Eastern Standard Tribe  by Cory Doctorow audiobook

Eastern Standard Tribe

By Cory Doctorow
Read by P. J. Ochlan

Blackstone Publishing 9780765307590
5.85 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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A comedy of loyalty, betrayal, sex, madness, and music-swapping Art is an up-and-coming interface designer working on the management of data flow along the Massachusetts Turnpike. He’s doing the best work of his career and can guarantee that the system will be, without a question, the most counterintuitive, user-hostile piece of software ever pushed forth onto the world. Why? Because Art is an industrial saboteur. He may live in London and work for an EU telecommunications megacorp, but Art’s real home is the Eastern Standard Tribe. Instant wireless communication puts everyone in touch with everyone else, twenty-four hours a day. But one thing hasn’t changed: the need for sleep. The world is slowly splintering into tribes held together by a common time zone. Art is working to humiliate the Greenwich Mean Tribe to the benefit of his own people. But in a world without boundaries, nothing can be taken for granted—not happiness, not money, and most certainly not love … which might explain why Art finds himself stranded on the roof of an insane asylum outside of Boston.

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Summary

Summary

A comedy of loyalty, betrayal, sex, madness, and music-swapping

Art is an up-and-coming interface designer working on the management of data flow along the Massachusetts Turnpike. He’s doing the best work of his career and can guarantee that the system will be, without a question, the most counterintuitive, user-hostile piece of software ever pushed forth onto the world.

Why? Because Art is an industrial saboteur. He may live in London and work for an EU telecommunications megacorp, but Art’s real home is the Eastern Standard Tribe.

Instant wireless communication puts everyone in touch with everyone else, twenty-four hours a day. But one thing hasn’t changed: the need for sleep. The world is slowly splintering into tribes held together by a common time zone. Art is working to humiliate the Greenwich Mean Tribe to the benefit of his own people. But in a world without boundaries, nothing can be taken for granted—not happiness, not money, and most certainly not love … which might explain why Art finds himself stranded on the roof of an insane asylum outside of Boston.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Bravura…Cory Doctorow writes fast and furiously, the words gushing out of him in a stream of metaphor and imagery that keeps you glued to his futurist tales.” Now (Toronto)
“Carried along by the rocketing narrative, the reader may not immediately realize this isn’t just a wacky futuristic adventure; it’s a fable with a distinctive moral about choosing physical comfort over spiritual fulfillment and worldly success over true happiness and the frightening consequences that can result.” RT Book Reviews (4 stars)
“Doctorow lives up to the promise of his first novel…This short novel’s occasionally bitter, sometimes hilarious, and always wackily appealing protagonist consistently skewers those evils of modern culture he holds most pernicious.” Publishers Weekly
“Doctorow’s easy-going storytelling belies the rapid-fire pacing of his tale of one man caught in a nightmare of time zones and technology. Combining near-future suspense with magical realism, the author of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom crafts a surrealistic parable of progress gone wrong that belongs in most sf collections.” Library Journal
“As in Down and Out, Doctorow shows here that he’s got the modern world, in all its Googled, Friendstered, and PDA-d glory, completely sussed.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

by Rogue Writer 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Time Zones as Basis for Loyalty?

This story is supposed to be one of choosing between being happy and being smart, it doesn’t do a very good job addressing that theme. It comes across more as a cautionary tale about not being paranoid enough, about the dangers of being too trusting. Especially when all the signs are there.

Take the main character’s closest compatriots. Linda is a hot LA woman who steps in front of his moving car then convinces him to take the blame so they can split the insurance money. In the proverbial whirlwind romance, they become boyfriend and girlfriend. Or then there his fellow EST secret agent provocateur, Fede, who is always paranoid about being found out as working for EST instead of GMT. Scoundrels, the both of them.

On a different note, I almost wrote Cory Doctorow off as being not particularly insightful into the direction of technology. Then I heard the 2004 copyright. Doctorow wasn’t very accurate in his physical representation of comm technology (we would call it a “smart phone”), as they are clunky flip-open phones that dent easily, even from the manic depression of the screens. But in how they were used and the frequency? Dead on.

