Crazyjamie's Reviews > Little Brother

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
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Nov 15, 2011

really liked it
Read in November, 2011

Another book that was bought on instinct, this one has a glowing reference from Neil Gaiman on the front cover, which after by first positive experience of his work cannot be a bad thing.

Little Brother is a science fiction novel that tells the story of a near future society in which the often mention 'big brother society' becomes a harsh reality. Following a terrorist attack, the population of San Francisco becomes subjected to a brutal regime of control by the Department of Homeland Security. One of these, a teenage hacker by the name of Marcus, is arrested by the DHS in the aftermath of the attack and subjected to a brutal interrogation. Following his release Marcus starts up a resistance movement of sorts using his technological know how in an attempt to combat the oppressive regime that has gripped his society.

Whilst certainly not being perfect in terms of writing style, Doctorow does manage to create a more than ample sense of atmosphere and scale in relation to the actions of the DHS. The way that descriptions of technology are dealt with, in numerous lecture like passages, is certainly not for everyone, but personally I found that it highlighted a desire to not let the ambition of the book be restricted by the knowledge of the reader. Overall the telling of a story of this nature through the eyes of a teenage hacker provides an original approach that, for me, resulted in a readable story that held my interest throughout.

It is by no means perfect. Personally I would have liked to have seen a lot more of one certain character, and a couple of more peripheral aspects of the plot were not handled especially well. That said, these are easily counterbalanced by an interesting story that clearly stands out within its own sub genre.
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