May 09, 2005

Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom

I just read Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow. The text of the book is available online for anyone to read—very cool indeed.

I really loved the book—it’s different from anything else I’ve read in a long time. Thoroughly original, if I may say. OK, I read Fahrenheit 451 a few days ago, but I was indifferent to that book. The book was really nice, but it didn’t say anything I had not read before. It probably was an original & innovative book when it came out, but I’ve seen & read a lot of similar stuff. Stuff that’s inspired by the book probably, but the book seems stale now.

Down and Out was great in the sense I’ve not read anything like it yet. It’s set in the future—an almost utopian future where death & poverty are no more. You got killed—no problem, we’ll just restore you from a backup. Everyone’s ‘online’, the only currency is your reputation among your friends. There is almost no conflict—conflict just lowers your reputation. Things are managed by ad–hoc groups, you do your job well or some other group will take over.

A fascinating future, can’t stop thinking about it. Still can’t decide whether something like this is better than our present times though. The story’s good too, won’t spoil it for ya here.

The book is brilliant—considering it’s his first novel. You can tell that he’s not a very polished writer yet, he’s just writing for the sake of wanting to write. Am checking out his second novel, Eastern Standard Tribe next.

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