Little Brother

Doctorow, Cory (Paperback - 2010 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Little Brother

Item Details

After being interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security after a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, Marcus is released into what is now a police state and uses his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.
Authors: Doctorow, Cory
Statement of Responsibility: Cory Doctorow
Title: Little brother
Publisher: New York :, Tor,, 2010, c2008
Edition: 1st trade pbk. ed
Characteristics: 416 p. ;,21 cm.
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Report This Aug 17, 2013
  • DanceFiddler rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book is everything that I hate in literature: a story in service to a clear agenda and science fiction so obsessed with technology that every other section is a long explanation of some geeky process. And I loved every page. The book is that good. The story needs the agenda to function, but it is a good story in and of itself, and the agenda is important to consider (the situation described is not far-fetched at all, if hysterical). Doctorow’s explanation of technology and hacking is long but easy to follow and well-interwoven with the rest of the text. If computers make your eyes glaze over, you won’t be able to follow it, but if you’re comfortable with tech-y explanations despite not being capable of producing them yourself, you should have no trouble. Premise: A terrorist attack hits San Francisco, and in its aftermath, California essentially becomes a police state run by the Department of Homeland Security. After being imprisoned and brutally interrogated on an unsubstantiated charge, a teenage hacker decides to fight the system. Gripping. Energetic. Read it.

Very thought-provoking, though the interrogation and torture scenes are a little intense. This book is a little disturbing because you can see this future, with the US government illegally spying on, detaining and torturing its citizens, becoming real so easily. The examination of our technology easily turning "big brother" on us makes this a great modern, techie version of Fahrenheit 451.

Report This Jun 22, 2013
  • Yahong_Chi rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This novel doesn't boast stellar writing (in a one-sentence paragraph, Doctorow uses some derivative of "grab" three times) or any truly deep insight into teens' minds. At times, the dialogue is unbearably cheesy (Marcus actually says "Hiya!" -- exclamation mark and all -- to his girlfriend. *gag*), and characters are liable to go on speeches to sledgehammer home an opinion. And yet, somewhow, the reader isn't likely to mind the long passages of narration as Marcus details the crypting of the Xnet, SMTP tunneling, and the Onion Router, which I wish I'd read of when I went to China and its great Internet Firewall. And Marcus explains things clearly, with plenty of analogies, so that when he says, "If you've never programmed a computer, you should. There's nothing like it in the whole world. When you program a computer, it does exactly what you tell it to do" (p. 119), you're inclined to agree with him. (Trust me, I took a programming course last year and really -- programs actually do whatever you tell it to do. It's exhilarating... and maddening, when you fail to debug the program properly.) It isn't the action sequences that stand out in Little Brother, the prison questioning and torture; it's the quiet (then not-so-quiet) pushing-back of Marcus's network, the "Don't trust anyone under 25", the realizations and redrawings of what terrorism means, and how technology isn't meant to keep things secret; it's meant to keep things secure. This book truly is relevant, so please, read it.

Report This Jun 19, 2013
  • StarGladiator rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

How very "ironic" that a book like this is written by someone like Doctorow, a complete fraud and farce who censors his web site (boingboing.net) in order to keep it as vanilla as possible, that is, as commercially viable and therefore content-free. In these days of WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake, Dr. Cate Jenkins, Edward Snowden, and many others, a fraud like Doctorow should never be countenanced!

Report This Jun 19, 2013
  • teeja rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A timely and engaging technothriller, along the lines of early Stephenson for a younger audience.

I really liked this book which is weird because when I read it, I was still reading all teen romance novels and nothing else. One day, on a whim I picked it up and realized how awesome books can be even without it being mainly about two people falling in love. Books like this are the reason why, if you don't usually read, you should step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

"Following a terrorist attack on San Francisco, the overzealous Department of Homeland Security takes control of the city, restricting civil liberties and harshly interrogating innocent people - including techno-geek Marcus, who is swept up in a random raid. After he's finally released, Marcus becomes the driving force behind a group of teens who are determined to fight the oppressive system. Fans of dystopian fiction, particularly when it involves overthrowing tyrannical regimes, are sure to enjoy this exciting and thought-provoking story, which continues in the sequel Homeland." April 2013 Teen Scene newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=618274

For my lenghthy comment on Inland Security go to the Audio CD of this book. All of this CAN legally happen in the US. Probably also Canada. P.S. I'm more than twice thirty but that does not mean that I automatically believe the government, any government.

Don't trust what anyone over 30 has to say about this book!

I personally loved the story. I had some backround info about most of the references he used,and the story was great. Cory Doctorow really knows how to make interesting scenarios and the characters were believable. The question it present made readers think and aprreciate what it really meant to have freedom. The only downside was that the pacing slowed down after the vampbomb incident, and form there it dragged a little to me. Also the newspaper reporter, Barbra Standford felt just added on randomley, even though she technically had a key role to the plot

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Report This Jan 12, 2014
  • green_chicken_246 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

green_chicken_246 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

SETH A ROOP thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

elijahn thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Report This Sep 22, 2011
  • TheBigMan rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

TheBigMan thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Report This Mar 11, 2011
  • Jvorstenbosch rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Jvorstenbosch thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Report This Jan 21, 2009
  • liza rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Marcus is a likable if undeniably cocky hero — he hacks cellphones, sasses clueless authority figures and quotes the Declaration of Independence from memory. That cockiness gets scuffed a little in the disaster, and both the story and Marcus himself acquire grit and interest as a result. The fear and humiliation he experiences in interrogation are vividly detailed, and after­ward Marcus takes a principled stand that leads him into an ingenious program of resistance and civil rights activism.


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Report This Sep 22, 2011
  • TheBigMan rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: First book I've read in which a character has sex. Also there is sexual dialog as well.

Report This Mar 11, 2011
  • Jvorstenbosch rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: It gets a bit, steamy if ya know what i mean, nearer the end.


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Report This Jan 21, 2009
  • liza rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

“My technology was working for me, serving me, protecting me. It wasn’t spying on me. This is why I loved technology: if you used it right, it could give you power and privacy.”


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