Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet or computer – no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera, scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing ‘Send link’, you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message and data rates may apply.
Little Brother Hardcover – Bargain Price, 29 April 2008
Enhance your purchase
- ASIN : B002IT5OMA
- Publisher : Tor Teen; 4102nd edition (29 April 2008)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 3.33 x 20.96 cm
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Review this product
Top review from Australia
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Top reviews from other countries
The first several chapters initially appear slow (although W1n5t0n - another nod to Orwell - is a smart and likeable protagonist) however stick with it because the remainder of the book is a masterclass in pro-rights, pro-privacy, pro-techological means to fight back against the fascist, authoritarian, and police state. The plot, characterisation, and even the afterwords are inspirational and deeply meaningful to maintaining our personal freedoms and I recommend that everyone read this novel. Orwell himself would have been proud to have written this.
At the start of Little Brother, San Francisco is hit by a terrorist attack reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks on New York. The novel follows Marcus, a teenager who - along with three friends - is in the wrong place at the wrong time in the aftermath of the attack and is arrested and interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security. On his release he learns that one of his friends has not been set free, and is horrified by the extent to which the DHS has taken control of San Francisco. So begins his rebellion against a surveillance state which has taken anti-terror measures to the point of abusing basic human rights.
Marcus' rebellion is technological. He's already a bit of a whizz-kid, easily tricking the relatively light-weight surveillance systems in place at his school and enjoying the benefits of unsanctioned networks used by teenagers across the city. But in post-attack San Francisco, the playing field has changed and Marcus has to up his game. Refusing to accept that treating every citizen as a potential terrorist is a reasonable response to the attack, Marcus sets up an underground network to communicate with similarly-minded peers and finds himself at the head of an increasingly powerful movement against the DHS and the police state.
What do I like about Little Brother? It's set in an unspecified year in the near-future and it's very, unsettlingly, plausible in its depiction of society. It's not a huge stretch of the imagination to picture a world where the lines between state security and personal freedom or privacy become blurred. And where much recent dystopian fiction brings in elements of fantasy, Little Brother is firmly rooted in reality. I didn't appreciate this whilst reading it, but postscripts at the end explain that all the technology, hacking and cryptography techniques used in the novel are completely authentic and impeccably researched.
I also liked the presentation of the `enemy' - primarily the DHS, but more broadly most of the adult population of San Francisco. Little Brother is told from a teenage perspective, and on the whole the adult villains are a faceless mass, defined by their uniforms and badges - almost caricatures. It seemed to me that this could be a technique designed to encourage any reader (regardless of age) to see things from the point of view of young adults who feel their privacy and freedom are unjustly jeopardised: it reminded me of E.T., in which the faces of adults (particularly the `bad guys') are rarely shown and the filming is done in such a way as to give the viewer the same perspective as Elliott.
What don't I like about Little Brother? I didn't find it an easy read, given it's aimed at the young adult market. Cory Doctorow takes the time to explain each new piece of technology or technique, which meant everything more or less made sense. But I still found the constant references to hacking terminology and so on quite hard-going. And I also didn't particularly like Marcus. I know this is kind of the point: the novel forces you to question Marcus' motives and at what point rebellion against counter-terrorism starts to stray into cyber-terrorism territory. But even aside from this, I found him hard to warm to. I don't think I was every really fully on his side. Then again, maybe this is an age thing - Marcus and his peers are fairly resolute in their belief that anyone over 25 can't understand their position and therefore can't be trusted.
I really found Little Brother interesting and thought-provoking, although I'm not sure I'd read it again. I am, however, going to give it to my own little brother, who's firmly in the target audience and who I think will really enjoy it, and look forward to the conversations it prompts.
It's fast paced, chilling, with dramatic ups and downs - and it's scarily believable.
If you've ever struggled with "I've nothing to hide; why should I worry?" when pervasive surveillance discussions come up, read this.