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Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town Paperback – May 30, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. It's only natural that Alan, the broadminded hero of Doctorow's fresh, unconventional SF novel, is willing to help everybody he meets. After all, he's the product of a mixed marriage (his father is a mountain and his mother is a washing machine), so he knows how much being an outcast can hurt. Alan tries desperately to behave like a human being—or at least like his idealized version of one. He joins a cyber-anarchist's plot to spread a free wireless Internet through Toronto at the same time he agrees to protect his youngest brothers (members of a set of Russian nesting dolls) from their dead brother who's now resurrected and bent on revenge. Life gets even more chaotic after he becomes the lover and protector of the girl next door, whom he tries to restrain from periodically cutting off her wings. Doctorow (Eastern Standard Tribe) treats these and other bizarre images and themes with deadpan wit. In this inventive parable about tolerance and acceptance, he demonstrates how memorably the outrageous and the everyday can coexist. Agent, Russell Galen. (May 5)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Middle-aged entrepreneur Alan, for whom mother is a washing machine and father is a mountain, has moved into one of Toronto's more interesting neighborhoods. The brother Alan and his other brothers killed years ago has returned to hound the family, and those other brothers, who are nesting dolls, show up on Alan's doorstep starving because the innermost brother has vanished. A next-door neighbor has wings that her boyfriend cuts back regularly so she can pass for normal. In the midst of such ordinary oddness, getting involved in a scheme to provide free wireless Internet to the neighborhood and eventually the city seems reasonable, even when it's masterminded by a crusty punk whose gear comes from Dumpster diving. Eventually, Alan concludes that he must go back to the mountain, a home he hasn't visited in years. The combination of Alan facing up to his family and their strangeness, the damage his dead brother will do to everything Alan cares about, and Doctorow's inescapable technological enthusiasm eventuates in a lovely, satisfying tale. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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A chapter later he says the same thing and adds another very curious observation. I just read along a bit nonplussed. Then another and I was totally hooked and.. Spooked in a fascinating way. It's all fabulous reading from that point.
This was my first book by the author, I had read a novella before so I liked the way with words he had.
After this... What a story, and what a strange man he must be. :-)
The story moves around and each segment sucks you in further.
My only mild criticism is that the symbolism around one the characters and her relationships is so obvious I was literally embarassed at times while reading the book.
The book iteslf is a great size to hold and read.
If you allready have a taste for Mr. Doctorows works, this is not one to miss.
Cory Doctorow has a gift for inventing characters. The characters in this book leap off the page (which is quite a feat considering some of the characters are decidedly outside the human realm). His setting is well done too. The novel mostly takes place in Toronto, Canada, and is a mixture of the regualar world and a unique fantasy world of Doctorow's own imagination.
Whether there is some deeper meaning to some of the weirder parts of the book, i do not know. What I do know is that I enjoyed this book. The only complaint I have (and this quite possibly has been done intentionally by the author to make this book seem even more weird) is that the plot isn't very tightly woven together. Or rather, there almost seems to be two plots involving some of the same characters. Perhaps one was meant to be a subplot that simply grew larger than the author intended, or perhaps the author is simply giving us an extra treat by including it. I can certainly see some people liking this sort of thing in a novel, like I said, it is quite possibly intentional.
As a side note, this and I believe the rest of Cory Doctorow's work is available in electronic format free of charge from his website, so you can start reading this novel to see if you like it before purchasing it.
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