Customer Reviews for

Little Brother

Average Rating 4
( 161 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(85)

4 Star

(39)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Bound to become an instant classic.

To be honest, I picked this book up because it had a giant red X on the front. It reminded me of those signs that tell you not to do something, but you do it anyways. To be completely, bluntly, and brutally honest and simple, this was a damn good book. It's the kind of ...
To be honest, I picked this book up because it had a giant red X on the front. It reminded me of those signs that tell you not to do something, but you do it anyways. To be completely, bluntly, and brutally honest and simple, this was a damn good book. It's the kind of book that I could really see on a required reading list in a high school English class. It's a truly important book that deserves to be on shelves among To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, and The Catcher in the Rye...okay, maybe not right now, but in maybe ten years. It's an important book that any teenager can learn something from, whether it's how to hack a free Xbox or score a new girlfriend/boyfriend by smashing your homemade computer. Little Brother is a book about freedom--freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Read it. Buy it. Love it.

posted by TheAuthorChick on June 13, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Anonymos

Way too much technology that i dont undersand at all.

posted by Anonymous on February 26, 2012

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Bound to become an instant classic.

    To be honest, I picked this book up because it had a giant red X on the front. It reminded me of those signs that tell you not to do something, but you do it anyways. To be completely, bluntly, and brutally honest and simple, this was a damn good book. It's the kind of book that I could really see on a required reading list in a high school English class. It's a truly important book that deserves to be on shelves among To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, and The Catcher in the Rye...okay, maybe not right now, but in maybe ten years. It's an important book that any teenager can learn something from, whether it's how to hack a free Xbox or score a new girlfriend/boyfriend by smashing your homemade computer. Little Brother is a book about freedom--freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Read it. Buy it. Love it.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Anonymos

    Way too much technology that i dont undersand at all.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    As Marcus would say, "B3s7 b00k EVAR!"

    Great book. I got this as a gift for Christmas. It was 1337. I liked how Doctorow actually went into detail about all the technical things. Most books don't say about that. Cory Doctorow is amazing.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    Grabs you and goes!

    This was picked up on a whim. I found it hard to put down. The action had me caught up and involved immediately. I've now shared with some of my high school students and they seem to be enjoying the book as well. This is great for me to see, since my students do not typically read anything.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from missprint.wordpress.com

    I don't know what I was expecting when I opened Little Brother (2008) by Cory Doctorow. What I do know is that those expectations were largely colored by Doctorow's appearances in various web-comic-strips on XKCD as a red cape wearing blogger who flies around in a hot air balloon.

    Anyway, Marcus Yallow is a senior in San Francisco in the near future. He goes to Cesar Chavez High School which makes him one of the most surveilled people in the world. There's a terrorist attack, he's held captive in a Guantanamo Bay-esque prison, he's released and then he decides to use his hacker skillz to get even and reclaim his city from the sinister clutches of Homeland Security.

    And as action-packed as that sounds, the book never became more than a mildly interesting bit of tedious reading for me.

    I'm fairly tech savvy, and I do worry about privacy and the like, but after finishing Little Brother the only piece of tech-related advice I retained from the story was that crypto is really awesome. Doctorow tries to embed useful information into the story, but it is either too basic to be interesting or too specialized and esoteric to make sense.

    I'm not a teenager and I come from a liberal household and I was living in Greenwich Village during 9/11. I found it irritating that Doctorow's character's seemed to operate in a very binary way. Young people (for the most part) opposed the Department of Homeland Security while older people (for the most part) blithely accepted martial law. Really?

    Finally, the real reason I disliked this book is that it just was not well put together. With all due respect to the importance of this novel's subject matter, the writing was far from impressing. The descriptions of technology were almost always too long (and often too technical) to be seamlessly integrated into a novel.

    The novel's continuity verged on non-existent. For instance, Marcus makes a point of mentioning in the early pages that he is wearing boots for easy removal at metal detectors. Yet when he is released he receives his sneakers back with clean clothes. The core of the story--about Marcus' missing friend--is left hanging for vast spans of the plot. Doctorow is at pains to create a core group for Marcus only to have them all removed from the story by the halfway point and then haphazardly mentioned in a rushed ending.

