someone comes to town, someone leaves town

August 28th, 2005

“Someone Comes To Town, Someone Leaves Town” by Cory Doctorow.

This novel was exceptionally hard to take. The plot is: there’s brothers, they are weird, their father is a mountain, their mom is a washing machine. It’s so *OMFG* quirky it hurts. The characters stop what they are doing every so often to go off on diatribes about wireless internet, and as such you can easily see the seams where Doctorow is cutting and pasting his BoingBoing rants in for page count. Cutting 20-30 pages of recycled rant out of this book would have vastly improved the whole affair. I mean, we get it, Cory, you don’t like Swisscom, but the book screeches to a complete halt as a result of the angry lecturing.

Also, Doctorow uses — again and again — the old Stephen King chestnut of having characters cut off each other’s thumbs, fingers and toes. It’s high time to retire this device; I suspect writers use it mainly because they know it will illicit an uncomfortable feeling in the reader. While certainly no one wants to get their digits cut off, just as certainly no one wants to read about it for 315 pages either.

Let me say something nice about the book: it’s licensed under the Creative Commons license and is available for free download here. Let me say something less nice about it: don’t bother. I nearly didn’t finish it, and if I wasn’t bored out of my mind down here in hurricane-addled coastal Florida, I probably wouldn’t have. I’ve never read anything else of Doctorow’s fictional writing, and after this book I probably won’t, although I hear his other stuff is better. My disappointment is palpable, and I award this book one-hundred teeny-tiny frowny-face emoticons.

:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(
:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(
:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(
:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(
:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

~jeff

Comments are closed.