Greetings, Little Brother is a novel written by Cory Doctorow which was inspired by Orwell’s dystopian 1984 with many similar themes occurring in the two books. It is set after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. In this version of the world, the DHS has become overprotective and paranoid with the possible threat of terrorism, having a presence in everyday life.
The story follows teenager Marcus Yallow, a talented hacker who skips school along with his three friends in order to play a game in the city. While out in San Francisco, a terrorist bomb destroys Bay Bridge with the DHS responding swiftly. Marcus and his companions attempt to find safety as instructed by the DHS, in an underground train station, however it is cramped with other civilians fleeing the scene and so the four try to leave the area. However one of Yallow’s comrades, Darryl is fatally injured as a passerby stabs him. They eventually make it to the streets to find some medical attention by standing in front of a moving van. Those inside the vehicle grab them, blind folding them in the process.
The characters are brought to a secret location along with hundreds of others. Once inside the island, they are psychologically tortured through various techniques in order to break their spirit and confess to being involved in the attack. After a while three of them including Marcus are released, with Darryl’s fate unknown. However their freedom came at a price, they were under surveillance and would be recaptured, never to return if they spoke of their imprisonment. Yallow disregarded the threat and decides to use his hacking abilities to lead a revolution against the DHS.
It is a nicely written book read from Marcus’s viewpoint, which explains the technical aspects of the plot including hacking methods used against the DHS. Overall it is a good novel with likeable characters and admirable goals in a dystopian society ruled by an unscrupulous government. I am under the impression there is a sequel coming out which should prove interesting with the way it was finished.
Quote of the day
Do you have any...bulletproof edible underwear?
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