Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars hot s****
Everyone should read this!!!!!!!
Held my interest from the start and had me cracked up in places I have not finished it yet so maybe overall
it could rate less than five stars but so far has a lot to offer.
Published 4 months ago by slowman

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A novel full of ideas...
Cory Doctorow writes about the near future. All of his novels are set in a world that is still within the realms of the imaginable. It makes them not always easy to classify - they can seem a bit utopian or dystopian or too futuristic or not futuristic enough... basically, they sit in a genre and class of their own.

Makers is a novel about people who like to be...
Published on 8 Aug 2011 by Federhirn


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'd like to give it more, but..., 5 July 2013
By 
B. Connell - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Makers (Paperback)
I'd really like to give this book more than two stars, but I just can't. Doctorow's writing style is good and his characters real but his story is so dreary! It started well and ended ok, but the middle half lurched along in a series of disjointed episodes with no discernible direction or consideration for pace or even the books title. Several times I decided that a better name for the book might be Lawyers.

Doctorow's interest in business, he's an avid Forbes reader, does give him a unique perspective for a sci-fi writer, but it does saturate this book over much. His interest in Disney almost does the same. Several times the characters ask themselves and each other; "Whatever happened to just making stuff? Why don't we do that any-more?" It's a question I asked myself.

Despite Cory's best efforts to predict what sort of businesses would spring up around the maker movement, I found all of them to be ultimately unconvincing, and the story of the characters lives to be, ultimately, unsatisfying.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A novel full of ideas..., 8 Aug 2011
By 
This review is from: Makers (Paperback)
Cory Doctorow writes about the near future. All of his novels are set in a world that is still within the realms of the imaginable. It makes them not always easy to classify - they can seem a bit utopian or dystopian or too futuristic or not futuristic enough... basically, they sit in a genre and class of their own.

Makers is a novel about people who like to be creative and invent stuff. It's about a future where everyone can become a mad inventor, like the one in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, with minimal resource investment and without understanding all the inner workings of their inventions. Basically, he's extrapolated about 10 years into the future. Maybe less.

The characters in his novel are: Perry and Lester - two "makers", Susanne - a journalist assigned to cover their story, Kettlewell - a visionary business man who merges two old economy industrial behemoths, liquidates all their industrial aspects and turns the new corporation into a venture capital investor for mad inventors, Tjan - a manager brought in to monetise the mad inventions, Freddy - a vicious little journalist, and Sammy - a Disney Parks manager who tries to innovate the park and fight the competition.

But the truth is, the characters are secondary to the ideas. The novel chronicles their actions and lives for a few years, then a skip of a few years, then another few months, with an epilogue set another fifteen years later. But it never feels like a story. Yes, there are conflicts and struggles, but some of them happen off-stage, some are just flamewars on teh interwebs, some are a little forced. There is no overarching story arc - it's more like a lengthy series of events, a murky, undirected collection of lives that intersect at these two points, important to all sets of lives, but not perhaps all-important.

No, the important thing in this book is not the people. It's the ideas. It's why they all spend so much time discussing, debating, talking about ideas. It's why the book sometimes reads like a discussion in a forum, or the kind of conversations students at university can have, when they're still convinced that they have a future of changing the world before them, and want to play out ideas about what that future world will or should be.

So, the ideas:

We don't need to understand the workings of stuff to invent it. These days, there are libraries of source code, computer applications that can compute almost anything, modular codes that you can combine without ever having seen a line of source code yourself, open APIs and mashups... so anyone can quickly put something together without being particularly smart or educated that would have taken prior generations a hundred people and a year. (Witness the App development boom on mobile phones, and the way little computer games are made these days)

What if the same were true for physical objects? Cue the 3D printers (which already exist, but are pricey). They print 3D objects out of plastic. What if you could have programmable, learning robots using and assembling those objects, and working for you. You could be a factory...

The other ideas are mostly about organisations, patents, copyrights, trademarks: fundamentally, wouldn't it be nicer if intellectual property did not exist? If everyone could mashup not just songs, but ideas, objects, products, inventions, without needing permission, and then sell them on...

There's other ideas in there too, about American nutritional habits, biotech, poverty and poor communities etc. but ultimately, the thing that drives the novel is frustration with the existence of intellectual property, and lawyers.

The book is an interesting read, but never a funny one. Sometimes characters roll on the floor laughing, but it's over things that you need to be there to find funny. It's not a very tense read either - all the energy goes into discussions, debates, plans of action, but events just sort of sneak up on people, like hurricanes, and characters are more reactive than authorial in their own fates.

I suppose the thing I found most difficult about reading the book is that it started out with huge energy, and then fizzled into defeatism. It read a little like China Mieville's novels - not in the language, which is purely functional and not decorative at all - but in the affection for a political mode that the novel itself seems to think cannot work, not because the model is bad, but because it would require people to be smart and good and believe in it. Just like Mieville's socialist collectivist people power organisations, the ideas and political models in Makers need not just momentum, but inertia, and neither author can convince himself that critical mass could be reached. So we read about movements that struggle, fizzle, die... get reborn, struggle... it starts out with a bang and continues with a whinge, heads for a whisper. Which makes the reading experience not satisfying in that part of your brain that likes well-rounded stories with a climax and genuine excitement at the end. It may make it intellectually satisfying, but I read books to be satisfied in my story-sense as well as my intellectual sense, and this book delivers the latter without the former.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 27 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Makers (Paperback)
Enjoyable but not very in depth in terms of story or ideas. Okay.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars hot s****, 14 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Makers (Kindle Edition)
Everyone should read this!!!!!!!
Held my interest from the start and had me cracked up in places I have not finished it yet so maybe overall
it could rate less than five stars but so far has a lot to offer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Fable of Tech Entrepreneurs, 22 May 2013
By 
Syriat - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Makers (Paperback)
Makers is a novel set in the near future and tells the tale of tech-savvy, business-naive inventors who are part of a new work initiative of a dotcom guru. Their inventions become popular and then through failure and success we see friendships stretched, tech fads grow and wither and an almost moralistic tale take shape. There is a narrative of trailer culture, nuclear families and America in the 21st century. The main characters are likable and the Disney influence after the halfway point is enjoyable and grows as the story goes on.

