Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
Least Banal: The protagonist's father was a mountain and his mother was a washing machine. He is trying to save his brothers, who may or may not have been eaten by another of his brothers, a zombie whom he himself killed years earlier. I wish stories like this were spread on every morning's breakfast toast.
Most Banal: The context for the brother-hunt is the ...more
Raised in a dysfunctional family by a remote father and a mother who provides only comfort and clean clothes, ...more
The story gets ever stranger as Alan's throwaway references to his father the mountain, his mother the washing machine and his nesting dolls of brothers pro ...more
I enjoyed some of the characters, but found them to act at random and be dull in general. Relationships were unexplained and why two characters team up together is just impossible to work out.
I also feel the book is too much of a political statement by the author. The more I read about the Wireless ne ...more
After page 18, the novel focussed on other areas. I wasn't pulled into the events post-page 18, but I was willing to give the novel some time to tell its story.
I tossed the novel when it began describing how our hero's brothers were birthed by his mother (around pages 35-40). It wasn't gross or anything lik ...more
Good Me: “Hey, Cory Doctorow has a new book out. He’s supposed to be awesome.”
Evil Me: “Don’t believe the hype, you wannabe hipster. That dude is totally milking his involvement in the Boingboing.net blog phenomenon. He can’t be as ‘all that’ as they say. Nobody’s that ‘all that.’”
GM: “If you say so. I just heard he’s a good writer, is all.”
First, it is a novel of x,y,z, and internet connectivity. The IC is a hobbyhorse of the author, but does not actually contribute anything to the plot of this book, other than to give the protagonist an excuse for a friend. Second, weak ...more
A journalist, blogger, sci-fi writer, and liberal-copyright proponent, Doctorow should know better than to write a book that makes no sense.
The main character--who is called "Alan" initially but answers to and is referred to by any masculine name beginning with A--and his siblings are all children of a mountain and a washing machine.
One of Alan's sibling is prophetic, one is undead, one is an island, and three are Russian nesting dolls.
And that's ...more
As the story begins, he's moving into a new place where he plans on writing a story, although he has no idea what the story will be. He meets his neighbors, a bunch of punks who think he's extremely strange. Because he is. He's very interested in one of the girls ...more
I loved the premise for the book, which was all the information I could get about it when Sean handed it to me in the midst of a barrage of props tasks for the day. I mean, who comes up with things like that? Amazing.
It started off great. I love Alan's flashbacks, detailing his life as an outsider and what it was like living at home.
But then all the technobabble entered the picture, all the stuff with the wireless access points that occupied a large proportion of the ...more
I remember being blown away at the time that I read it. The city-wide wifi network built by homeless kids and a professional dumpster diver; the name-shifting ch ...more
It's a fable-like story, and that's both a good thing and a bad thing. The characters are clever on the surface, but they remain archetypal - even the more "ordinary" ones feel less like people and more like sketches. This seems largely intentional - but still, it's distancing. Like Russian nest ...more
I didn't remember it well, other than remembering that it's wonderfully weird. It's also quite violent and disturbing in places, which I barely remembered. What I did remember, and what was most striking this sec ...more
Alan is a middle-aged entrepeneur in contemporary Toronto, who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in a bohemian neighborhood. This naturally brings him in contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wings--wings, moreover, which grow back after each attempt to cut them off. Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain; his mother is a washing machine; a
I love the book, really satisfies my craving of odd stories. It's just that, I don't really understand it. I want a clear insight:
(view spoiler)[was Billy as evil as Davey? What happened to them in the end? What did the golem bring to Alan at the end? (hide spoiler)]
A lot of bizarre things in this book: the characters, the storyline sequence, the plot.
How do you feel about the background of the protagonist: he's a man, a son of a washing machine and a mountain, with 4 pecul ...more
I read this book in essentially two sittings over the course of several days. It’s imperfect, sometimes lacking in plot satisfaction, but absolutely captivating. In other words, it’s a fantastic account of the writing process. The protagonist Alan, refers to the story he is going to write at various points, although it is not until the final 30 pages that we begin to see it take shape.
“He went back upstairs and sat down at the ke ...more
Speaking of that other ...more
I am not making this up.
Ci sono due storie: nella prima Alan cerca di creare un circuito wi-fi libero nella città, nella seconda va a caccia del fratello che ha ucciso i suoi tre fratelli.
La prima è molto alla Cory Doctorow, ma non mi è piaciuta molto, l'ho trovata un po' noiosa e di sfondo alla vicenda principale (uno sfondo inutile direi).
La seconda è quella veramente geniale: Alan è figlio di una montagna e di una lavatrice, ha tre fratelli "matriosca", un fratello sensitivo e un fratello cadavere, e si ...more
Being a fantasy novel in a very contemporary setting, it is quite interesting how Doctorow spells out the metaphysics of the reality Alan was born into. Very smart.
With that said, I've finished the book, and I still am confused. I'd recommend this to anyone tech-savvy, enjoys an element of dry humor, ...more
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.