I'm more of a dystopian reader than a cult...enthusiast? What do you call a person who enjoys reading about cults? Regardless, I now know that I wouldI'm more of a dystopian reader than a cult...enthusiast? What do you call a person who enjoys reading about cults? Regardless, I now know that I would be dead before I ever successfully infiltrated one.
Donovan's first novel brings us some great characters. Deacon is an FBI agent that's trying to get the Kid undercover in the Goldenrod cult, suspected of doing those terrible things that cults normally do. The Kid is obviously a pain in the ass and Deacon is having a helluva time getting her ready. We get to see both sides (or something along those lines) as each tells us about the other and the bullshit they're putting each other through. You can feel the Kid's drive to make this undercover job successful. And you're rooting for her every time she makes Deacon's job a little more difficult by pointing out his every damn flaw and mistake. Of course, you also want to punch her in the face, but that seems a natural reaction.
A little slow at first, the pace picks up quickly and you're racing to see how it all ends. Once all that preparation goes into action and the Kid is sneaking her way in to this carefully constructed and protected world, you want to know all of Goldenrod's secrets and what they're capable of. A fun read and a great look into a part of society I know nothing about (and hopefully won't find it necessary to learn a whole lot more...that stuff is not cool, man)....more
Maybe this book has a really great ending, but I couldn't stick it out. There's having something explained to you, such as how Mark Watney explains hoMaybe this book has a really great ending, but I couldn't stick it out. There's having something explained to you, such as how Mark Watney explains how to create a farm on Mars in The Martian, and then there's having something lectured to you, which is the entirety of how Marcus tell his story here. This book was so heavy-handed it made The Circle look subtle. I enjoy a lot of books in which technical things are explained. Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 is a great example. Michael Crichton managed to make it work in nearly every book he wrote. But Doctorow doesn't just explain things. He explains things and in the process tells you exactly how godawful you think they should be.
When you're reading The Circle, you know that what's happening isn't good, and you find it slightly terrifying (albeit heavy-handed) because the narrator tells you how it makes her feel. In Little Brother, Marcus doesn't tell you how he feels, he tells you how you should feel. He explains how outraged you should be. It's like that professor you had in college that spent the entire class explaining how terrible Reagan economics was, and then says at the end of class, "But you should form your own opinion." Ugh. No thanks....more
I'm not a big fan of ghost stories. I didn't even like them as a kid. Goosebumps and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark just didn't really do it for mI'm not a big fan of ghost stories. I didn't even like them as a kid. Goosebumps and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark just didn't really do it for me. This book wasn't really an exception. That, and it isn't very well written. There's not a whole lot of nuance of character. Everyone acts they way they would if they were cast in an after-school special (those poor shows, they get such a bad rep). It got a little better the more I read, but overall, there are too many better books out there that I'd rather be spending time reading....more