    Marcus was also a bit annoying as a narrator--particularly when in the company of his girlfriend. Realistic depictions of teens aside, I was hoping for a bit more from characters (teen or otherwise) in a novel which is grounded in such extraordinary circumstances.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for Teens Read Too

    LITTLE BROTHER presents a pretty scary picture of the way things could be if terrorist threats continue, and politicians keep funding the Department of Homeland Security with no thought as to how this might victimize the average innocent American. There is already an incredible amount of technology devoted to "spying" on the citizens of our country, and we normally don't give it a second thought. This book will make you think - and not just a little bit. Marcus is a seventeen-year-old tech wizard. Granted, he often uses his skills for less than ethical reasons, but he doesn't hurt anyone. When a terrorist attack destroys the Bay Bridge near his home in San Francisco, he and several friends are captured by police (DHS) as they are attempting to help a fallen companion. They become the victims of frightening interrogation and torture. When Marcus finally gains his freedom, he vows to take back America from the out-of-control Department of Homeland Security. Using his vast techie skills, he creates an alternate Internet called Xnet, which utilizes the old XBox game system. Marcus becomes known as M1k3y and develops a huge group of supporters. Together, they attempt to undermine the government agencies determined to destroy the true meaning and protection of the United States Constitution. Cory Doctorow has created a modern-day 1984. Set in the not-too-distant future, this book attempts to show what could happen if we sit back and allow the government to whittle away at our rights to "protect" us from terrorism. It gives a whole new meaning to the idea of terrorism and fear within our own government. LITTLE BROTHER is full of adventure and intrigue. A lot of the suspense comes from all the technical tricks Marcus brings to the story. Some of the details might prove too much for a struggling reader, but any tech/geek teens will not be able to read it fast enough.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Let me tell you something about this book... I actually liked it

    Let me tell you something about this book... I actually liked it! I didn't think i would like it but i did, even though when it got started talking about technology i was completely lost. I have this on my e reader but im going to buy a paper book of it!

    I recommend it to anyone! Its amazing book about teenagers feeling if there American rights are violated and practicing their freedom of speech! That might of made the book sound boring but I swear to you it s not :P (It took me a year to actually read this book and I wish I read it sooner. Its very good!)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    Amazing Book

    This is a great book for some of the higher aged slightly more mature teenagers. In some of the reviews I have read people belittle all the "tech talk". But that is exactly what makes this book great. Even if you do not understand it fully, or at all for that matter, it's what really makes this book. There is also a bit if sexual content but it is really not that big of a deal.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2010

    Little Brother review

    How safe do you feel from terrorists? Now let me ask you this question. Would you be willing to sacrifice your privacy and have your every move watched so you could feel protected from terrorists? The idea of trading privacy for security is the main theme presented in the book that I read in my media literacy class,  Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Doctorow utilizes the main character Marcus to portray his belief that the government should not be able to constantly watch what people are doing. 
    Throughout the novel, I truly felt like I was with Marcus dodging the government. However it was the detail in which Doctorow went into explaining the complex hacking procedures that was the downfall of this book. I often became bored while reading these tedious procedures that although informative, were just too long (often multiple pages), and unless you are interested in computer engineering, were just plain boring. Marcus is not alone in his adventures and him and his friend Daryl, are an inseparable duo, and are masterminds when it comes to dodging surveillance.  I could really relate to paling around with my friends while reading all of the exciting situations that those two get into. As expected when dodging the government, things don't always go well for Marcus and his friends.  This is apparent when Marcus and his friends get captured by the Department of Homeland Security.  This is one of the most exciting parts of the book, and you will find yourself on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what happens to them. This book turns a complete 180 and almost turns into a love story when Marcus meets Ange.  Ange is a girl who Marcus meets at a "jamming" meeting.  They hit it off right away and Marcus starts to turn all of his attention to Ange. This is when the book begins to turn into a love story as Marcus and Ange begin the typical teenage relationship.  I could put myself in Marcus' position as a teenager in a committed relationship. The main theme is again seen when Marcus and Ange go to an illegal concert.  This reminded me of Vietnam war protests as even though the people at the concert were doing nothing wrong, the government gassed and arrested innocent teenagers. This was another example of the main theme as the government interrupted this peaceful protest, so that the rest of the world could feel safe from these "terrorists". As you can see, this idea of trading privacy for security is shown throughout the book. Doctorow's view on this issue, that government should not be able to intrude on people's privacy, is shown through the main character Marcus and the rest of the "jammers". Although I don't know if I agree with Doctorow, I do think that this is a great read, that's only flaw is the boring rants on hacking.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2015

    Terrorism

    Don't let our fear of terrorist take away our freedom.

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  • Posted July 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I wasn¿t sure what to expect from Little Brother when it was rec

    I wasn’t sure what to expect from Little Brother when it was recommended to me. William Gibson with kids? A YA version of Daemon? As it turns out, it’s both and neither, a surprisingly political story of how the security state can spawn resistance from the unlikeliest quarters.

