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Little Brother Paperback – Apr 13 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen; 1 edition (April 13 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765323117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765323118
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.9 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


'I'd recommend 'Little Brother' over pretty much any book I've read this year. Because I think it'll change lives. It's a wonderful, important book' Neil Gaiman 'Cory Doctorow's novel could hardly be more relevant, scary and eye-opening ... seriously entertaining.' The Times 'A cracking read' Guardian 'A well structured and superbly executed thriller with breakneck pacing and an emotional payoff to boot. Engaging, thought provoking, and at times harrowing.SciFi Now 'An entertaining thriller and a thoughtful polemic on Internet-era civil rights ... a terrific read' New York Times 'A compulsive and chillingly credible read ... would make a great discussion for any reading group' New Books 'A tale of struggle familiar to any teenager, about those moments when you choose what your life is going to mean.' Steven Gould, author of 'Jumper' 'A timely and at times frightening read that is sure to resonate with a generation of computer-savvy teens, but also with those who have never heard of an arphid or re-built a hard drive' Sun Herald (Australia) 'Doctorow's ambitious set-up spawns a fast-paced tale of triumph ...rife with snappy dialogue and breathtaking scope ... an exceptional, eye-opening novel that everyone should read' Canberra Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Canadian-born Cory Doctorow is the co-editor of the popular blog BoingBoing. He is the author of the young adult novel For the Win, and his adult science fiction novels and short stories have won him three Locus Awards and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He has been named one of the Web's twenty-five "influencers" by Forbes Magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

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Format: Hardcover
Terrorists have attacked San Francisco, and Marcus and his friends have ended up in prison. Although they had nothing to do with the attack, they are interrogated mercilessly and neglected in bare cells.

When Marcus is finally set free, he discovers that the Department of Homeland Security is abusing people's right to privacy and free speech all over the city.

Luckily, Marcus knows a lot about technology and surveillance - including how to stop it. But can he stop the Department of Homeland Security?

"Little Brother" has a scary, intriguing plot that feels very real. It teaches an important lesson about the value of privacy - something we all give up too easily these days. But it never comes across as didactic.

I love that the main character is a teenager who is capable of creating a secret internet. The only thing I didn't like about this book is that sometimes, the technological explanations went on a little too long, slowing the pace of the book.

Overall, an excellent read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a terrific novel! I loved it from the start and the ending left me wishing it were longer. Like Gibson's and Vinge's, Doctorow's latest is set in the frighteningly near future. And it is both full of the "now" -- like the bizarre power of Homeland Security and the insanity of ensuring security through abandonment of Constitutional rights -- and the then -- the Yippies, the Free Speech Movement, the murders in Philadelphia, MS, and Jane Jacobs.

I won't give away the plot, but if you know a reader from ~15 on up, this is for her or him.

Thank you, Cory!
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Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: Reviews will mainly concentrate on novels that I enjoyed, and in writing them I will attempt to be succinct and to avoid all manner of spoilery comments. A grading guide follows my reviews. Also, please note that while I have read widely in the genre, my tastes are quite distinct and thus readers should absorb my wisdom with, at the very least, a few pinches of salt. Cheers.


Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Characterization: 8/10
Marcus Yallow is a creative, uncompromising, crafty, and courageous protagonist who is easy to root for. But it is his curiosity concerning all things technological that makes him so interesting for me. He is a wonderful narrator who manages to explain complex processes in a way that, miraculously, isn't boring. The secondary characters are fine, but it is the strength of Doctorow's main character that carries the narrative.

Plotting and Pacing: 3/5 and 4/5
Even before the main conflict begins, I was hooked. Why? I don't know, exactly. Marcus's conflict with, and evasion of, the school's surveillance equipment was certainly interesting. The rapid fire introduction of new-ish technologies, or at least new uses of existing technologies, also kept my curiosity well-fed. I'm not sure I quite believe the ending would have worked out as it did in the novel, but it was still a satisfying conclusion. Well paced and well plotted, except perhaps for the ending.

Setting: 7/10
The setting is a near-future version of San Fransisco. I have never been to San Fransisco, so I can't vouch for the setting's realism on that front.
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Format: Paperback
Little Brother was the November book club pick here at Gin and Rhetoric, and I really wish that more people had participated in the conversation because this book is phenomenal. It's a fantastic story ' compelling, terrifying (not in a horror way) and eye opening. I think it's a book that every teenager (and probably every adult too) should read. It makes you think twice about the things that you take for granted, and definitely makes you want to go back to carrying cash instead of cards. RFID blocking wallet? I think so!
I've heard Cory Doctorow's name mentioned over and over again, but I'd never read anything by him. What caught my eye with Little Brother was the blurb from Neil Gaiman on the book's cover:
"I'd recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I've read this year."
Wow! High praise, right? How could I pass this book by? The answer is simple, I couldn't. And folks, here's some free advice, never pass up a recommendation by Neil Gaiman. The man is a genius, and he knows good books.
Little Brother is the story of Marcus, a high school hacker who ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Marcus and his friends cut class and end up being near the center of a terrorist attack on San Francisco. The teens get picked up by Homeland Security, and the story evolves from there. Doctorow deals with some strong themes and very important ideas in Little Brother. This book will make people think ' think about what they are willing to give up for the sake of safety, and think about whether or not that safety is just an illusion. After reading Little Brother, I feel very strongly that it's a book that should be read and taught in High Schools.
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