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Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town [Paperback]

Cory Doctorow
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.82 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

8 July 2010

A brilliantly funny and bizarre novel from the visionary author of LITTLE BROTHER, now published for the first time in the UK.

Alan is a middle-aged entrepreneur who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in a bohemian neighbourhood of Toronto. This naturally brings him into contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wings – wings, moreover, which grow back after each attempt to cut them off.

Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain, his mother a washing machine, and among his brothers are a set of Russian nesting dolls.

Now two of the three nesting dolls, Edward and Frederick are on his doorstep – well on their way to starvation because their innermost member, George, has vanished. It appears that yet another brother, Davey, whom Alan and his other siblings killed years ago, may have returned … bent on revenge.

Under such circumstances it seems only reasonable for Alan to involve himself with a visionary scheme to blanket Toronto with free wireless Internet connectivity, a conspiracy spearheaded by a brilliant technopunk who builds miracles of hardware from parts scavenged from the city’s dumpsters.

But Alan’s past won’t leave him alone – and Davey is only one of the powers gunning for him and his friends.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (8 July 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0007327951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007327959
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Canadian-born Cory Doctorow is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Little Brother. He has won the Locus Award for his fiction three times, been nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula, and is the only author to have won both the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Campbell Award for best SF Novel of the Year. He is the co-editor of BoingBoing.net, writes columns for Make, Information Week, the Guardian online and Locus and has been named one of the internet's top 25 influencers by Forbes magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Cory Doctorow lives in London with his wife and daughter.

Product Description

Review

Praise for SOMEONE COMES TO TOWN, SOMEONE LEAVES TOWN:

‘A glorious book, but there are hundreds of those. It is more. It is a glorious book unlike any book you’ve ever read.’ Gene Wolf

‘Fresh and unconventional … Doctorow demonstrates how memorably the outrageous and everyday can coexist’ Publishers Weekly

Praise for Cory Doctorow:

‘Fresh and full of thought-provoking ideas, a book about tomorrow that demands to be read now.’ The Times

‘I’d recommend ‘Little Brother’ over pretty much any book I’ve read this year. Because I think it’ll change lives. It’s a wonderful, important book’ Neil Gaiman

‘A cracking read’ Guardian

About the Author

Canadian-born Cory Doctorow is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Little Brother. He has won the Locus Award for his fiction three times, been nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula, and is the only author to have won both the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Campbell Award for best SF Novel of the Year. He is the co-editor of BoingBoing.net, writes columns for Make, Information Week, the Guardian online and Locus and has been named one of the internet's top 25 influencers by Forbes magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Cory Doctorow lives in London with his wife and daughter.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could do better 21 Aug 2005
By Nellig
Format:Hardcover
Enjoyable, but doesn't quite work. Disparate strands are roped together to make a workmanlike narrative, but the structure strains and leaves gaping holes. It's not properly cooked. It's not properly developed. It has the signature Doctorow themes of craphounds, unexplained freaks passing as human, and dysfunctional but loving families (of freaks). The technology stuff is vaguely cool but very incidental, and I kept wondering how the freaks were getting on.
Bits of it are brilliant. I loved the riff about house-renovation, the girl with wings is a great image (that cover art is fabulous) and other nice images come up. But I wanted to know what Alan/Alvin/Abe looks like. Why are the visuals so patchy? I could see Mimi, I could see Kurt, but the protagonist (whose manifest weirdness we have to take on trust) remains a cipher. I didn't get the feeling of a living, seething world. The illusion kept sputtering and fading and the grid kept showing through.
Worth a read, though. Wait for the paperback, maybe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Startlingly original and thought provoking 3 Mar 2011
By EGil
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I first read the plot description for this book, I was immediately interested, but wondered if such an idea would actually be a main theme in the story, or just a sideline to make for an interesting tagline. I was pleasantly surprised, in that the whole 'my father is a mountain, my mother a washing machine, etc' theme is in fact a central tenet of the storyline. Wacky? Definitely. But for those who would immediately consign the idea to the bin for the sheer ludicrousness of it, I ask you this - is it any more impossible than elves, or wizards, or people with wings? For me, this book challenged my preconceptions of Fantasy/SF, in that I didn't realise how 'normalised' or narrow the genre really has become. Doctorow has thrown this bizarre premise into the mix, and I think it works well.

One of the most original things I have read in a long time, and it gets 5 stars for that alone. The writing is fairly consistent, and to a good standard, although I do agree that some of the main characters lack detail. It's a quick read, and I enjoyed it more for its originality than for any sense of epic, thrill or adventure. I would (and do) recommend this to any SF/Fantasy reader who feels bored or jaded by a supposedly avante-garde genre that has failed to innovate for a very long time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird & Fantastic! 19 Aug 2005
Format:Hardcover
Simply amazing book.
Weird, weird, weird! Hard to put down, you are driven along by the interesting characters and storyline. This story grabs you and forces you to deal with the strangeness (Bizareness even) of the characters.
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