Monday, July 19, 2010

Little Brother

A rush of emotions, action around every corner, suspision and paranoia to the max. This book had my gut wrenching and my head reeling.

This was another book I had no synopsis of before reading. I didn't even have a cover to go off of. All I had was a recommendation from a friend and his request that we read it "together". Meaning he had a copy on his phone, I had a copy on my Kindle and we would try to keep the same pace.

Last night he had the goal of finishing it by Tuesday. I said, ummm, no, we need to finish this tonight. And we did! (He actually finished it before I did.)

Cory Doctorow put a new twist on the old tale of 1984. I felt the same horror as I did when reading 1984 but could relate to it a little more because it was full of known technology and based in San Francisco, a place I've always wanted to visit. But it was more than that. The characters were brilliantly developed. You could picture each one of them and realize they'd probably be your friends if you knew them in real life. You too would be an "Xnetter", jamming with the best of them, if the government unjustly took over your city.

For a technologically savvy book, you don't have to be all that tech savvy yourself to understand it. I do know the power of code and the rush you get when a computer does what you tell it to do, but that's about as far as my technology knowledge goes. (I can't program a whole computer, just simple re-coding for websites. So, don't be impressed, please.)

Living with fear of a branch of the government that has gone rogue, hiding behind a movement with a code name M1k3y, unable to tell your parents you were jailed and tortured for 5 days, Marcus Yallow represents so many ideals and fears it's a wonder he doesn't implode.

Any high school and college age kid would get a lot out of this book. The controversy it brings up and the situations it thrusts the readers into creates a world we can all relate to in some form or other. We can all either be Marcuses or Charleses. Or maybe even Darryls or Vans. Or Anges. There's a character for everyone to put themselves into. What better way to read a story than to become part of it?

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