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For the Win: A Novel Hardcover – May 11, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I may give younger readers too little credit, but this book is lengthy. That's something enjoyable to an adult, as it gives the complex stories time to develop and weave together. But as the book is supposedly oriented towards young adults, I wonder whether the novel's length will prove a barrier to completion.
The book reminds me of other polemic fiction I've read whose main theme is the portrayal of the triumph of a particular political ideal. This plays to one of Doctorow's strengths -- his zealotry. Doctorow believes in his ideals and thus crafts his characters so they do.
Additionally, Doctorow has a particular knack, very enjoyable for the reader, of putting together ideas in a way that have the ring of common sense, yet in a way in which they hadn't quite yet been put together -- a certain "sticky", memorable way that sits easily in the brainpan. Certainly, reputation economics has been around since time immemorial ... but only Doctorow termed it "whuffie" in his first novel, and since then, that's what many people know it as. That knack is in full display in this novel.Read more ›
"Heavy-handed" is the word one would use for Cory's books. I applaud the clarity of the writing--there is no way to mistake what Cory's trying to say--but if there's one thing that turns me off, it's preaching. Little Brother was the strongest of all Cory's books, and on the strength of that (and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom) I have given all his books a chance, but honestly, the pedantism throughout Makers was a letdown, and For the Win did not score a Win with me for the same reason. Cory needs to cut down on the lecturing, stat.
I think I'm done with Cory's books for life unless he pulls out something significantly different in the future. Don't get me wrong, I sympathize with the gold farmers and I deplore the exploitation that occurs, but I read For the Win hoping he would describe a solution (as he did in Little Brother). I was at least all right with the way Makers ended. With For The Win, I had the distinct feeling the ending was a cop-out. I am not impressed.
And yet it is more than all of that. For The Win also included important and accurate descriptions of financial definitions and schemes, such as buying futures, economies of scale, and even a ponzi scheme. But these inter-chapters detailing financial issues are critical to understanding the book, and so I was amazed at how well Doctorow is able to convey these issues to the reader.
But as I mentioned For The Win is more than that. It is an enthralling action packed novel that has detailed memorable characters, detailed plot twists, and an engaging story. Because of this I would recommend this book to anyone, teen or adult, as it is an exceptional novel that both teaches and entertains, a rare feat in any book. And so everyone should go out and get it today.
Maybe I should say I love it!
This book easily could have been half the length that it is but for whatever reason the editor decided to let Doctorow be as discursive as he pleases. It tested my patience as an adult and I'm sure it will test the patience of the young adult target audience. Also, for adult readers with an iota of knowledge about economics, be prepared to sit through a lot of spoon feeding of basic principles for the young adult audience.
As other reviewers have commented, it is a soup of characters without any strong lead. And once the basic conflict is set up it kind of plays out as one very long chase sequence in slow motion. Doctorow was trying to set up some grand global web that would ultimately coalesce but he overreaches and under delivers. The conclusion of the book is the very definition of anticlimax.
I enjoyed "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" and haven't read any others of his since. This book was a disappointment. Can't recommend it for anyone young or old.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic. I already knew Cory Doctorow was an excellent human being, now I know he's an intelligent and creative author. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Sonja Mathiesen
I stopped reading (which I almost never do) about a third of the way into this book. It's a jumble of nonsense that doesn't tie together at all.Published 6 months ago by Greg
I read an electronic copy of this that was available as Creative Commons, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by robby charters
I'd give it 5 stars for the portrayal of modern China alone. China is every bit as exploitative as Wal-Mart. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Josiah Kirby White
There were things I liked about this book; there were things I didn't like.
Likes: the imaginative and insightful concepts conveyed within, as well as the moralistic... Read more
I am rereading this book now. I am not a gamer, but this book really caused me to think of video gaming as more than a wasteful pastime. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Marnee Woodson
The funny thing about all the Doctorow books so far is that they tell a great story while simultaneously lecturing you about SO MUCH STUFF, from geopolitics to economics, and you... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Joao Marcelo
Not a bad book. It felt a little preachy at times. It does seem to be aimed at upper middle class white kids who didn't know that there are poor people in the world, and that... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Sugarlessllama