Ex Libris Kirkland

Buy it from Amazon

First Written 2017
Genre Scifi
Origin US
Publisher Tor
ISBN-10 0765392763
ISBN-13 978-0765392763
My Copy library hardback
First Read June 07, 2017


I picked this up on a whim from the new shelf at the library. I enjoy reading Doctorow's brand of tech-focused near-futurism, even if I don't think they're that /good/. (Although: where are they here on Ex Libris Kirkland? I don't seem to have recorded any but I know I've read several.) Anyway, a novelization of the last few years of boingboing.net posts, extrapolated out 50 years, is pretty fun, if only for the ideas.

But this one was ... better than I expected! Despite some structural weaknesses, it was actually enjoyable to read. But a few things that bugged me:

- This book has no shape to it that I can discern. Stuff just happens but it doesn't feel like a plot

- Anytime a main character gets separated from the group, you can assume there is some trauma coming. This happened so often I wonder how intentional it is, or what Doctorow is trying to say.

- CD has this habit of learning new words or phrases and using them too frequently. A good example is 'flumpfed' - a word he uses when someone flops down into a chair or bed. Flop mostly would have done as well, but he started using it 2/3s of the way through the book, and then characters 'flumpf' there way thru the last 1/3. It's not like this is a diagetic sound or word - it's not like a future word that the characters use. It's just something the narrator picked up.

Noted on July 7, 2017

“That’s why you never hear politicians talking about ‘citizens,’ it’s all ‘taxpayers,’ as though the salient fact of your relationship to the state is how much you pay. Like the state was a business and citizenship was a loyalty program that rewarded you for your custom with roads and health care."

Quoted on July 7, 2017

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
Interested in talking about it?
Get in touch. You might also want to check out my other projects or say hello on twitter.