Little Brother by Cory Doctorow MAG

By Christian Ferko, Jim Thorpe, PA

“The Man was always coming down on me, just because I go through school firewalls like wet kleenex, spoof the gait-­recognition software, and nuke the snitch chips they track us with,” complains Marcus ­Yallow, the main character of Little Brother, a science-fiction thriller by up-and-coming ­author Cory Doctorow. Throughout the novel, Marcus faces invasive surveillance by a government that threatens his privacy. While others submit as their freedoms are taken away, Marcus uses technology and his wits to fight back: he vows to take down the Man.

Set in San Francisco in the not-too-distant future. Marcus is an avid technology geek who hates the heavy security at his school. He and his friends routinely hack the school’s system.

After ditching school one day, Marcus and his friends witness a terrorist bombing of a bridge that kills thousands. The group is caught in the chaos of the ­attack and ­apprehended by the Department of Homeland ­Security. Marcus is later released only to find that his city is now run by the DHS. Everyone is being watched. Everyone is a potential terrorist. Thus ­begins Marcus’s journey to ­sabotage the DHS and reclaim his freedom.

The novel is exciting and well-written in a casual, direct tone. This technique draws the reader into the action and makes it easy to sympathize with the characters. Doctorow has Marcus occasionally address the reader in monologues that are often informative, explaining the technology he uses, much of which is real.

Although it is very entertaining, the book carries a deeper meaning: freedom is precious. In light of the Patriot Act and other legislation passed in response to real terrorist attacks, these questions are very relevant today.

Little Brother is an exciting novel that will appeal to anyone with an interest in technology or basic rights. Everyone will find it an eye-opening read that makes them wonder who might be watching.

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This article has 3 comments.

roro1312 said...
on Dec. 19 2008 at 3:03 am
i think that this is a pretty good book...:]

Pretty Gurl said...
on Dec. 15 2008 at 4:51 pm
This was the best book i've ever read!I really injoyed it and can't wait to see the movie!

JTmagick said...
on Dec. 15 2008 at 1:38 am
Hey Christian, Nice Review. This looks a pretty good book. Brandon


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