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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The madman/genius who calls himself Cory Doctorow (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Eastern Standard Tribe, et al.) is at it again, this time with a brilliantly bizarre novel about a "man" (the son of a mountain and a washing machine!) who, while trying to both evade and murder his undead brother, is on a holy mission to build a free wireless Internet in Toronto.
Alan appears to be a middle-aged entrepreneur who has just moved into a bohemian section of Toronto with the dream of writing. He is goodhearted, outgoing, and -- unbeknownst to most -- totally inhuman. With a family that is "uncatalogued and unclassified in human knowledge" (his father is a gigantic heap of dirt; his mother is an appliance; and his brothers include Russian nesting dolls, an island, and a sadistic zombie), Alan has his fair share of secrets. But so, too, does his neighbor. An enigmatic young woman with wings growing out of her back, she gets drawn into Alan's search for his vengeance-obsessed brother, as Alan becomes involved in her struggle to somehow remove her wings permanently and escape the clutches of an abusive boyfriend.
To read Doctorow is to love Doctorow. From his classic short story "Craphound," about a junk collector and his alien sidekick, to Eastern Standard Tribe, a novel about an agent provocateur in a secret society who may or may not be nuts, every story he writes is practically guaranteed to be witty, irreverent, challenging, and completely outrageous. Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is no different: It's classic Cory. Paul Goat Allen