“Homeland” is as dead serious as “1984,” as potentially important a “novel of ideas,” with a much more engaging central character and an apparently inexhaustible supply of information on everything from brewing coffee to sneaky surveillance and how to defeat it.

Mr. Doctorow is bang up-to-date (as Orwell never was) on the uses of rapidly changing technology, both good and bad. If you want to keep up, there’s a four-page appendix on how to protect your privacy and use the Net productively—so long as you’re allowed, that is.

Tom Shippey, Wall Street Journal

Washington Post

The question of whether Marcus should release the leaked data is a genuine moral dilemma. The book’s central concern is what civil society should look like in a world where more and more information about citizens is available to the state.

Graham Sleight, Washington Post

I’ve always enjoyed the pluckiness of his characters, the relentless pace of the plots, the way Doctorow is able to grasp the Zeitgeist by the scruff and extract a ripping good story from it. These books speed along as smoothly and rapidly as a bullet train. They’re both entertaining and empowering. While he’s otherwise as different from Pratchett as can be, he’s similar in that both authors disguise their social commentary as genre fiction and get away with it.

Stefan Raets,

Publishers Weekly

In this rousing sequel to Little Brother, Marcus has gone to college, dropped out, and is looking for a job—no easy task in this near-future America’s worsening recession. While attending the spectacular Burning Man festival, Marcus and his girlfriend run into Masha, a secret agent he met three years earlier; she hands him a data stick filled with governmental and corporate dirty secrets, telling him to release it if she disappears. Immediately thereafter, she is kidnapped by Carrie Johnstone, the über-competent mercenary who is determined to reacquire the data stick and protect her clients. Returning to San Francisco, Marcus finds his dream job working for an honest politician and must decide whether to make public the explosive data, while dodging Johnstone and her goons.



Doctorow strikes a successful balance between agenda and story in his newest near-future, pre-dystopian thriller.