The chatroom sections also expressed a duality in the main character’s personality. He is a User Experience consultant. His job is to make suggestions as to how to make things acceptable and easy to use by the end consumer. Yet, he loves these chatrooms that are only easy to use for those who have learned to use them. All the codes used to chat. Those rooms are still around, but mainly only the tech-heads and those unwilling to step into the modern age of chat frequent them. Plus, from a writing standpoint, the chatroom sections didn’t add much to the story, if anything.

How he writes about the handling of music copyrights, though, is reflective of how the iPod was influencing copyright issues at the time the book was written and is predictive of the battles to come in the future of music copyright.

Overall, this book wasn’t that enjoyable. There was a certain pretentiousness to the self-importance of the character. The whole idea that people truly give a sh*t about what time zone a person comes from is just as ridiculous as the idea that people would actually work and show loyalty to a time zone. Those working online know that location dissolves away and the whole world becomes one, as long as it’s connected to the Internet. The whole notion of the tribes in this book is a bit ludicrous, actually. It came off as if the main character is not a tribalist at all, but a nationalist. At least, this is according to how the character defines tribes. And that’s another thing about the book. It smacks of a polemic.

I really enjoyed P.J. Ochlan’s pacing and reading of this audiobook. The only thing I wish he would not have done is employ some stereotypical voices for a few of the characters. His accents for characters from India, Canada, and Boston as well as Tweety’s grandmother for the main character’s Gran sound too cartoonish for my tastes. Then again, it fits some of the cartoonish scenes that pepper this book.
by Paul (AudiobookReviewer) 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Eastern Standard Tribe will not be for everyone.

This quirky novel is based in the near future. You’ll recognize much of the tech, some a stretch from what we have now, some just around the corner, and others, just cool stuff invented by the author. The effect is a somewhat surreal futuristic world that you can almost relate to; just a bit removed from what we know now, like a very realistic dream.

The term “Eastern Standard Tribe” refers to a loose knit group who operate on the Eastern Time Zone of the United States. It is a group or tribe of likeminded people who are digital friends. Most have never met each other but have so much loyalty they help when one of their members get in trouble. Think of it as Facebook friends who are actual friends. It is an interesting concept that anyone on the Internet can relate to.

Throughout most of the book, you the listener are not really sure what the main character does for a living, why he has so much time to screw around, or what his extremely strange friends do either. All of it comes clear and is well worth the effort. You are also not quite sure if the main character is completely sane or if all this is some kind of psychotic episode. Again, stick with it, it’s well worth it.

It is a fun, 20 something book with a SciFi twist, a kind of “Generation X” in the 21st Century. The characters are well developed and likable (even the ones you hate). There is an especially funny scene where the main character and his girlfriend are being mugged in London. He manages to talk them out of it with his keen wit only to end up being interrogated by the bumbling police for half the night.

Narration is by P.J. Ochlan, who does an excellent job. He holds the right sense of irreverence throughout the story and the accents are well done.

Eastern Standard Tribe will not be for everyone. It is quirky and strange, sometimes breaking the forth wall by speaking directly to the listener, even revealing the structure and mechanics of the plot. It doesn’t take itself seriously and is a good ride. Listen with that in mind and you will enjoy the book quite a lot.

Author

Author Bio: Cory Doctorow

Author Bio: Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow is a blogger, journalist, and author science fiction and nonfiction. His writing has won numerous awards, including three Locus Awards, two John W. Campbell Awards, three Prometheus Awards, two Sunburst Awards, the White Pine Award, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award, among others. He has served as Canadian regional director of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He is coeditor of the blog Boing Boing, and he was named one of the web’s twenty-five “influencers” by Forbes and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is a contributing author to Wired magazine, and his writing has been published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, the Globe and Mail, the Boston Globe, Popular Science, and others.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Science Fiction
Runtime: 5.85
Audience: Adult
Language: English