Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Last October Cory Doctorow released his latest book: “Attack Surface”. Since this is the third book in the “Little Brother” series and I hadn’t read any of the previous instalments, I set out to catch up as soon as possible, starting with the first book in the series: “Little Brother”.

A quick disclaimer: I’ve already read a couple of Cory’s books and I’ve loved every single one of them. They tend to be highly inspirational and motivating to me because they are usually based on a positive message.

Little Brother continued that streak! Here you follow the story of Marcus, a teenager living in San Francisco who’s into alternative reality games (ARGs), through the aftermath of a terrorist attack on the Bay Bridge. But that catastrophe is just the story catalyst. Instead, the focus lies on how politicians can abuse the fear and uncertainty such an attack can cause for their own gains to roll out wide-spread surveillance, with Marcus and his friends ending up in the middle of all that.

The whole book is basically a tour through publicly accessible counter-surveillance techniques, cryptography and more! It’s also a tour through San Francisco which added an extra emotional layer for me. Many of the story locations are also places I’ve been at (and eventually want to see again once Trump and COVID-19 are gone and the city has finally got their housing problem under control so that fewer people have to sleep on the streets).

I think Little Brother was the perfect book to start the year! It’s emotional, positive, thrilling, funny, and educational. Sure, in some minor aspects you notice that tech has slightly improved over the years (there are, for instance, no power banks) but pretty much everything else is as relevant in 2021 as it was back in 2008.

Over the years I've written quite a few reviews 🙂 You can find them at /reviews/.

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