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Eastern Standard Tribe [Format Kindle]

Cory Doctorow

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Cory Doctorow’s 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

From Publishers Weekly

John W. Campbell Award-winner Doctorow lives up to the promise of his first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (2003), with this near-future, far-out blast against human duplicity and smothering bureaucracy. Even though it takes a while for the reader to grasp post-cyberpunk Art Berry's dizzying leaps between his "now," a scathing 2012 urban nuthouse, and his "then," the slightly earlier events that got him incarcerated there, this short novel's occasionally bitter, sometimes hilarious and always whackily appealing protagonist consistently skewers those evils of modern culture he holds most pernicious. A born-to-argue misfit like all kids who live online, Art has found peers in cyber space who share his unpopular views-specifically his preference for living on Eastern Standard Time no matter where he happens to live and work. In this unsettling world, e-mails filled with arcane in-jokes bind competitive "tribes" that choose to function in one arbitrary time or another. Swinging from intense highs (his innovative marketing scheme promises to impress his tribe and make him rich) to maudlin lows (isolation in a scarily credible loony bin), Art gradually learns that his girl, Linda, and his friend Fede are up to no good. In the first chapter, Doctorow's authorial voice calls this book a work of propaganda, a morality play about the fearful choice everybody makes sooner or later between smarts and happiness. He may be more right than we'd like to think.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 430 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 236 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0765307596
  • Editeur : Harper Voyager (31 janvier 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B008TGO92M
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°250.024 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 3.4 étoiles sur 5  14 commentaires
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Raises a lot of Questions 4 avril 2013
Par Heather Pearson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow was my selection for my local book club read this month. It had been sitting on my shelf for over a year and I was still curious. The premise is that that people are divided by time zones. They don't have to live in a particular time zone to identify with it. With an online world, it is easy to work and socialize/game with people anywhere. The main character Art Berry identifies with the Eastern Standard (EST) time zone even though he is currently working in England. This constant time zone shifting tends to play havoc with peoples states of mind.

While Art is in London working for one company, he is actually an agent for the EST and trying to undermine the company's success as well as the standing of other tribes. All seems to be progressing well until he is involved in an automobile accident. He hits a pedestrian, Linda, and they both end up in the same hospital room. From that point on, their paths cross and intersect as they build a personal relationship. This turns out to be a major complication in his line of business.

Our book club had a lively conversation of this book. The concept of aligning yourself with people from different time zones was a bit far fetched. Yes, we admit that it does happen for the purpose of work meeting with distant staff and for online game playing, but to live your whole life with a shifted internal clock, nope, we didn't buy it. Only exception I came up with was those scientists studying the Mars Rover who set their hours by Mars time.

How widespread are these tribes. We all got the impression that it was not a global phenomenon, rather small groups of dissatisfied people who had banded together. Outside of these groups, the general population hadn't heard of them. One of the doctors in the hospital has no idea what Art was referring to. This brought us to question whether Art really did belong in the psychiatric hospital. oops, I didn't tell you about that, you'll have to read and find out how and why that happened. If he wasn't crazy, then was he just suffering the effects of resetting his internal clock due to his overseas travel.

This was another enjoyable book by Cory Doctorow, though I would have liked if the final chapters had been expanded. It seemed a rushed, that the developments could have been explored in more detail.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Brilliant Post-Cyberpunk Novel from Internet Savvy Cory Doctorow 4 août 2009
Par John Kwok - Publié sur Amazon.com
Haven't heard of Cory Doctorow before reading his recent novel, "Eastern Standard Tribe", but I'm glad I have. This is a hilarious, quite engaging, and well-written novel that's as irrelevant as Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash", and, maybe, just maybe, far more accessible. Doctorow is a most perceptive observer of contemporary Internet culture, tweaks it up a bit, and offers a near future world that's not so radically different from our own. His chief protagonist, Art, an "interface designer", comes across as an online version of Job, replete with his own peculiar brands of bad accidents and other hilarious mishaps. Without question, Doctorow is a relatively fresh face in science fiction, and one destined to blaze his own particular path to critical - and hopefully, commercial - success.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Not crazy? Prove it. 23 mars 2011
Par Paul Mastin - Publié sur Amazon.com
This novel was a little disappointing, but the concepts and the framing of the story were terrific. The title of Eastern Standard Tribe hints at a cultural trend which I haven't seen, but surely is out there. People have always been drawn to affinity groups, based on common interests. The internet and social networks have enabled our social groups to become more and more specialized. So what if your specific interest group is centered in Hong Kong? Or Southern California? And you live in Texas? You can adjust your sleep schedule so that your waking hours line up with your group. The problem is the resulting sleep deprivation may effect your mental health; your circadian rhythms may never catch up. Such is the plight of Art. When his partner and girlfriend betray him and have him involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, he has a hard time proving he's not insane, since his sleep patterns have, in a way, driven him insane.

