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Eastern Standard Tribe

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  3,157 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews

Art is a member of the Eastern Standard Tribe, a secret society bound together by a sleep schedule. Around the world, those who wake and sleep on East Coast time find common cause with one another, cooperating, conspiring, to help each other out, coordinated by a global network of Wi-Fi, instant messaging, ubiquitous computing, and a shared love of Manhattan-style bagels.
ebook, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC (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
Nov 28, 2007 Ken-ichi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: escape
This book was written by Cory Doctorow, one of the writers at, 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
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
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
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
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
Lawrence Schoen
Oct 03, 2009 Lawrence Schoen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 22, 2012 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 19, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lis Carey
Jan 12, 2011 Lis Carey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf
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
Aug 17, 2010 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nicholas Karpuk
May 25, 2010 Nicholas Karpuk rated it liked it
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
Mar 14, 2009 Mikael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jeremy Stephens
May 25, 2011 Jeremy Stephens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2011
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
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"
This book is a whole heap of crazy. It starts out incoherent and confused. And then bleeds into dismal. And then visionary. And then all of a sudden it is paying off with a fantastically readable detailed intelligent silly caper. Which then ends believably but suddenly. As in what? The ideas alone are worth reading and thinking about - perhaps not so much the tribes as the usability bits. A cool read but perhaps hard to start.
Sep 24, 2008 Evilynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, 2009, cyber-punk
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.
Pia Mogollon
This one was a quick easy read. Interesting enough but not is chair grippingly exciting as Docotorow's other books. Still, an intriguing story line and likeable enough characters. Would make a great short film.
A fun read. Not life changing, but it doesn't have to be. Doctorow creates not-too-distant-future tech that's believable and a main character who's witty and likable.
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.
Jean-rémy Duboc
A little shallow in its character treatment, but quite compelling, and describing a near future that's both original and highly likely to happen.
Al Lock
Mar 23, 2017 Al Lock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Cory Doctors book so far. The characters are interesting and the protagonist definitely keeps your attention. The commentary on lawyers, Doctors and engineers has so much truth in it to be amusing and sobering at the same time. And the irony and karma!
Daniel Kukwa
I enjoyed this fast, efficient novel...but I actually wished it was longer. I found all of the characters fascinating, and I wanted to learn ever more about them & the near-future world in which they live. But in this case, the concise nature of the novel works against this desire. The plot powers to its conclusion at warp speed, leaving little time to get to know Art and the people around him, while still making room for the tech aspects of the story (which didn't hold my interest quite so ...more
Nov 13, 2014 J. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why I didn’t like Eastern Standard Tribe. The writing is engaging and clever, the editing is spot on, the topic is interesting, but something about the book is just ... off. Maybe I’m not hip enough, not a proud enough member of the target technorati audience, or simply not plugged into the prevailing zeitgeist of cultural change. If that sentence sounded pretentious to you, boy do I have some bad news for you. Of course it’s also possible that Eastern Stand ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition 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

Jan 20, 2008 janus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2014 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Eastern Standard Tribe
Author: Cory Doctorow
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Published In:
Date: 2005
Pgs: 224


People who sleep when you do aren’t like you. The people who are awake when you are awake are your tribe. The world is splintering into Tribes based on time zone barriers. Dark happenings are afoot. Can an interface designer working on sabotaging the Massachusetts Data Turnpike find happiness or is he just insane? Does he belong in a Boston insane asylum or sh
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
Joe White
Jun 19, 2012 Joe White rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, donated
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
ABR's full Eastern Standard Tribe audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

This quirky novel is based in the near future. You’ll recognize much of the tech, some a stretch from what we have now, some just around the corner, and others, just cool stuff invented by the author. The effect is a somewhat surreal futuristic world that you can almost relate to; just a bit removed from what we know now, like a very realistic dream.

The term “Eastern Standard Tribe” refers to a
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Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of the YA graphic novel In Real Life , the nonfiction business book Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free , and young adult novels like Homeland , Pirate Cinema and Little Brother and novels for adults like Rapture Of The Nerds and Makers . He is a Fellow for the ...more
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