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Makers: A Novel Paperback – May 22, 2018
The Amazon Book Review
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“I know many science fiction writers engaged in the cyber-world, but Cory Doctorow is a native. We should all hope and trust that our culture has the guts and moxie to follow this guy. He's got a lot to tell us.” ―Bruce Sterling
“A rousing tale of techno-geek rebellion--as necessary and dangerous as file sharing, free speech, and bottled water on a plane.” ―Scott Westerfeld on Little Brother
“A terrific read.... It claims a place in the tradition of polemical science-fiction novels like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 (with a dash of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington).” ―The New York Times Book Review on Little Brother
“Enthralling.... One of the year's most important books.” ―Chicago Tribune on Little Brother
About the Author
Canadian-born Cory Doctorow is the author of the science fiction novels Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Eastern Standard Tribe, and Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, as well as short story collections. He is also the author of young adult novels including the New York Times bestselling Little Brother and For the Win. His novels and short stories have won him three Locus Awards and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He is co-editor of the popular blog BoingBoing, and has been named one of the Web's twenty-five "influencers" by Forbes Magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Top customer reviews
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Some examples of the lazy, bad writing: one of the villains, Freddy, is ugly, lecherous, and has bad breath; the other villain is named Sammy (Freddy and Sammy. Really?), and starts of seemingly as a sort of nebbishy middle manager worried about the fact that he isn't reimbursed by his employer for mileage when traveling, then turns out to be quite high up in the Disney chain of command -- he is in charge of Fantasyland. Then he turns out to be a violent psychotic. And in the end he's sympathetic to the mission of our heroes (Perry and Lester), and just wants to make cool stuff, like they do. I guess that could be a character arc.
More lazy writing: people in this book double over laughing all the time; at one point someone literally rolls on the floor laughing. Have you ever seen an adult rolling around on the floor laughing? Maybe I live a humorless life, but I haven't.
On the other hand, the plot keeps racing along, and I felt compelled to run after it to see where it would go next. And the book is stuffed with ideas. And there are those flashes of brilliance in the writing that make me think that Doctorow could be a wonderful writer if he'd just slow down a bit.
But if you are aware of who he is and what he does, that doesn't seem likely.
Despite not being able to recommend this book, I'll read another Cory Doctorow. Probably Little Brother.
This is a vastly entertaining read, one in which very, very many current economic trends are followed to their potential conclusions, some good and some not so good (think airport security). The wealth of potential new inventions which Doctorow has imagined is staggering. Imagine a world in which obesity is eliminated through biochemical altering of metabolism (with the proviso that the altered individual must consume 10,000 calories a day or starve to death!). Imagine what might happen to Disney World when patrons can undergo similar or superior experiences through virtual reality in one's own home or at a fraction of the cost. Rest assured, Mickey will not go quietly into that good night. As an aside, what is it with Doctorow and Disney?
This is a story told in three parts: First, an attempted conversion of the old economy into a vibrant, creative "New Work" economy in which micro cells of technologically proficient, highly creative inventors are identified, organized and capitalized; second, 5-10 years following collapse of the "New Work" economy, our heroes (Perry and Lester) create a nostalgic look back through construction of a "ride", in which participants not only experience the contents, but grade and ultimately reconfigure it through their collective experiences. Such rides sweep the nation, and are connected and remain identical through technical networks; third, is the clash between the "rides" and the ultimate "ride", Disney World. The Empire Strikes Back, as it were. Suits, countersuits, trademark infringement, industrial espionage all ensue.
Doctorow is clearly no fan of multi-national corporations, bureaucracy, "suits" or even mid-level management. One would almost picture his Utopia as a near anarchical society in which the individual creative genius is given complete control, unfettered by law (intellectual property) or administrative control. Of course, both in real life and in Doctorow's novel, such a society is not sustainable. At each level of the story, a predictable progression of creativity, success and growth is followed by chaos, control, litigation and ultimately collapse. It's a wild "ride" and one well worth the time.