Review: Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother"

I just finished reading Cory Doctorow's book Little Brother (to be released April 29th), and it was amazing. Yes, it's marketed as YA (young adult) fiction, but this is a serious--as well as enjoyable--book on a serious topic. It's about life in San Francisco after a terrorist attack that prompts the government to turn the city into a police state with constant surveillance, loss of freedom, etc. A group of high school hackers fight back, and make a lot of poignant arguments about freedom and fighting for what you believe in.

I read this book in about five hours total, I think--all of which were spent commuting on DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) to and from the TLA conference (which I blogged over at the TLA Blog). I highly, highly recommend it. And if you'd like a short taste of it, Cory's got a mp3 of himself reading a selection of it, available for free download. (Caution: novel (and this excerpt) contains some profanity and graphic scenes.) You can also read more of his podcasts here.

And here's high praise from one of my favorite authors:

"I'd recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I've read this year, and I'd want to get it into the hands of as many smart 13 year olds, male and female, as I can. Because I think it'll change lives. Because some kids, maybe just a few, won't be the same after they've read it. Maybe they'll change politically, maybe technologically. Maybe it'll just be the first book they loved or that spoke to their inner geek. Maybe they'll want to argue about it and disagree with it. Maybe they'll want to open their computer and see what's in there. I don't know. It made me want to be 13 again right now and reading it for the first time, and then go out and make the world better or stranger or odder. It's a wonderful, important book, in a way that renders its flaws pretty much meaningless."
-- Neil Gaiman on Little Brother (full review here)


Beth Fehlbaum, Author said...

I like your site and your reviewing style. I am a Texas author and I get the impression you're a Texas librarian. Would you be interested in an ARC of my to-be-released YA novel, Courage in Patience? Please check out my website & e-mail me at beth@bethfehlbaum.com, if you would be interested in an ARC. Thanks!
Beth Fehlbaum, author
Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse
Chapter One is online!

Andrew Clarke said...

On the subject of books, may I suggest another one to try? "Outcasts of Skagaray" aims to look at very serious human issues, in a fantasy adventure setting. If you want to check it out, please go to www.threeswans.com.au and see the excerpts and comments. Your opinion would be valued.