markpasc (markpasc) wrote,
markpasc
markpasc

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Yet another Doctorow book

The second book [after /usr/bin/god, which is after Eastern Standard Tribe, which is coming out next after Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom] is "Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town," which is an urban fantasy/magic realist novel about the eldest of ten brothers who are the offspring of a mountain in Northern Ontario and a washing machine. The brothers are as strange as their parents: one is procognitive, three nest like Russian dolls, one is an animated corpse, one is an island, and so on. The animated corpse was actually murdered by the other brothers, but bootstrapped himself back to life and made his way back to the mountain to complain to their parents. Alan, the eldest moved to Toronto and became a successful serial entrepreneur, finally retiring to Kensington Market to write a short story that is to be discovered after his death. While there, he falls in with crusty-punk dumpster-diver community wireless activists who are unwiring all of Toronto with a meshed network built out of junk hardware salvaged from suburban industrial parks. Alan wants to help, but he's distracted by his corpse brother, who is hunting down the remaining brothers one at a time and murdering them, possibly abetted by his neighbor, Kirshna, whose girlfriend, Mimi, has mysterious wings that Krishna saws off once a month, but which keep growing back. It's pretty strange techno-utopian stuff, and very optimistic in tone.

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