two basic methods of societies becoming organized: either by common location, or by common interest. Eastern Standard Tribe takes that concept, as well as the fact that people use computers and other communication technologies more often in their personal lives than in previous generations, and takes them to an extreme conclusion. This novel is full of "tribes", groups organized by common interest and the time zone that they live i...more
This book has the feel of being in the very near future, like a twenty minutes from now type future. It revolves around Art Berry, who is involved in an internet startup which plans to provide mp3 type players to commuters that will share music with other cars on a peer to peer type basis based on listener preferences. Art loves to argue, and he is somewhat socially inept as well as a hypochondriac. This unfortunate personality combination even lands him in a mental institution at one point. Fro...more
Neil Fein
I gulped Eastern Standard Tribe down almost in one sitting, on a day I was tired from uploading family photos to the internet.

Art Berry is a user experience consultant, working for a firm in London. Actually, he's an agent for the Eastern Standard Tribe, a social network of east-coast net-connected folk who find each other work, help each other out, and they sabotage companies so to make way for their own concepts in the market. Almost forgot... they all keep a sleep schedule that lets them stay...more
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Canadian blogger, journalist and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing.

He is an activist in favor of liberalizing copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books.

Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, Disney, and post-scarcity economics.

More about Cory Doctorow...
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“Stories are propaganda, virii that slide past your critical immune system and insert themselves directly into your emotions. ” 13 likes
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