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Showing 221-230 of 267 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 513 reviews
on August 18, 2008
This book is not only insightful, important, and educational, it's also entertaining. I got it at about 3PM and by 8PM I had finished it. I had planned for it to last me several weeks.

More importantly, get copies of this book into the hands of your younger siblings, your children, your young friends, and anyone else you know who has yet to be crushed into conformity by the pressures of corporate life, family, and years of kneeling before The Man. You might just save them, and the world.
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on January 14, 2011
This has literally become one of my favorite books, I've given it to a few friends for Christmas and they all loved it. I would definately recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon July 18, 2008
I will just echo what so many others have said. This is an excellent book for the "older young adult" (mid teens perhaps?) who is looking for a good read. It's a coming of age story, set in the near future (perhaps even current day) with a message that is important. Blind obedience to government is not a good thing, among other lessons.

As a parent, I would be more than comfortable to give it to my children when they are old enough (13 or 14 and up).
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on May 29, 2008
A book with important information for anyone to know, but unfortunately intertwined with a flawed story.. Perhaps being local to the bay area, i could catch these flaws easier than most. That being said, they're not that big a deal, but the path of our protagonist seems to be laid out in a way that he is able to get out of trouble as easy as he gets into it. Still a great book and should be on every young adult's required reading list. Good luck getting this one on the recommended reading list at schools tho. I am also a full-blown adult so i am not the target reader.
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on June 17, 2009
This is an incredible book, and you should certainly purchase it. The book literally left me with chills when I finished.

It is well written and fast-paced, despite the fact that it explores complex themes and contains interesting information about cryptography and computer science.

I can see reading this when younger, and being compelled to a different career path than the one I chose. Who knows, perhaps I will still change paths?!
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on August 5, 2008
There's no question that terrorists (of various stripes) pose a threat to free societies. The real question is whether the anti-terrorist measures work. This book explores how a young man and his friends run headfirst into that question.

While I am one who believes that much of what we've done in the US has made us less free as a people, I would hope that those who disagree with me will have read through a book like this to test their own conclusions. (Don't get me wrong--I'm not pro-terrorist, and I'm all for *smart* security measures.)

Buy it for yourself. Buy it for the neighbor's kids. Buy it for your local library. Buy it as an act of protest, an act of patriotism, an act of loyal dissent. Heck, just buy it because it's a book you won't want to put down.
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on June 1, 2012
Having heard of this book previously, but never read it, I was curious to see what it was all about when I was assigned it as reading for a class. Doctorow's book is, in a sense, a modern-day 1984: it portrays a dystopian San Francisco, crushed under the heel of the DHS after a terrorist attack. It follows the efforts of a teenager, Marcus, who (after his wrongful imprisonment as a terrorist accomplice) decides to lead efforts to resist the DHS, and return to a free society. Marcus' fight centers around the use of technology to equalize the imbalance of power that exists between the citizens of San Francisco and DHS operatives.

The premise of the book is truly fascinating, and it presents a tale that kept me interested from beginning to end. What I cannot speak so highly of, however, is the writing. The writing, in particularly Marcus' narration, is truly awful. Almost all references to technology come across as if they were shoehorned in merely to give Doctorow an opportunity to explain the meaning to the reader, which makes the book feel like a glorified textbook at times. The primary characters are self-righteous teenagers, full of "you can't trust any adult" cliches, and almost every adult character is portrayed as an authoritarian menace who lives to bully anyone younger than 30. Perhaps most aggravatingly, Marcus occasionally thinks in leet-speak (naturally, explaining it to the reader). One of the most painfully awkward passages in the book is when he observes to himself that a female friend is "h4wt", helpfully explaining that it means "hot".

As I said, the book does have a really interesting story. I enjoyed it immensely. However, the writing of the book is so poor that I would have given up at most halfway through were I not required to read it for class. I recommend you skip this book, but if you are interested, at least read it in PDF form first (Doctorow generously offers the book in PDF form on his web site) before buying a printed copy.


- Great plot
- Relevant to today's social attitude of "security at any cost" with respect to fighting terrorism
- Sometimes interesting uses of technology as an equalizer of disparate power levels


- Writing is painfully bad
- Technology mainly feels like an excuse to educate the reader on technology, rather than something necessary for the plot
- The writing really is as bad as I'm saying

Recommendation: Avoid
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on February 24, 2013
There are moments in the book that should draw readers into the story...the ideas and situations of our paranoid and controlling world, for instance. However, unless you are addicted to high tech terminology and the overload of on-line ARGs and the like...Zzzzz. It's no wonder the author likes to make his books available for free via downloading on line - lack of honest sales, I suspect. Some attempts are made to humanize the story and characters...but they occur well into the book, when you're lucky if you still have any interest in the content.
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on April 28, 2009
Little Brother
I had so much fun reading this book and would recommend it to anyone. Cory Doctorow has written a very compelling and fast read that will appeal to anyone with a myspace page or Facebook account. Video gamers, bloggers, and parents will have a lot to ponder as they read this book. I bought a copy for big brother and plan on reading it again myself.
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on July 5, 2014
Little brother is a good read--even for a 70 year old. But it provides perspective on how close we are to spacing out while 'big brother' does a number on us.

Sadly the solution for it in the book was stupid. Get your friends who don't vote--because there is 'no none off the above' option--to go out and vote! Really? That is why we don't vote. There is nobody to vote for. They are all liars.

None the less the rest of the book is excellent. Read it.
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