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The perils of a common blogger
on August 17, 2011
Casey Shenk is an ordinary man, living an ordinary life, with a sub-ordinary job, two ordinary friends and one unusual passion: blogging about world politics. He speaks only English, has a rather pedestrian education and loves spending time in lower class bars: but he is curious about the world he lives in, he doesn't tire easily, and enjoys solving puzzles. The problem is that he also likes publishing his opinions and findings on the internet.
This is dangerous.
Intrigued by a bizarre news item, he uses his Google-fu to scour the public internet for clues and explanations; based on what he finds in open sources he assembles a plausible hypothesis, and posts it on his blog. The hypothesis is more right than wrong, and powerful people take notice; some see him as a problem to be solved once and for all, while others see him as a potential resource to be used.
"Open Source" is a good and unusual thriller. In contrast to the trend of ever more frantic action, the book returns to the humane pace of yesteryear, allowing the characters to eat, drink, sleep, think and work. The incipient relationship between the two main characters is well handled, and a joy to follow. The characters move at their own pace in a rich environment. The plot unfolds gradually, making the reader wish it would never end.
This book could be the beginning of an excellent series; I am looking forward for a continuation, or indeed for any new book by Matthew Frick.
(Scale: * - unreadable, couldn't finish. ** - bad or very bad, but readable. *** - good work, well worth its price. **** - very good in its genre. ***** - timeless masterpiece.)