HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory…
Loading...

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (2003)

by Cory Doctorow

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,927863,548 (3.55)66
Recently added byValZho, private library, mhaar, deldevries, Navarre1963, usageunit, duchessjlh, SeanMay, agille37
  1. 00
    Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (erikrebooted)
    erikrebooted: A darker, gritter take on downloadable consciousness and replacement bodies.
  2. 00
    Mine All Mine by Adam Davies (MonographicalyMe)
    MonographicalyMe: These titles share an interesting mix of the absurd and fantastical and the real challenges and natural quirks of human nature.
  3. 00
    Extras by Scott Westerfeld (lampbane)
    lampbane: Another look at the concept of a reputation economy, where wealth is measured by how famous a person is, and the main character desperately wants to stop being an "extra": just another face in the crowd.
  4. 00
    Truncat by Cory Doctorow (jshrop)
  5. 00
    Scroogled by Cory Doctorow (Liberuno)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 66 mentions

English (79)  French (5)  Romanian (1)  All languages (85)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
I started reading Doctorow's books written in 2009/2010 first. This much earlier book doesn't hold a candle to his later work. I liked it but ... the later works are much more well written! ( )
  deldevries | Jan 31, 2016 |
Hm. So I read this simply because I'm working on a project where we're throwing around the term "whuffie" quite often. I wanted to make sure I understood where the term came from. And Magic Kingdom is a short read -- and free -- so why not?

Overall: I like some of the ideas. I like exploring what happens when people live in a world of total abundance -- when they don't die, they don't starve, they can totally remake their bodies at a whim, etc. But this book kind of suffers from existing in this universe where Nothing Really Matters: Magic Kingdom is way too light. There's almost no substance to it. The central plot feels utterly inconsequential. The hundred-plus year-old characters have the wisdom of teenagers. And the moments when the story should take us aside and really explore some of the implications of all of this life-extension, social-currency ("whuffie") economy, etc stuff -- it doesn't. Which is a shame.

Anyway: It's a fun read. A quick read. Just lacking in substance. ( )
  chasing | Jan 18, 2016 |
Cory Doctorow is one of the high profile current crop of sci-fi authors, he is also famous for his blogs on Boing Boing, and his stance on liberalising copyright laws (he even got into a trouble with the legendary [a:Ursula K. Le Guin|874602|Ursula K. Le Guin|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1244291425p2/874602.jpg] for posting an article she wrote on his web site.

The first book I read of Doctorow’s was [b:Little Brother|954674|Little Brother (Little Brother, #1)|Cory Doctorow|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349673129s/954674.jpg|939584] I enjoyed it very much though I felt that the prose and dialog could be a little better. Three years later I just got around to Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, his first novel, and still one of his most popular (after [b:Little Brother|954674|Little Brother (Little Brother, #1)|Cory Doctorow|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349673129s/954674.jpg|939584]). When somebody at PrintSF (sf reading community) asks about where to start with Doctorow’s books this book always comes up.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is set in a post-scarcity economy where hunger, poverty and even death have been made obsolete. The absence of hunger hand poverty is not elaborated on very much but there is a mention “Makers” which seem to be the kind of nanotechnology “make anything” machines featured in Neal Stephenson's [b:The Diamond Age|827|The Diamond Age|Neal Stephenson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1388180931s/827.jpg|2181158] and Charles Stross’ [b:Singularity Sky|81992|Singularity Sky (Eschaton, #1)|Charles Stross|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386924988s/81992.jpg|1192005]. With all material wants satisfied money is no longer in use, however, there is still a currency of sorts called “Whuffies”. If I understand correctly whuffies are similar to “Likes” on Facebook or “Upvotes” on Reddit. The important difference is that whuffies are actually worth something, nice seats at restaurant, nicer houses and other privileges. The story of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom concerns the protagonist / narrator Julius’ struggle to hold on to his management position at Liberty Square in Disney World (the Magic Kingdom).

I like the 22nd century world that Doctorow depicts in this book, definitely one of the more optimistic visions of the future. The abolition of death through “backups” is always an interesting trope for speculation of how we would view our lives given that immortality is a thing. Personally I am of the opinion that after you are dead the version of you restored from a backup and put in a cloned body is not really you. Whatever your take on this idea may be it is regrettable that the issue is not explored in this book. Having built such an interesting post-singularity world it is a pity that Doctorow decides to focus the entire book on Walt Disney World, I am sure it is a very nice resort (never been there) but I want to know more about the world outside of it.

Doctorow employs a few neologisms in this book and he does not directly explain any of them. This is a fine tradition in sf writing where the meaning of the made up words gradually unfold through the context of the book. However, for the meanings to be inferred the author has to give clearer hints than what Doctorow has done here. For example after seeing the word “whuffie” a couple of times I assumed it is similar to Facebook’s “Like” but I did not know it has replaced currency. My failure or the author’s? You be the judge. Also words like “Bitchun Society” just sounds too juvenile to be used in any official capacity.

I have a feeling that with this first novel Doctorow tried too hard to be hip, hipster prose is really not very appealing to me. The protagonist and narrator Julius is too self indulgent to be sympathetic, as are all the other characters. The prose style is accessible and the dialogue is tolerable but I think Doctorow’s writing skills have improved substantially by the time he wrote [b:Little Brother|954674|Little Brother (Little Brother, #1)|Cory Doctorow|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349673129s/954674.jpg|939584].

I can recommend this book with the above mentioned reservations. The world and the technology is quite interesting, the book is easy to read and quite short (around 200 pages). More importantly Cory Doctorow has made this book available as a free e-book which you can download at Project Gutenberg (link) and other sites. ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
3.5 stars ( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
3.5 stars ( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cory Doctorowprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Collica, MichaelDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eshkar, ShelleyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
I lived long enough to see the cure for death; to see the rise of the Bitchun Society, to learn ten languages; to compose three symphonies; to realize my boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World; to see the death of the workplace and of work.
Quotations
You don't want to be a post-person. You want to stay human.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 076530953X, Paperback)

On The Skids In The Transhuman Future

Jules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies...and to realize his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World.

Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long-ago twentieth century. Now in the keeping of a network of "ad-hocs" who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest high-tech touches.

Now, though, the "ad hocs" are under attack. A new group has taken over the Hall of the Presidents, and is replacing its venerable audioanimatronics with new, immersive direct-to-brain interfaces that give guests the illusion of being Washington, Lincoln, and all the others. For Jules, this is an attack on the artistic purity of Disney World itself.

Worse: it appears this new group has had Jules killed. This upsets him. (It's only his fourth death and revival, after all.) Now it's war....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:26 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Jules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies...and to realize his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World." "Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long-ago twentieth century. Now in the care of a network of volunteer "ad-hocs" who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest high-tech touches." "Now, though, it seems the "ad hocs" are under attack. A new group has taken over the Hall of Presidents and is replacing its venerable audioanimatronics with new, immersive direct-to-brain interfaces that give guests the illusion of being Washington, Lincoln, and all the others. For Jules, this is an attack on the artistic purity of Disney World itself." "Worse: it appears this new group has had Jules killed. This upsets him. (It's only his fourth death and revival, after all.) Now it's war: war for the soul of the Magic Kingdom, a war of ever-shifting reputations, technical wizardry, and entirely unpredictable outcomes."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
215 wanted
5 free
8 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.55)
0.5 4
1 8
1.5 7
2 50
2.5 21
3 189
3.5 60
4 213
4.5 23
5 94

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,237,481 books! | Top bar: Always visible