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Little Brother

by Cory Doctorow

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Little Brother (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,8653751,554 (4.03)2 / 270
After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, seventeen-year-old Marcus, released into what is now a police state, decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.
  1. 251
    1984 by George Orwell (JFDR)
    JFDR: 1984's Big Brother is Little Brother's namesake.
  2. 100
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (kellyholmes)
  3. 60
    For the Win by Cory Doctorow (jshrop)
  4. 61
    The Hacker Crackdown: Law And Disorder On The Electronic Frontier by Bruce Sterling (persky)
    persky: The book that turned Doctorow on to the EFF and a real world account of various government agencies cracking down on teenage hackers.
  5. 51
    Makers by Cory Doctorow (SheReads)
  6. 31
    Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow (ahstrick)
  7. 20
    Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (PghDragonMan)
  8. 20
    After by Francine Prose (meggyweg)
  9. 10
    Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For knowledge, the use and distribution, general purpose. Best for teens.
  10. 10
    Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson (kaledrina)
  11. 10
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both about teens fighting back against the greater power using computers.
  12. 10
    The Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian (strande)
    strande: In chapter thirteen, Ange and Marcus call the media whores. "In fact, that's an insult to hardworking whores everywhere. They're, they're profiteers." Media Monopoly is a whole book about how the media turned into profiteers.
  13. 10
    Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age by Steven Levy (kraaivrouw)
  14. 54
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (JFDR)
  15. 10
    Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho by Jon Katz (writecathy)
  16. 10
    So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (kellyholmes)
  17. 10
    Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias (reconditereader)
    reconditereader: Both involve dystopias, resistance, oppression, technology, and interesting characters.
  18. 10
    The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian (JFDR)
  19. 00
    The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith (kaledrina)
  20. 00
    The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi (g33kgrrl)
    g33kgrrl: Young people take on the system.

(see all 31 recommendations)

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English (361)  Italian (3)  German (3)  Hungarian (2)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Indonesian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (373)
Showing 1-5 of 361 (next | show all)
This book was awesome! ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
So this is a pretty interesting book, but it's one of those "political argument in novel form" books that I always hold to a higher standard.

The annoying thing about this book is that Marcus never actually does anything productive. Everything he does is defensive, which is valid to a certain extent, but you're never going to change the world by adamantly insisting it stay as it is. Throughout most of the book, he had no strategy to end the DHS's reign of terror. He just had strategies to hold them back for a while, and then they'd crack his defenses, and push him back. This, relentlessly. His "victory" at the end was far too neat and tidy. And the "moral of the story" that people should just get out and vote? Barf. The leaks over the last couple of months have proved that the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans on this front. What is voting going to do?! Nothing, absent a huge struggle that seriously affects the economy.

As a novel it was a good read, though. And I can't fault it on actually understanding modern technology, which sets out apart from many other novels! So I mean, it was alright (especially since you can get it for free), but not really, REALLY good. ( )
  Jayeless | May 27, 2020 |
educational, scary and more or less believable, which is what makes it scary ( )
  mvayngrib | Mar 22, 2020 |
Terrible, terrible writing. Truely appaling. YA
1 for opposing USA domestic tyrrany. No other redeeming qualities at all. At all. ( )
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
Although this book was written in 2008, it is still very relevant. Perhaps even more so with the current rise of authoritarianism around the world. Little Brother follows the story of a young man caught in a terrorist explosion in San Francisco in the near future. The story has aged okay, though there were a few things that haven't. For instance, Amazon is mentioned as the bookstore of the future, which it has been, but with its current monopolistic tendencies, I'm not sure Mr. Doctorow would be singing its praises quite so hard in today's world. In the book, a group of high schoolers rebels against governmental overreach in sanfran in the aftermath of the bombing. They use a variety of creative hacks to subvert harsh security measures that are instituted in the name of safety.
There is a lot of action and decent characterization and the story flows mostly smoothly. There are slight stutters when the author stops to explain innumerable security concepts, most of which are fascinating but also necessary to understand the actions of the characters. There is a slight feeling of a primer on op-sec to the whole story, more of which most Americans could use.
A couple of other notes on this particular edition- each chapter is preceded by an ode to various bookshops Mr. Doctorow has visited (and maybe a couple he worked at?) and it's quite sad to see that several of them have gone out of business or are in the process of doing so. Also, there is an interesting prologue in which he discusses piracy as it relates to books (and to a lesser extent other media, primarily music) in which he states that for most authors the main problem isn't the number of readers that are pirating a book, but that for most authors even getting the book into readers hands is a difficult proposition. Book pirates are, in the end, readers, and isn't that what matters? He likens it to making a mix tape or loaning a book to a friend or going to the library (there's revenue associated with this one, but you know what I mean). I'm not advocating one way or another, but I sure wish you could get an electronic copy of hardback books that you purchase. Additionally, there are two appendices from security professionals where a lot of the novels' points are succinctly advocated for. One of them is Bruce Schneier who is a security god and I recommend that you read him if you want to up your personal security game.
Upon re-reading this novel, I find that it still stands up to the test of time and recommend it to anyone looking for an action-packed YA novel, or anyone interested in seeing civil disobedience writ large. ( )
  Vokram | Mar 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 361 (next | show all)
Little Brother represents a great step forward in the burgeoning subgenre of dystopian young-adult SF. It brings a greater degree of political sophistication, geekiness and civil disobedience to a genre that was already serving up a milder dose of rebellion. After this, no YA novel will be able to get away with watering down its youthful revolution.
 
MY favorite thing about “Little Brother” is that every page is charged with an authentic sense of the personal and ethical need for a better relationship to information technology, a visceral sense that one’s continued dignity and independence depend on it: “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.”

I can’t help being on this book’s side, even in its clunkiest moments. It’s a neat story and a cogently written, passionately felt argument.
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cory Doctorowprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gutzschhahn, Uwe-MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayden, Patrick NielsenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heyborne, KirbyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoteling, SpringDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huang, AndrewAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lutjen, PeterCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schneier, BruceAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shimizu, YukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Alice, who makes me whole
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I'm a senior at Cesar Chavez high in San Francisco's sunny Mission district, and that makes me one of the most surveilled people in the world.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The ultimate tale of teen rebellion -- one seventeen-year-old against the surveillance state. Big Brother is watching you. Who's watching back? Marcus is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works -- and how to work the system. Smart, fast and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school's intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems. But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison, where they're mercilessly interrogated for days. When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state, where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

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