Little Brother by Cory Doctorow [Book Review]
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve been following Cory Doctorow for a while. Little Brother has been sitting on my shelves waiting to make it to the top of the list. I’m very happy that it finally made it to the top of the reading pile. It was a quick and easy read that I enjoyed.
Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother is narrated by a tech savvy 17 year old who works the system to get out of school and play a game with his friends. However they end up in the wrong place when there is a real terrorist attack. In trying to help their injured friend, against the flow of the emergency responders, they end up in the Department of Homeland Security‘s dragnet.
The story plays out how government can ruin people’s lives. In this case because they are in the wrong place, and they refuse to conform because they are strong in their belief of their innocence and the ideals of freedom. Little Brother is written for a young adult audience, and some of this shows in the plotting. The teenagers eventually prevail over The Man, although there is some very subtle assistance from a veteran investigative journalist (which are themselves now rare).
It was interesting mostly because as well as being a story it is also the kernel of a howto from Cory Doctorow on protecting yourself from internet surveillance. It is only a little out of date, but all the techniques mentioned would still work today.
Well worth reading.