Book Review – Eastern Standard Tribe

Another Cory Doctorow book!

This book was another that I’d actually got on my Amazon wish list before I realised it has also been released under a creative commons license.

It took me quite a while to get into this. I read the first half of the book with a frown on my face as I just didn’t get the underlying premise. The main theme of the book is based around groups of people living and working around a specific time zone, regardless of their geographic location. What’s the point in that you may ask but if you think about the modern world we conduct lots of relationships online.

People always come together because of shared interests and the World Wide Web has allowed us to interact with groups with similar tastes all across the world. The only downside with this is that we all live in different time zones. If one of your best friends lives on the other side of the world how can you maintain that friendship if one of you is always asleep?

So by living by the same time zone, regardless of where you are in the world this obstacle is easily overcome. There are obviously practical problems that go with this which the book looks into as well.

Once I’d got my head around this concept the first half of the book that I’d read made a lot more sense. I’m not sure if the story was specifically intended to work like this or if it was just me being a little slow on the uptake.

Anyway, the rest of the story – the main character Art is living in London but is part of the Eastern Standard Tribe. All is well in Arts life until he accidently hits a woman from Los Angeles called Linda, with his car. This throws the two together and they quickly become inseparable. They both have their own baggage however and through some double crossing Art ends up in a psychiatric ward!

As I said earlier it took me a while to get into and while I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other two Cory Doctorow’s I’ve read recently it was smart enough to hold my attention.

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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