Saturday, May 21, 2011

Doctorow, Cory (Little Brother)

Y'know, this may be heavy-handed and barely fantasy, but still every (right-thinking) American should read it. Oh, I'm probably going to get a lot of hate mail for that statement.

I'll state right up front that I didn't agree with every decision young Marcus made. Perhaps this is intentional by Doctorow: making sure that his protagonist is as close to a real, live teenager as he could be. He was scared and angry in all the right places, but he was also a lot cleverer and braver than an average teen. Again, that could be Doctorow pointing out that the young generation is the one that has the chops to fight for what is right, if they're only willing to step up to the plate. However, organizing and/or taking part in mass public demonstrations that are very clearly NOT peaceful or non-chaotic rubbed me the wrong way. I understand the intent: getting everyone to recognize a wide-reaching issue, especially those with blinders on. I'm simply unconvinced it's the most appropriate method. Call me old!

His ending is also a little forced in its confluence of events, although the final outcome is nuanced enough to seem believable.

Overall, the major reason to read this is to revisit the Bush era, its abysmal decisions, and get irritated and frightened all over again. It's a good thing to remember this particular past, so that we Americans can work harder not to fall into the same quicksand again.

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