- Gebundene Ausgabe: 224 Seiten
- Verlag: Tor Books; Auflage: 1 (März 2004)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0765307596
- ISBN-13: 978-0765307590
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14,4 x 2,3 x 21,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.171.385 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Eastern Standard Tribe (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – März 2004
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Cory Doctorows Eastern Standard Tribe is a soothsaying jaunt into the not-so-distant future, where 24/7 communication and chatroom alliances have evolved into tribal networks that secretly work against each other in shadowy online realms. The novel opens with its protagonist, the peevish Art Berry, on the roof of an asylum. He wonders if it's better to be smart or happy. His crucible is a pencil up the nose for a possible "homebrew lobotomy." To explain Art's predicament, Doctorow flashes backward and slowly fills in the blanks. As a member of the Eastern Standard Tribe, Art is one of many in the now truly global village who have banded together out of like-minded affinity for a particular time zone and its circadian cycles. Art may have grown up in Toronto but his real homeland is an online grouping that prefers bagels and hot dogs to the fish and chips of their rivals who live on Greenwich Mean Time. As he rises through the ranks of the tribe, he is sent abroad to sabotage the traffic patterns and communication networks in the GMT tribe. Along the way, he comes across a humdinger of an idea that will solve a music piracy problem on the highways of his own beloved timezone, raise his status in the tribe and make him rich. If only he could have trusted his tightly wound girlfriend and fellow tribal saboteur, he probably wouldn't be on the booby hatch roof with that pencil up his nose.
As a musing on the future, Doctorow's extrapolation seems entirely plausible. And, not only is EST a fascinating mental leap it's a witty and savvy tale that will appeal to anyone who's lived another life, however briefly, online. --Jeremy Pugh
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But somehow, the cleverness seems to out-pace the writing. This book is packed with clever ideas, but they never go anywhere. Plot twists don't make a lot of sense, the setup at the beginning never develops into a meaningful plot.
Ultimately this is a frustrating book. So much good up front, so little on the back. As if Doctorow had a beginning and tossed off an ending just to get the book out. This is possible since he's released it under the Creative Commons license; it may be he was in a hurry to make the statement by getting it out there and didn't take time. Or it may be that he's just an idea guy and has trouble with the plots (as I writer, I've been known to suffer this).
This book is worth reading for the first few chapters. Truly, truly worth reading and re-reading. But it's not a satisfying book; my hope is that Doctorow lives up to his potential with the next one. because when he's good, goddamn, he's incredibly good.
For some reason, that doesn't suggest to Art that perhaps Linda is fundamentally untrustworthy and not looking out for his best interests.
Art's having fun, screwing with V/DT's user interface, dreaming up a really good, fun, and profitable idea for EST to sell to MassPike, involving rights management for downloaded music. There are frustrations, too, of course, as he begins to dimly realize that Fede might be double-crossing him, trying to steal his idea and cut him out of the deal. There are more frustrations as Linda and Fede make increasingly contradictory and irreconcilable demands on him. Eventually, on a trip which he thinks is to pitch the idea, and a side trip home to Toronto to introduce Linda to his Gran, Art finally figures out that Linda is not his friend, either. He reacts very badly, and winds up on the roof of a mental institution in Massachusetts, trying to decide whether to stick a pencil into his brain.
There are some neat ideas here, and the story moves along briskly, alternating between the main story and Art on top of the asylum, trying to figure out what he does next, with quite adequate amounts of suspense. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite satisfy. Except for Art, neither the characters nor the book's main conceit, the Tribes, feel fully developed. I was left feeling that this will probably be a fun book to read when Doctorow finisihes writing it.
I never got very involved with Art or his companions in this story, I didn't really care much in the end if Art got out of the mental asylum or not. He really was better off there! The writing is generally good but not up to his previous standards alas. The story is only moderately interesting and many of the jokes and in-humour about US-English cultural differences are pretty old and uninteresting. The supposed "busines venture" that forms the basis of the action and the characters motivations is just plain silly. The characters of Art's girlfriend and his business partner are two-dimensional and not very believable either.
The sudden wrap-up and rather contrived happily-ever-after ending was rather a letdown too, Doctorow is a better writer than this book indicates.
To be fair there is some good work in this book and some interesting observations, so it's not a total loss. The "fartmobile" methane-powered cars were great touch for example. I quite liked Art's grandmother too, she was one of the few appealing characters in the book.
Another thing I can't help noticing is that both Art in this book and the main character in "Down and Out...", Jules, get very angry (and violent) very easily and seem to have very poor impulse control. They both come across as spoilt and rather teenagerish personalities. It might be time for Doctorow to try for more adult characters.
Doctorow has released EST as a free download again as per "Down and Out..." and I'd recommend you try it that way first before forking out good money for what is likely to prove a rather disappointing and expensive experience otherwise. If you've not read any of Doctorow's work before don't start with this book.
Its strong points are the ideas: the concept of Tribe, the focus on User Interface, the ubiquity of the comm, the use of language. But it has weak points, and the main one is the plot, which is quite conventional, using plot devices straight out of Creative Writing 101: starting 'in media res', 'deus ex machina' for solving the 'someone flew over the cuckoo's nest'/'catch 22' problem, overheard conversations, dialogue for background...
However, I think this book is a promising second book of somebody that, in the future, will become an excellent writer. Maybe it's worth reading just for the 'I discovered him first' value.