    This was Doctorow’s first YA novel, and he’s nailed the voice: Marcus, the 17-year-old protagonist and first-person narrator, is completely believable as a bright, disaffected high-schooler in a San Francisco set about six months in the future. (It probably seemed more distant in 2008, when the book came out.) When Marcus is picked up for no good reason and interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security following a terrorist attack on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, he goes through a well-rendered and realistic progression of confusion, anger, fear, shame, and desperation. When not in custody, he’s cocky and insecure, brave and scared, interested in girls, computers and online games in ever-shifting order, and his thoughts and feelings come out both clearly (to the extent he can figure them out himself) and in a way that doesn’t sound at all like an adult trying to write like a kid. Marcus is good company throughout this tale.

    The types of surveillance and social controls DHS uses in this book are only a degree or two beyond what American security agencies can actually do today, and again are completely believable. This leads to a number of political debates about how much freedom ought to be exchanged for (possibly illusory) security and whether people who aren’t terrorists ought to object to being treated as if they are in the name of preventing the next attack. This could easily have become a screed but doesn’t; the debates occur naturally and usually sound like real people talking rather than pundits.

    Marcus uses his mastery of cyberspace and his wide network of online friends to undermine the DHS’ heavy-handed rule over the post-attack city. His tactics are clever, but not so much so that you wonder why he isn’t in college already. You don’t have to be a hacker yourself to understand what the budding cyber underground is doing even when the tech talk flies thick and heavy. Unlike Daemon, there’s not much suspension of disbelief required for most of this novel.

    What happened to the fifth star? The ending is a bit too deus ex machina for my liking; it’s the only part of the book for which I had to suspend disbelief in a major way, and feels like Doctorow couldn’t otherwise figure out how to get himself out of the hole he’d dug. Ange, Marcus’ love interest/partner-in-crime, is a bit too much the teenage boy’s fantasy figure – hot, into computers and hacking, and sexually aggressive, with an extraordinarily tolerant mother, to boot. (Yes, this book is aimed at male readers, but still.) Goodreads, please note: we need half-stars. Yes, we do.

    Little Brother is the kind of propulsive YA storytelling you don’t have to be a teenager to love. If you liked late William Gibson or early Neal Stephenson, you’ll like this. It’s a fast, fun read that has a lot on its mind.

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  • Posted February 5, 2014

    Negatives: Explicit romance and a high amount of cussing. Howev

    Negatives: Explicit romance and a high amount of cussing.
    However, there isn’t a single book better for government study. It would be fabulous for book clubs and government debates.
     I would highly recommend this book for teachers. It would be a way to get average students involved in their rights.
    There are so many rights that teenagers (and adults!) take for granted.
    This book would definitely remind people how important rights are. 

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  • Posted August 29, 2013

    This is a cautionary tale about what could happen when you give

    This is a cautionary tale about what could happen when you give up your freedom and rights in the name of national security. It is fiction, of course, but this author did a lot of research about technology, and recent history. Very relevant to what is going on today with lots of information. We listened to it as an audiobook during our 10 hour drive from Monterey to Vegas. The beginning was kind of boring to me as an adult, but that changed quickly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

    Please advise

    I was expecting an action packed teen beats the world kinda book but it was a bit too hard to understand this book goes into freat depths about goverment,technology and afew adult scenes i as a 14 year old cant find a good clean book WITH NO HORRIBLE TRASHY CONTENT

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  • Posted July 24, 2013

    I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I thought it wou

    I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I thought it would be light reading for the train, but I was totally sucked in and finished it in a day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Awesome

    Very interesting #12jaivier*hops

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Interesting but...

    The ideas behind this book are interesting and based in very real world problems. Doctorow's writing leaves something to be desired, however. It's good but not great. I enjoyed this book but think Doctorow's writing could really benefit from an editor (or perhaps a better editor than he currently has).

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  • Posted June 28, 2012

    Loved it!

    Really cool book! Very interesting. There are a lot of useful facts and he talks a lot about technology. I've never been into IT but it made me interested.. The story is really interesting too, about a few cool high school kids, with a little bit of romance. I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves to learn about cool stuff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    Stupid!!!!!!!¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿!!!!!!!!!!!!!@@#/

    Tt

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2012

    IN-A-PROPRO read this one. It has good information

    There were a couple of sex scenes. You should not read this
    unless you have parents permission. An what kind of parent would want you reading something like this! Other than that it is an interesting book. I have nothing else to say except that your parents will find out if you are reading it and i can only assume they will not be happy.
    JCO

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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