Makers - making you think,
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.