Doctrow seems like a younger version of Douglas Coupland and he covers some of the themes and genres. Its a very readable book that rips along at a good pace. Its not perfect, but as a modern day fable of corporate politics, invention and 21st century geek culture it makes some salient points and works well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Makers - making you think, 1 May 2013
By 
This review is from: Makers (Paperback)
This interesting, near-future technology-based novel initially came out in 2009 in serial form as an ebook, before being released by Voyager as a printed version. I've been interested to read a variety of responses to the book, many of them hostile...

Perry and Lester invent things. All sorts of things. Seashell robots that can make toast, Boogie Woogie Elmo dolls that drive cars. They also invent an entirely new economic system. `New Work' is a New Deal for the technological era, and together Perry and Lester transform the country, with journalist Suzanne Church there to document their progress.

For the record, that's half the blurb published on the inside of the cover - and the reason why I'm not continuing any further, is that the next paragraph proceeds to give away at least half the major plot points of the book. Which is the reason, I reckon, that one of the recurring complaints I've encountered about this book is that the story is slow and predictable. If the reviewers knew in advance what was coming up, no wonder they felt the book dragged. That's the only explanation I can come up with - because although it's a long book, at no time did I find my attention wandering. Doctorow's gleeful enthusiasm for the new toys he's envisioned for the near future didn't stop him paying attention to providing an entertaining storyline and likeable, interesting characters. I was also impressed at the clarity of the writing - at no point was I scratching my head or having to backtrack and reread any sections in order to understand exactly what all these cool, techie gismos did. And while I enjoy browsing through the New Scientist, I'm no science specialist.

Doctorow has all sorts of interesting observations to make in this thoughtful look at the near future and how technology may shape the outlook for sections of American society. I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Lester, Perry and Suzanne and found the epilogue poignant and memorable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Defo' my flavour (tinkerer, thinker, maker and dreamer), 18 Oct 2012
By 
Trev Jones "JONA" (Lincoln, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Makers (Paperback)
To me this is a book about principals and relationships, in particular friendship and the challenges there in. taking place within and bridging the disparate realms of the "Maker Movement" and multinational Corporate-ville, set in a very near future and highly plausible world, tech' speaking (IMHO).
If you're not remotely techcentric I wouldn't bother as it would read as gibberish.
I am sure this book will be seen as a prophetic vision in a couple of years time when we all have our domestic 3D printers churning out bits of "tchotchke" to sate our need for instant and momentary delectation.
The book is long and detailed and there are a few continuity flaws and some repetition . . . . .

THAT SAID! In the end (which is pretty pedestrian with no whistles, bells or explosions!)I was left with a tear in my eye, balling the book around in my hands looking for the little world of "Makers" and wanting more. So vivid was the story in my mind that I feel I'd recognise the characters were I to pass them on the street and I'm desperate to see what's so good about the "ride".

Very involving and thought provoking and I'm very glad I found it, not perfect but great for the right reader, therefore it's 5 stars.

Keep on "MAKING" ;)

Regards, Mark
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Hackers Delight!, 30 Mar 2011
By 
M. Parr "music fan" (sheffield) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Makers (Paperback)
A good read, especially if you are interested in hardware/software hacking (in the creative sense of the term), open software and collaborative working, small business entrepreneurs in the near future. He clearly knows this area well, and the sci/tech bits are great.

The book is clearly about ideas, and (though I cared about them) the characters have an element of cardboard about them - they speak in an unnatural way, so that the author can get his ideas over to the reader. Also, he tells you rather too much about what they think about each other, rather than letting you figure it out.

Though the characters are unconventional of course, (bloggers, hackers etc) the book is quite conventional and obvious in places. 'Shouldn't girls be involved in technology?' someone has to say. (Yes of course, but we get it already), and the villain has bad teeth bad breath, and bad hair.

I recommend the book. I'm glad I read it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid hit that develops gently, 28 Sep 2010
By 
This review is from: Makers (Paperback)
Makers revisits many of Doctorow's favourite themes in passing (his love/hate relationship with Disney shows strongly in this book), but is mostly talking about people who like to do Fun Stuff with their tools. His look at the future of invention and home business is gently downbeat, without the wild teenage enthusiasm of "Little Brother", but his characters are generally well-drawn. Consider this the moment Doctorow's writing grew up; this book lacks the relentless fizzing energy of, say, "Magic Kingdom", but has no shortage of ideas - just more steadily implemented through the eyes of a wider range of characters.
Not flawless (the chief protagonist is a little too good to be true), but always interesting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved this book, 27 Dec 2010
This review is from: Makers (Paperback)
i just grabbed this book because the cover looked cool and when i picked it up i couldnt put it down, i havent read much hard science before but this was amazing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Makers
Makers by Cory Doctorow (Paperback - 8 July 2010)
£7.24
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews