Thursday, December 8, 2011
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Author: Cory Doctorow
Publication Date: 2008
Length: 380 pages
Little Brother is about a teenager named Marcus (aka w1n5t0n) who is an experienced hacker. When San Francisco is hit by a terrorist attack while Marcus and his friends are skipping school, they are captured by the Department of Homeland Security and ruthlessly interrogated. After Marcus is released, he sees that San Francisco has become a police state (there are some disturbing parallels to 1984), and he starts using his hacking skills to wage war against the Department of Homeland Security.
This book is so many kinds of awesome. I will admit that I am a person with a degree in computer science, so my nerdiness is of the kind that I couldn't not like this book. However, it does not assume knowledge of computer science, so you will like it too, non-comp-sci people! Actually, all kinds of cryptography concepts are explained in this book in ways that made me say "oh my goodness I took a course on this but never understood that until just now".
At the same time as being a really cool book about hacking, Little Brother deals with some pretty intense themes, including torture, and the role of government. It makes you look at things like the Patriot Act and shudder. Seriously, I can't count the number of times in this book that I was suddenly terrified that these events could legitimately happen. And I'm not even the paranoid type.
Anywho, I seem to be rambling. You should read this book. Five stars! Out of five!
This book counts towards the Read Your OWN Library! Challenge (hosted by The Beauty of Eclecticism) for December. For January, my book for the challenge will be Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.