- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (October 27, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765312794
- ISBN-13: 978-0765312792
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,104,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Makers Hardcover – October 27, 2009
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this tour de force, Doctorow (Little Brother) uses the contradictions of two overused SF themes—the decline and fall of America and the boundless optimism of open source/hacker culture—to draw one of the most brilliant reimaginings of the near future since cyberpunk wore out its mirror shades. Perry Gibbons and Lester Banks, typical brilliant geeks in a garage, are trash-hackers who find inspiration in the growing pile of technical junk. Attracting the attention of suits and smart reporter Suzanne Church, the duo soon get involved with cheap and easy 3D printing, a cure for obesity and crowd-sourced theme parks. The result is bitingly realistic and miraculously avoids cliché or predictability. While dates and details occasionally contradict one another, Doctorow's combination of business strategy, brilliant product ideas and laugh-out-loud moments of insight will keep readers powering through this quick-moving tale. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Covering the transformation of Kodacell (formerly Kodak and Duracell) into a network of tiny teams, journalist Suzanne Church goes to Florida and the inventors behind it all, Lester and Perry, who have more ideas than they know what to do with. The New Work (i.e., the network) takes off, with a mini-startup in every abandoned strip mall in America. But suddenly, it crashes, and things get really interesting. Lester and Perry build an interactive ride in an abandoned Wal-Mart, a nostalgia trip through their glory days, that catches the eye of a vicious Disney exec—and the old corporate giants fight their last battle against the new economic order. Doctorow’s talent for imagining the near future is astonishing, and his novels keep getting better. His prognostications are unnervingly plausible and completely bizarre, obviously developed from careful observation of what’s going on at the bleeding edge of technology and culture. The characters are simultaneously completely geeky and suave, lovable and flawed. Even the suits, marketing people and lawyers, are interesting. --Regina Schroeder
Top Customer Reviews
The rest of the movie isn't about that, of course, but about Benjamin's sexual and romantic exploits. But in some parallel universe, perhaps a different version of "The Graduate" exists, where Benjamin follows his father's colleague's advice, goes into plastics, becomes an inventor, strikes out on his own, and winds up rebelling not against Mrs. Robinson, but Exxon, or GE or IBM.
"Makers" is the closest thing in this universe to that version. It is youthful and exuberant, but also world-weary and wise, and freshly of-the-moment. Part I is a head-spinning avalanche of incident and invention, Part II, a meditation on failed revolutions, Part III the battle plan for a hard-fought, ambiguous, but plausible victory.
The book is many things: let me point out three. One: it is a catalogue of brand-new desirable products. My personal favorite is the lego-block-shaped ice-cubes. I want them so badly. You'll have your own favorites, I am sure. You'd have to go back to "American Psycho" for so many wonderful things to buy on each page. But "Makers" is much hipper: genuine cool versus ironic-cool.
Two: it is a detailed, extremely plausible, and only thinly disguised history of the dot-com bubble and the intellectual property wars since the World Wide Web came into being. It is thus simultaneously about the near future and the recent past. In other words, it is about this minute.
Third: it's the best popular business book I've ever read, better than "The Tipping Point," better than "Freakanomics," better than "The Black Swan.Read more ›
If you're a tech geek, you'll probably enjoy the book. All the bits about gizmos hold ones interest briefly, but after very few pages, I needed more humanity.
Doctorow's characters are as mechanical as his technology. I'm hardpressed to say I liked a single character, let alone can remember any of their names. That's depressing considering the vast amount of time I just committed to reading this book.
If you're into hard SF where the characters are secondary to the big idea, you might like this book.
If you need some flesh-and-blood people to populate your fictional worlds, this book isn't for you.
What this "cool stuff" actually is, the novel never really does a good job of imagining because all of the supposed inventions, on consideration, fail to live up to their in-narrative hype. While fiction is allowed much leeway, a work dedicated to technology, and one that tries to be so explicit about all of its gadgets, at least ought to provide what it advertises- neat technology. But absent ground breaking ideas, when the narrative started throwing around 'billion dollar' deals, the 'next big thing', the 'next New Deal' etc. my suspension of disbelief utterly collapsed. And no, bloggers don't shape the world, sorry. Considering the actual tech marvels that are currently being cranked out at an incredible pace, the things this book extols as groundbreaking appear laughable, at best something that belongs in a modern version of 19th century Paris "Arcades", or simply modern carnival chachkas.Read more ›
I really loved MAKERS. The characters are all bigger than life and very easy to fall in love with. Of course, the villains are all easy to hate too, well, except for Sammy Page. Felt a bit ambivalent about him. The action is non-stop and the way Perry and Lester, and even Suzanne react to the world around them is awe-inspiring.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cory Doctorow paints such a bleak portrait of the nearly here future that on top of being depressing it's also somewhat terrifying. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Keith B.
warning! not for your classroom. my students love doctorow so I was thrilled to add this one to my classroom library. Glad I did a quick read.Published 14 months ago by Reba
I've been on a Doctorow kick since discovering Little Brother, and this was the third full-length book I've read by him. I can't say enough about this book. Read morePublished 16 months ago by L. King
If you have never read anything by Cory Doctorow you have missed out, sci-fi immediate future at its best.Published 18 months ago by Disney Dave
Pretty neat themes and a more positive look into the near future. Little episodic in the last 3rd of the book. Definitely has the now ubiquitous Disney references of Doctorow.Published 20 months ago by Steffan Wagner
A futuristic view of current technology with interesting and artistic twists. Combining technology, business, and art in an entertaining and significant way. Seems Mr. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Anthony Smith
I really like the way Doctorow does near-future sci-fi. This is another one in the same vein, talking about the Maker movement on steroids and obviously (it being Doctorow) about... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mario C