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Homeland av Cory Doctorow
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Homeland (urspr publ 2013; utgåvan 2013)

av Cory Doctorow (Författare)

Serier: Little Brother (2)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
8354319,634 (3.89)11
When Marcus, once called M1k3y, receives a thumbdrive containing evidence of corporate and governmental treachery, his job, fame, family, and well-being, as well as his reform-minded employer's election campaign, are all endangered.
Medlem:ksmedberg
Titel:Homeland
Författare:Cory Doctorow (Författare)
Info:Tor Teen (2013), Edition: 1, 400 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Homeland av Cory Doctorow (2013)

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engelska (40)  franska (2)  ungerska (1)  Alla språk (43)
Visa 1-5 av 43 (nästa | visa alla)
There were times I wanted to strangle Marcus, the protagonist of this story. I have my own failings, of course, but Marcus has many I do not share, and never had; these annoy me, as they also set him apart from the other "good guys" in the tale, making him seem like a bad person relative to all the other characters I like. In an inversion of the usual pattern for fiction with too many good qualities heaped on some character, or too few flaws, it seems like it is the hero's friends who are (near-)perfect, rather than the main character himself. Upon reflection, though, I notice two things that do not jump out at me right away, but are important. One is that he also has a couple of flaws that I've mostly overcome in my life, which annoy me even more than those I've never had, as I do not like to be reminded I was once like that (though the reminder is probably good for me). The other is that part of the reason he seems so much worse a person in small, petty ways than his best friends and closest allies is probably the result of a confluence of flaws I still share with him: I sometimes come off as someone who is too judgmental of others when, in reality, I tend to be much harder on myself than anyone else, and suffer a bit of "impostor syndrome" on a regular basis. If you do not have that problem, reading this first-person narrative from the point of view of Marcus Yallow might give you an interesting look at the self-recriminating, "I am my own worst critic" thinking of someone with such flaws, at least when Marcus is not busily acting a bit entitled and annoying.

All of that makes for a fairly realistic read, in many ways. Now for the comparison with Homeland's predecessor, Little Brother, and a discussion of the overall merits of the tale:

Thankfully, Doctorow ditched all the absurd renaming of things that did not need to be renamed. For instance, Marcus refers to Linux-based operating systems in the narrative of this novel using the word "Linux", where in the previous novel Linux got replaced with "Finux". A number of similar annoyingly pointless alterations to the terminology of our world in Little Brother distracted me throughout that book, and they were gratifyingly absent in Homeland.

While the events of the two books are both very dramatic and, in some ways, unrealistically action-movie-ish (but only a little bit), I find that the subject matter is well chosen and aptly demonstrates the character of the social and political problems they target. Where the issues addressed in Little Brother could easily lead to the kinds of beliefs Marcus holds in the beginning (and middle) of Homeland, which in some way just lead him into the insufficiently radical ideals with which he starts out the second novel in this series, the events of Homeland lead toward a point where we see his political belief system shaken up. Marcus reassesses what he believes, and a bit of narrative introspection quickly lays out the fact that too-naive political ideology is part of the problem.

The character of Marcus Yallow has "matured", if you can call it that, since the events of the previous novel. That is, he has developed as a person in ways consistent with the way people tend to develop as they grow from high school years into college age, complete with losing a bit of idealistic purity and becoming more co-opted by mainstream ideological norms. Oh, sure, he's still infected with idealistic enthusiasm, but it is (notable to the reader looking for that kind of thing) channeled into the kinds of political belief systems common to college-age agitators for change. This is a case where I was somewhat led astray by what I know about the author, I think, in that I assumed through most of the book that Marcus believed what he believed in large part because that is what Cory Doctorow believes.

In the end, however, we see something interesting -- a sharp change of direction in what Marcus seems to believe about the political realities of the world in which he lives. I was ready to be complimentary to the novel in my review when the interactions between Marcus and Joe made a very strong case for independent candidates, as an obvious step that even the most ardent "reform" activists often will not take, but Marcus' development went even further than that, and I saw him brushing up against much more complete political enlightenment, an unexpected pleasure coming from the writing of Cory Doctorow. It was at this point, where the real maturity of the novel and its real value beyond entertainment emerge most clearly, that my internal debate over whether to rate this three or four stars (leaning heavily toward four) finally ended with an unhesitating commitment to give it five stars, like its predecessor. It may even be a slightly better five stars than the five stars I gave Little Brother.

Like its predecessor, this novel provides a lot of grist for web searches about various technologies and issues, and if you are not already familiar with them, they are definitely worth checking out. Make notes to yourself as you read, wondering about various things that come up in the story. Read the "bibliography" at the end, as well -- not a traditional, formal education style bibliography so much as more guidance on interesting and illuminating things to check. Even if you do think you are already familiar with some of the subjects (technologies, political issues, and so on) mentioned, don't let that keep you from looking them up if you feel any desire to do so; you still might learn something. In fact, you almost certainly will (though one thing you might learn, as I know from personal experience -- that hackerspace memberships tend to be expensive for people anywhere near as broke as Marcus Yallow, especially in places with absurdly high costs of living like San Francisco -- is probably not going to fill you with appreciation for the fact that was left out of the narrative).

The ending reads a bit like there might be a third book coming some day. I feel a bit less like this is the end of the story than I did after finishing Little Brother. I hope things go in a good direction, perhaps delving into ideas of digital agorism, to explore what else Marcus might learn about political issues in the real world. I already feel like we have exceeded the expectations one might have for Doctorow's own apparent political leanings, though, so I'm not holding my breath.

In any case, I heartily recommend this novel to anyone with both a heart and a brain. It's a great read, full of great ideas.
( )
  apotheon | Dec 14, 2020 |
This wasn't as good as the the first in the series (mostly cus I really don't care about Burning Man), but is still awesome. It pulls you in, makes you think, teaches you and leaves you wanting to DO something! ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
I took too much time getting to the sequel to Big Brother and I feel slightly ashamed. I loved seeing Mikey older and stressed out, feeling the gestalt of a world that had gotten darker and watching him barely scrape by.

Burning Man notwithstanding, which was both familiar and amusing, the main action and plot of the novel was full of Deep Message. Not bad, I don't mind that kind of thing, personally. But fortunately, the novel was so full of technogeekery and informaticofuckery that it nicely sidestepped the need to focus on plot.

It was all very amusing. I loved the novel on two fronts. It was very political and it was very nerdy. What's not to love? ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
some good educational material, but the plot is pretty weak ( )
  mvayngrib | Mar 22, 2020 |
Loved Little Brother and loved this sequel. Heartbreaking to read Aaron Swartz's afterword in light of how the government mercilessly hounded him to suicide. ( )
  Nikchick | Mar 21, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 43 (nästa | visa alla)
Mr. Doctorow is bang up-to-date (as Orwell never was) on the uses of rapidly changing technology, both good and bad. If you want to keep up, there's a four-page appendix on how to protect your privacy and use the Net productively—so long as you're allowed, that is.
tillagd av sgump | ändraWall Street Journal, Tom Shippey (Feb 19, 2013)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (5 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Cory Doctorowprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Shimizu, YukoOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Wheaton, WilBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Attending Burning Man made me simultaneously one of the most photographed people on the planet and one of the least surveilled humans in the modern world.
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When Marcus, once called M1k3y, receives a thumbdrive containing evidence of corporate and governmental treachery, his job, fame, family, and well-being, as well as his reform-minded employer's election campaign, are all endangered.

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