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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 February 2003
Julius has finally realized his life long dream of living in Disney World. He finds his job with the Liberty Square ad hocs to be fun and his girlfriend Lil keeps him feeling young. When his best friend Dan shows up, he feels his life is complete. But then he's murdered. Granted, it's only his third death, which isn't bad for being over a hundred, but he still takes it rather personally. He's even more surprised when he finds out that Deb moved into the Hall of Presidents while he was out.
Deb is leading a group that is slowly bringing all the attractions into the modern era with new technology. Julius and his friends oppose this because they want to keep the park the way it was in the 20th century, technology, storylines, and all. Julius feels he should take a stand, but what can he do?
First, the bad. Maybe it's because I don't read that much science fiction, but I had a hard time with the jargon of this book. For the first 50 pages or so, I was really struggling to follow the new terms the characters were using when discussing their lives.
But once I got the lingo down, I couldn't put the book down. The story is interesting with quite a few twists and turns. All the characters were interesting and well developed, but I especially liked Julius. He was easy to care about, and I had to know what would happen to him next. I'm a huge Disney fan, so the back drop of Disney World certainly didn't hurt either. In fact, it made me want to visit the park even more.
Cory Doctorow is definitely an author to watch. He weaves a good yarn in an interesting vision of the future. I'm already looking forward to whatever he has up his sleeve next.
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on 23 June 2004
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is not only a page turner, it's also a fascinating portrayal of how our social interactions will change in a digital world of plenty. When most commodities can be costlessly replicated, scarce resources like reputation, attention and skill acquire new value. This economy of regard has already taken hold in certain quarters of the internet, most famously in the world of open source software. Doctorow extends this structure to society at large and shows how an individual's fortunes can quickly rise and tumble with the fickle whims of the crowd. The challenges of affluence were never so apparent.
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on 6 May 2004
I read the first 3 chapters of this book online, where the author and publisher have made it available free and legal!
After getting hooked into the world in the first three chapters I bought the book and Cory's other book of short stories. I flew through the pages and have just bought Eastern Standard Tribe!
If you live in the internet world then this book will strike a chord with you I am sure.
Great modern SciFi, great computer "geek" universe. And all based in Disneyland, fantastic!
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on 12 October 2009
Very interesting thought experiment on what our society could look like when death is curable, and all other major current issues, like famine and poverty are eliminated as well.

Funny to see how a new currency emerges, based on respect you garner from other people, and funny to see how many of the same old human traits still manage to rear their ugly face...

Finally, it's a very quick read, so it may be an interesting entry point for people who are not Science Fiction fans.
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on 30 November 2010
Good read, interesting ideas, made all the better when they're talking about the Mgic Kingdom, which is a place close to my heart. I'll now be looking to see what else he's written, top book
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on 2 November 2011
Recently discovered Cory Doctrow, really liked a couple but then find one a bit of a slog & not so good. This title was my next purchase made with some apprehension & I read it in 2 sittings - haven't done that for a while!

Cory is not cyberpunk, but is exploring possible Earth near futures with tech usually at the heart of the issues/changes/problems the characters face. This novel is quite old fashioned in that it's not a wordy tome, I was using it as light relief from the latest Peter Hamilton Trilogy.... Some modern readers may feel the background & character details are a bit sparse therefore, but it means the story shines, and some of the repercussions from the tech on human society/crime etc. Read, 'nuff said.
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on 26 October 2008
it's funny to think that a humanity which has freed itself of death, sickness, energy limitations, economical injustice, ends up worshipping the walk disney theme parks.
cory doctorow lays down some big huge solid foundations and then builds a rather light and self-ironic book on this foundations. but this is the geniality of it, this is how it escapes being obvious.
it has the taste of a new generation, of someone who has grown in another era, blogging, cyberspace, post-Gibson.
And it's his first book, so long live Cory and looking forward to catch up with all the stuff that i have lost so far.
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on 3 April 2013
What a brilliant book, especially for a first novel. The speculative extrapolation of the future of money and society is well observed and it seems incredible it was written in 2003. This future values respect and your standing is your value, so if you do things people like your 'credit' rises. This is how the narrator finds himself living in Disney World and re imagining the classic rides with his friend Dan and girlfriend Lil.

Although futuristic the book has the attributes of a novel in regard o character development. Superb and well worth reading.
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on 11 September 2011
This book was in my view messy and full of lingo just to impress. I read a lot of fantasy and sf and usually do not have a problem with this, As the dialogue is quite boring the book never took hold of me...Well other reviewers seems to have found something I didn't,Shows you that as an author you can't satisfy everyone.
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