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Trent's too clever for that too happen. Except it does, and it nearly destroys his family. Shamed and shattered, Trent runs away to London, where he slowly learns the ways of staying alive on the streets. This brings him in touch with a demimonde of artists and activists who are trying to fight a new bill that will criminalize even more harmless internet creativity, making felons of millions of British citizens at a stroke.
Things look bad. Parliament is in power of a few wealthy media conglomerates. But the powers-that-be haven't entirely reckoned with the power of a gripping movie to change people's minds....
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Doctorow (Little Brother; For the Win) returns with another down-and-dirty tale of technological guerrilla warfare. Set in a near-future England where Big Entertain-ment is pressuring Parliament into criminalizing illicit downloading and handing out jail sentences to those who do it, the novel concerns 16-year-old Trent McCauley who obsessively samples old films to create new works of art. This gets his entire family barred from the Web for a year, rendering his parents virtually unemployable and derailing his sister's education. Running away to London, Trent falls in with a group of young, high-tech squatters and anarchists who begin a David vs. Goliath war against the establishment, hoping to free the Net for creative use by the common people. Doctorow, a noted free Internet advocate (and PW columnist), handles his topic with great passion, creating engaging and believably geeky characters who share his fervor for both the Web and the new forms of art and communication it has made possible. Though the story can be talky and didactic, fans of the author's earlier work will find it a winner. Ages 13–up. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Oct.)