This theme of involuntary institutionalization struck a chord with me. It reminded me of the work of Thomas Szasz , who wrote The Myth of Mental Illnessand many other works, and Jeffrey Schaler, author of Addiction is a Choice. These two psychologists have written prolifically and profoundly against involuntary institutionalization. Art experiences the dilemma of involuntary institutionalization: there is no practical way to prove that one is not insane. While in the mental hospital, Art is kept drugged up and can't properly prove his sanity. Doctorow doesn't explicitly address this issue, per se, but the novel raises the question in an interesting way. The story starts with Art in the hospital, being driven crazy trying to prove that he's not crazy, then moves backwards to piece together how he got there.

Art provides the sci-fi requisite 3 patentable ideas himself. He is a user experience (UE) engineer, a phrase I was not previously familiar with. I thought it might originate with Doctorow. A Google search brings lots of hits, though. Apparently the concept, more commonly abbreviated UX or UXD (for user experience design), originated with Dr. Donald Norman, who expounded on UX in books such as User Centered System Design and Living with Complexity. Doctorow never explicitly references Norman, as best I can remember, but he fleshes out Norman's ideas through Art's work.

This is a fun, quick read, with some great ideas and surprises.

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Full of interesting ideas 18 août 2010
Par Paul Lappen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Here is a near-future novel about an industrial saboteur who finds himself on the roof of an insane asylum near Boston.

In a 24-hour, instant communication world the need for sleep is the only thing that hasn't changed. The world is splintering into tribes based on time zones; those in other time zones will be at lunch or sleeping when you need them. Only those in your own time zone can be depended upon.

Art lives in London, and he works for a European telecommunications mega-corporation. His "real job" is to make life as difficult as possible for those in the Greenwich Mean Tribe by inserting user-hostile software wherever he can. Of course, other tribes are doing the same thing to Art's "home tribe," the Eastern Standard Tribe.

Art is also working on managing data flow along the Massachusetts Turnpike. Most cars have some sort of onboard computer on which songs are stored, sometimes tens of thousands of songs. Art comes up with a system for wireless transfer of songs between cars, while they are driving on the Mass Pike. Art's business partner, Fede, sends him to Boston to sign an agreement selling the system to a local company. After several days of being told to wait, while "details" are being finalized, Art realizes that he is being screwed by Fede, and Art's girlfriend, Linda. The two met when Art hit her with his car in London. That is how Art finds himself on the roof of a forty-floor insane asylum near Boston; Fede and Linda had him committed there.

As with any Doctorow novel, this book is full of interesting ideas. It's easy to read, very plausible and very much recommended.
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting concept ignored by story; a promising but amateur effort. Not recommended 18 janvier 2013
Par Juushika - Publié sur Amazon.com
There is a book here that I would love, but this isn't it. Tribes are self-selecting, internet-founded communities whose activities transition into the real world; members modify their lives (and sleep schedules) to interact with the Tribe and the Tribe rewards them with everything a community can, from socialization to business opportunities. But Eastern Standard Tribe isn't about that: it's about disintegration on the fringes of a Tribe, immersed in the technology that's created Tribes but preoccupied by banal characters and petty interactions. The future tech sells itself, buzzword-heavy and transparently cyberpunk but still believable; the concept and glimpses of a functioning Tribe are captivating. This is a short text, propelled forward by an intriguing paired narrative, first person/present tense and third person/past tense both focused on the same character, but Doctorow's writing lacks refinement and begs an editor (one who would remove the excessive italics, demarcated in my ebook by asterisks). I regret the book this isn't--I'd love to read about the how and why of a Tribe, its members and social function--but there's potential here: Doctorow is clearly invested in his concepts of the future, and his writing has momentum and strong dialog. I'll try more from him at a later date, but don't particularly recommend Eastern Standard Tribe.
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