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Pirate Cinema Hardcover – October 2, 2012
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From School Library Journal
“Doctorow is indispensible. It's hard to imagine any other author taking on youth and technology with such passion, intelligence, and understanding.” ―Booklist, starred review on For The Win
“Generally awesome in the more vernacular sense: It's pretty freaking cool... He's also terrific at finding the human aura shimmering around technology.” ―The Los Angeles Times on Little Brother
“A believable and frightening tale of a near-future San Francisco… Filled with sharp dialogue and detailed descriptions…within a tautly crafted fictional framework.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Little Brother
“Doctorow pays homage to  with an impassioned, polemical consideration of the War on Terror that dovetails with themes of teenage angst, rebellion, and paranoia ... Little Brother should easily find favor with fans of M. T. Anderson's Feed, Janet Tashjian's The Gospel According to Larry, and Scott Westerfeld's So Yesterday.” ―Horn Book(starred review) on Little Brother
“Readers will delight in the details of how Marcus attempts to stage a techno-revolution… Buy multiple copies; this book will be h4wt (that's ‘hot,' for the nonhackers).” ―Booklist (starred review) on Little Brother
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Top Customer Reviews
However, around (just over?) half way through, the book became a repetitive one-sided treatise against internet copyright restriction, and every single character seems to give exactly the same speech over and over again. Not subtle; not nuanced; not in any way enlightening - let alone entertaining. Tediously boring, in fact. Which is such a pity, because the first half of the book is particularly enjoyable.
It's very rare indeed for me to abandon a book before its end, not matter how bad it is. But this one has indeed been exceptional.
So this is a bit disappointing, largely because of the high expectations set by Doctorow's much more deftly-executed work around some of these same themes.
Characters break into long dogmatic monologues at the drop of a hat, dialogue that comes across as artificial as the faux-dialogue in student educational films.
The characters manifest skills in gourmet cooking and construction rehabilitation that are incredibly rare amongst the populace and quickly demonstrate said skills at genius levels that normally take a lifetime of work to develop.
The trash becomes a very obvious deux ex machina that drops absolutely anything the characters need into their hands as easily as the Enterprise's synthesizer. (I'm surprised they didn't just nick a few pallets of gold that the Royal Treasury was throwing out for being scratched.)
The subject matter is treated only with jagged strokes of black and white. The antagonists are portrayed as so evil that I'm surprised their lawyer wasn't twirling a Simon Legree mustache between two fingers. There's no character who examines or argues the opposite viewpoint in any sort of reasonable way.
And as his story universe's God, on multiple occasions, Doctorow allows remarkable but unrealistic coincidences to perfectly fall into place as needed (such as the hobby of the protagonist's movie star idol).
One might argue that some of these are permissible when writing for young adults, but pre-teens and teenagers are sophisticated enough to both notice and have problems with each of these issues. Read anything from Diane Duane's Young Wizardry series if you think the label of `young adult' excuses these sort of problems.Read more ›
Having been in Leicester Square for the debut of the Harry Potter film The Half-Blood Prince, I can tell you that Doctorow's description of the spectacle there is good, though I don't think he's really brought home the glitzy insanity that is the studios whoring their products by enticing young teens to squeal for the cameras and the explosive decompression as a downpour dispersed them to the nearest tube station.
Once again, Doctorow has given us sexually active teens, which prevents Hollywood from developing this as a film project, due to America's, puritan prudery, which still hasn't grasped that their high moral codes can't stop young teens from experimenting. Not that Hollywood would want to produce a film that calls them to task for their efforts to manacle the creative spirit of the mash-up artists.
Just saw an article about a fellow who's faithfully remastered Star Wars into better digital definition than the copyright holders have ever offered for sale and because he wasn't authorized to make this labor of love, downloading it is illegal. This is exactly, thought not specifically, what Doctorow is writing about. Hollywood is incapable of understanding the fan universe and its desire to create content that keeps their love for their favorite stars, films, music and programs alive. In their headlong pursuit of stockholder profit increases via civil and criminal litigation, studios are shooting the messenger.
I've been enjoying the works of Cory Doctorow since "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom". I always have to remind myself that he's British--he seems to know the voice of Americans as well as his own. I have very recently read his "Rapture of the Nerds", which is wild and crazy in the way only well-rendered `mad-cap' sci-fi can be. I unreservedly encourage anyone who reads sci-fi to add his name to your shopping list.
Okay, so, I'm reading Cory Doctorow's "Pirate Cinema"--part near-future social sci-fi tale and part remonstrance against one particular bit of Corporate Inhumanity--the copyright laws that target anyone using downloads of Big Studio movies, music, and graphics to create something new, a `smash-up', if you will, which is a creative process, itself, as much or more than it is a criminal plagiarism.
I see where he's going; he makes a great (call that `iron-clad') case for his argument--but I've always been a `big picture' guy--the copyright infringement legislation that Mr. Doctorow is so bothered by is shameful, but it is also just one, single symptom in Corporate Inhumanity's attack upon the humanities, individual rights, and even our safety.
Monsanto is leading the fight to take control of the agricultural industry and trade concern with voters for concern with one corporation's bottom line. Financial institutions have carried on in the same way, unchanged since they threw the working-people-of-the-world into bankruptcies, repossessions, declining wages, less entitlements, bankrupt state and local governments, blasted education budgets and zero job opportunities--back in 2007.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Cory Doctorow writing style and the way he is able to capture the issue with current technology. Read morePublished 3 months ago by David
I almost completely agree with Cory Doctorow and his stance against IP law and Copyright. That said this book is SO impossibly one sided and repetitive that it honestly made me... Read morePublished 5 months ago by David Chandler
I love this book. Thinking of using it in my Emerging Technologies class as a thought provoking reason we should be involved in helping our legislator's understanding of how... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lee Graham
Perhaps a bit simple and unsophisticated for the major markets, Pirate Cinema will be well appreciated by today's YA audience. Read morePublished 15 months ago by spudsy
As far as i am concerned this book was simply not up to snuff when compared to his other books.
The characters were alright but i didn't really care about them very much... Read more
I picked up "Pirate Cinema" pretty much at random and am really glad I did! It was an engaging, fast-moving story peopled with believably and movingly human characters,... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Michelle Gienow
Only book (for adults) I've read yet that could convince me that being homeless / running away from home (if you're in a bad situation) is preferable to staying, and that you might... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Rebekah Barlow
This is the complete review as it appears <a href="http://ianwoodnovellum.blogspot.com/2014/09/pirate-cinema-by-cory-doctorow. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Amazon Customer