Posted on March 27th, 2011 1 comment
This is the first book I read entirely on my Kindle and I stumbled across it totally by accident. I was browsing around the GoodReads site (which if you’re a reader it’s worth signing up for – it’s like the worlds largest book club!) and I was looking at lists that some of my favourite books are on to see if there was anything else that caught my eye. I found Little Brother and noticed there was a “read book” link. When I clicked it I was given the opportunity to save the book in a variety of formats. I initially wondered if GoodReads were doing something naughty but once I’d read the foreword in the book I realised this wasn’t the case.
The book is released under a creative commons license. You can still by a physical copy but if you want the digital version you can download it and pass it around as much you like. The foreword of the book explains the reasoning behind it is thought provoking in itself. You can read about the reasons for giving the book away for free here.
So onto the book.
The story is based around Marcus, or “win5ton” as he’s known online who is a seventeen year old who likes to fool around with technology and considers himself a bit of a cracker. His friends skip school one afternoon and are in the wrong place at the wrong time as they are caught up in a terrorist attack. They are whisked away and heavily interrogated by the “authorities”. Once Marcus and his friends are released they find their home town has become increasing paranoid where everyone is treated with suspicion and everyone’s freedoms are stepped on in the name of “protecting against the terrorist threat”. The story follows Marcus as he vows to fight back.
I really enjoyed this, it’s based around a scenario which when explained as it is in the story sounds very plausible as well as raising many questions about privacy and security which are applicable to everyone in the modern world. The book also has some really good tech angles which was what drew me to the book in the first place.
The author, Cory Doctorow has got several other books under a creative commons license – I didn’t put the link together straight away but I’ve actually already got some of his books on my Amazon wish list so I’ll be checking these out sooner than I originally planned!
It also prompted me to see what other books are available under a creative commons license and was surprised at home many I actually found! It’ll probably warrant a post of it’s own.Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. He is also Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013 and coordinates AMITPRO which is a peer group for IT Professionals in the Midlands area. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.
One Response to “Book Review–Little Brother”
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