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Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
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Little Brother (edition 2010)

by Cory Doctorow

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,664None1,434 (4.08)224
Member:omelas
Title:Little Brother
Authors:Cory Doctorow
Info:Tor Teen (2010), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Recommendation engine
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

2008 (42) civil liberties (41) civil rights (67) computers (85) cyberpunk (51) dystopia (166) ebook (102) fiction (411) freedom (45) government (53) hackers (118) hacking (90) homeland security (69) politics (43) privacy (86) read (75) San Francisco (138) science fiction (441) security (57) sf (105) signed (42) speculative fiction (43) surveillance (63) technology (158) teen (53) terrorism (237) to-read (79) YA (203) young adult (238) young adult fiction (39)
  1. 201
    1984 by George Orwell (JFDR)
    JFDR: 1984's Big Brother is Little Brother's namesake.
  2. 100
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (snozzberry)
  3. 50
    For the Win by Cory Doctorow (jshrop)
  4. 31
    Makers by Cory Doctorow (SheReads)
  5. 20
    After by Francine Prose (meggyweg)
  6. 31
    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.
  7. 10
    The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian (JFDR)
  8. 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.
  9. 21
    Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow (ahstrick)
  10. 10
    Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For knowledge, the use and distribution, general purpose. Best for teens.
  11. 10
    So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (snozzberry)
  12. 10
    Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho by Jon Katz (writecathy)
  13. 10
    Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age by Steven Levy (kraaivrouw)
  14. 10
    Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (PghDragonMan)
  15. 00
    Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson (kaledrina)
  16. 00
    Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky (kaledrina)
  17. 00
    The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith (kaledrina)
  18. 00
    Z by Michael Thomas Ford (kaledrina)
  19. 00
    Scroogled by Cory Doctorow (Liberuno)
  20. 33
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (JFDR)

(see all 27 recommendations)

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» See also 224 mentions

English (285)  German (3)  Italian (3)  Indonesian (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (297)
Showing 1-5 of 285 (next | show all)
At one time, I suggested this book to my twelve year old. She is a prolific reader and reads quite above level. She wasn't interested, but I was. I'm glad she wasn't interested as I believe that many of the themes are too mature for her.
Little Brother is a smart, entertaining, socially conscious, diverse piece of literature. I enjoyed every moment of it. I rooted for the MC every bit of the way and I sympathized with him and I admired his strength.
The characters felt real, from the snarky know it all teachers, to the hipster investigative reporter, to the friends of the MC. I have to say that this book, with its tightly woven plot, also taught me a lot about basic tech we frequently take for granted, and it opened my eyes to the constitutional rights we also often take for granted. This is still something I'd like my kids to read, but perhaps when they are older.
I give this tale a four instead of five stars because sometimes the tech explanations did get a little heavy. I'm proud to say that I'm savvy (minimally, but enough to get it) bit I think a lot of people wouldn't, unless they're in the 17 yo or thereabouts crowd.
Awesome tale. I definitely intend to read/listen to the next book in this series. ( )
  khaalidah | Mar 14, 2014 |
An excruciating failure of a book, but its heart is in the right place. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
I read this book in two sittings--and would have read it in one if I didn't need to get up and go somewhere the next morning. There isn't a dull moment, and there is hardly a moment that doesn't make me boiling mad at what our country is being turned into by unchecked government power. Little Brother starts with a terrorist attack in San Francisco, in which a group of teenagers is caught up. Swept up by the Department of Homeland Security as suspicious characters, they are whisked away to the middle of San Francisco Bay and treated like terrorists, forced to hand over their cellphone passwords and stripped of their dignity and their rights as American citizens. After Marcus Yallow is released, he watches in horror as San Francisco is rapidly turned into a police state. Citizens movements are tracked through their Fast Passes, their transit cards, and by surveillance cameras everywhere. Marcus has a weapon, however--he is a hacker. And soon he has a band of followers who are successfully throwing monkey wrench after monkey wrench into the DHS's assault on the privacy and freedom of San Franciscans. Can a teenager succeed in his quixotic quest to make people put away their fear of terrorists and realize that the greatest danger to our freedom comes from within? Can he make anyone understand and appreciate the meaning of the Bill of Rights or of the words of the Declaration of Independence? You'll just have to read the book to find out.

Doctorow compares the current security insanity with an autoimmune disease: "Right now, America is going into anaphylactic shock over its own freedoms, and we need to inoculate ourselves against this."

If you have any interest in technology, you will be riveted. Of course, things change quickly, and the recent horrifying revelations of the NSA's illegal spying and their ability to perhaps compromise encryption techniques thought to be secure, makes this book a little dated. Although Doctorow exaggerates a bit to induce in the reader the necessary state of paranoia to understand and embrace the book's message, these recent revelations show that he was definitely on the right track. Every American should read this book and follow in the footsteps of Marcus Yallow. Our freedom is at stake. ( )
  datrappert | Feb 1, 2014 |
A triumphant story about kids facing down totalitarian impulses of the state. Full of geekery and a pretty scary dystopian "what if" based on post-9/11 law.
  bfister | Dec 23, 2013 |
I've been meaning to read Little Brother for a long time, so when it came up for the SF/F course on Coursera, it seemed like it was finally time. Maybe it got built up a bit too much over time, because I found it fairly disappointing. There's something very immature about it -- in some ways, that's part of its charm, because it's enthusiastic and straightforward and the characters/plot are earnest.

But. While I enjoy Cory Doctorow's non-fiction writing (he writes very clearly about copyright, piracy, etc), I haven't enjoyed his fiction nearly as much. He seems to write still partly in a non-fiction mode: we get lectured about the world he's setting up, rather than seeing it in action. It's like a thought experiment, a way of playing out his concerns. There's a place for that, of course, but it's a lot easier to swallow when it's wrapped up in prose like that of Ursula Le Guin. This probably is a fairly direct comparison to books like Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland: it's a story born of convictions more than of the urge to tell a story, I think.

For a reader who is used to Cory Doctorow's work and already interested in this kind of thing, the narrator's explanations are unnecessary, and even for those who are not, it's a bit heavy-handed. Doctorow's writing is clear, and he gets his points across... but for me, that was a trade off against flow and interest.

I don't really see why people found this so fascinating and absorbing, I'm afraid. ( )
  shanaqui | Dec 15, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 285 (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 (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cory Doctorowprimary authorall 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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Epigraph
Dedication
For Alice, who makes me whole
First words
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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Wikipedia in English (3)

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.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765319853, Hardcover)

Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” 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 that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:26 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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