Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kim's Audio Book Pic o' the week -- Little Brother

Marcus, a 17-year-old techno hacker from San Fransisco, cuts class to play Harajuku Fun Madness with his best friends. Unfortunately, he and his buds are in the wrong part of town when terrorists attack the city. Trying to escape the massive swarms of people fleeing underground, Marcus and his friends flag down help only to be arrested by the Department of Homeland Security. Imprisoned and interrogated for days, Marcus, Vanessa and JoLu are eventually released while Marcus' best friend Darryl remains inside. Enraged over his ordeal, Marcus distributes "Paranoid Linux" for XBox that offers invisible and private Internet to all his friends. Using the Xnet, Marcus and city teens struggle to take back their privacy and freedom while bringing down the DHS. Yet in doing so, Marcus also has to claim responsibility for the rebellion he has incited and seek help from those adults he trusts.

Doctorow's novel is incredibly smart and scary. Marcus narrates more than a story; he explains technology in succinct terms and explores how easy it is to exploit and evade security systems. This book is embedded with technological knowledge and information that makes it seem so easy to transform your ipod into a super-sleuthing spy gadget. Or something like that. This book does nothing but make you think, rethink, and freak out about everything your government is doing behind your back. Intense, this novel should accompany Orwell's 1984 on that stand-by summer reading list.