I read Little Brother because a friend of mine suggested Doctorow time and again. I picked it up off of his website, since he has it released under Creative Commons.
In it, Marcus Yallow is a tech geek who plays an ARG with his friends. One day, while hunting down a clue in the ARG with his friends, his world is changed by terrorist attack in his home town. His friend end up arrested and imprisoned by the Department of Homeland security for days. When he finally gets out, Marcus decides to take his city back.
I have mixed thoughts in this, Marcus is a guy a lot like me, so I identified with a lot of what he wanted done. He’s a very interesting character with a very wide knowledge base. The plot is tight, and has a lot of interesting little conflicts around the concepts of freedom and responsibility. Don’t want to spoil too much, but there are a number of arguments between people who have the same outlook on the ethics of the situation, but very different feelings about how to handle them.
One thing Doctorow did in this book that didn’t bother me in this case, but is something I call out in others, is really showing off his research. There are multiple paragraph explanations of the technology at use, which is cool to someone like me who finds gadgets interesting inherently, but if that isn’t you, I can see it boring you.
Other than that, this novel was pretty timely when it was written, and still has a lot to say about our culture right now. I liked it, but it had its faults. Definitely worth reading, though!
Have you read Little Brother? Tell us your thoughts below!