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Homeland Hardcover – February 5, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
Both are dystopian novels about surveillance societies, but in many ways, Homeland is a more immediate, present day thriller. The vast majority of surveillance technology Doctorow describes exists now, and is already deployed in schools and by governments and corporations. Schools are today monitoring kids, taking pictures of them at school, in their homes, in various states of undress. Governments are installing spyware, with its own weaknesses that then make it easier to for criminals to get access to your computer. Companies are turning vast quantities of personal data into ever-more targeted marketing.
While I recall being outraged at the spectre of draconian surveillance in Little Brother, that feeling turned more to fear in Homeland. The future is here, and it's not pretty.
As another reviewer noted, 'Severe Haircut Lady' is not very threatening as the villain of the story, but I would say the true antagonist is the surveillance state itself, rather than any one person.
Like most Doctorow novels, Homeland is one third entertainment, one third education about the state and direction of technology's influence on us, and one third practical lessons in privacy defense. Since reading it I've changed and lengthened passwords, turned on two-factor authentication, encrypted hard drives, and started using a secure VPN.Read more ›
Like Little Brother, Homeland must be read by anyone who cares about privacy, civil liberties, technology, or their intersection. Not only does the book address serious issues, it does so in a manner that makes it impossible to put it down until the very end. You'll be left actually thinking about social, legal, technological, and ethical issues, and that's exactly what society needs so desperately.
Perhaps the worst part about the experience is that it made me second-guess whether Little Brother was really all that good to begin with. I kind of hope that Homeland really does pale in comparison to its predecessor, but maybe I've just outgrown this author's writing. Regardless, it was a disappointing read.
Homeland is the sequel to Little Brother, though the novel gives enough of the backstory for it to easily stand alone. If you would like a synopsis, please refer to the publisher’s review, it does an excellent job and would be redundant here. The title refers to The Homeland Security Agency (and the NSA) and their seemingly insatiable need to watch and capture every bit of information traveling the airwaves. Our beloved cell phones, smart pads and computers are as transparent to them as any window.
Doctorow writes with authority and confidence about all things high tech, that which currently exists and that which is just around the corner. The listener is easily and comfortably guided by the author’s expert grasp of the technological nature of the material, neither overwhelming us with it, nor pandering to us. You don’t have to be a high-tech geek to enjoy this novel, because it affects all of us. And that’s where it gets truly frightening; because it’s real, not SciFi, not distant future tech, not aliens, but here and now government surveillance, using our very own gadgets to watch us, catch us and maybe even control us.
After listening to this exciting and thoroughly enjoyable novel, this reviewer was shaken to his paranoid core. It’s real, only the characters and the storyline are fictionalized. There is no question that they are watching us, Edward Snowden convinced us of that. Now that we know, do we go back to sleep, or do we follow the advice in the several appendices of the book. Doctorow clearly practices what he preaches, even going so far as to keep this audiobook off of Audible.com because of its onerous digital rights policy, very likely harming his own audiobook’s sales.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is difficult to rate this book. On one hand, the information and ideas contained in the book are so valuable that everyone should read it as the new 1984 of the 21st century. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Michel Pitermann
Cool story. I honestly bought this cuz I spilled ice cream in it and had to replace it for Library. Cheap price, great quality.Published 26 days ago by Amazon Min-Soek
Review first published on jenasbookreviews.blogspot.com
The sequel to Little Brother. Set in modern day but even more dystopian than the US currently is (but not by... Read more
Ok, so it's chock-full of very technical IT stuff and it creates anarchist-libertarian straw men. Who cares? It's still a thrilling populist call against oppression and oligarchy. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robert F. Jablon
Like most people who pick up this book, I read and enjoyed "Little Brother." Perhaps I should start by saying I'm not a computer geek and I do not generally read sci-fi... Read morePublished 2 months ago by L. Lineberger
Spoilers contained in this review -
Some of the strengths I enjoyed from this book's predecessor, Little Brother, were still there - hackivism, computer security and a... Read more
Although the book is somewhat the author's soapbox, he makes his point in a non-obnoxious manner through wonderful plot and characters.Published 5 months ago by generjones
This is a modern story for a modern time. Fantastic for a YA audience, but much here for their older peers and elders to digest and reflect upon. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Chris S. Markham
Unusual themes: the Burning Man festival, a realistic huge protest, and a Wikileaks treasure trove of government corruption. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Josiah Kirby White