Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book of Choice: Pirate Cinema

I bought Cory Doctorow's novel Pirate Cinema as part of the Humble Bundle e-book Bundle, but as always, you can download it for free at Doctorow's website

And I highly recommend that you do or buy it or check your local library for it. Whatever floats your boat.

Like For the Win and Little Brother, it's set in a not too distant future, maybe only a few years from now if things go wrong. In the world of Pirate Cinema, people depend on having online access for pretty much anything (more than we already do) and if you are caught breaking copyright laws, then your internet access and that of all your family members gets revoked.

This is what happens to Trent, a teenager who loves to create his own little movies from snippets of movies by famous actor Scot Colford. He can't face his family after he ruined their lives and he runs away to London. There he meets another runaway who introduces him to squatting (in an old pub they fix up as their home, the Zeroday) and dumpster diving for food. And they connect with other people who create movies, eventually setting up a pirate cinema operation that shows their own movies in secret locations like graveyards and sewers. But the law is about to crack down even harder on copyright infringements and Trent (now calling himself Cecil de Ville) and his friends prepare to fight back.

At times, reading a Cory Doctorow novel is like reading a cyber guerilla handbook and I mean that in the most brilliant way possible. I always learn something new and useful from each book and I loved the clever and outrageous things Trent and his friends came up with to solve their problems. Reading Pirate Cinema was like watching The Sting.

One thing I always enjoy about his novels are the characters - they quickly grow on you and after a few pages, you feel like you've known them for years. My favourite character in Pirate Cinema is the one we never really meet: Scot Colford. Trent talks about him a good deal in the book and man, I wish there were Scot Colford movies so I could watch them. And all the other movies the people make in the book.

Reviews 2012

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