Many people have written to me with the news of Roadcasting, a technology that is very similar to the gimmick in Eastern Standard Tribe wherein cars stuck in traffic form ad-hoc peer-to-peer networks, sharing music among themselves (in truth, this idea came from my pal and former business partner, John Henson). It's pretty cool to see stuff like this approaching reality, I tell you what.
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The power of Eastern Standard Tribe draws on traditional storytelling elements — tight plotting, sharp characterization and keen thematic treatment. The novel is immediately accessible, the near-future setting all too familiar. Despite the shifting between chronologies and tenses (first- to third-person throughout), Doctorow maintains an unrelenting pace; many readers will find themselves finishing the novel, as I did, in a single sitting.