Joseph Cohen's Reviews > For the Win

For the Win by Cory Doctorow
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's review
Apr 24, 11

bookshelves: reviewed, free-ebook

I've read a number of Cory Doctorow's books including Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and Little Brother, and For the Win is definitely along the same lines, a high-concept book wrapped around a modern concept. Here's it economics and union labor, along with virtual economies and gold farming.

There are plenty of reviews that give their two cents on the plot and characters, so I'm not going to go into too much depth about that. As far as the writing goes, I was very disappointed. First, as other reviewers have mentioned, Doctorow has a tendency to write dialogue between his characters that is clearly meant to educate the reader. I consistently felt like I was being told the theories of what was happening off-screen, because otherwise I wouldn't have been smart enough to figure it out.

Second, the whole book felt like a rough draft. There were at least a half-dozen parts where a certain comparison or description was used to explain a concept, and 100, 50, 25 pages later, there it was again. It felt, over and over, like Doctorow couldn't decide where he wanted to use a particularly clever turn of phrase, so he used it in multiple places, or he forgot to take it out of one of the spots and it made it past an editor into print.
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