Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
65 Installments—Entirely free
2003 saw the release of Cory Doctorow’s first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. The “Magic Kingdom” of the title refers to the Magic Kingdom we know today - Disneyworld. And yet, in the futuristic world of this sci-fi thriller, nothing about Disneyworld may stay the same. This beloved place, as we and the novel’s hero, Julius, know it, is threatened by rival groups seeking to take it over and forever alter the entire park. Rides and attractions are slated to be torn down, only to be replaced by high-intensity, virtual-reality experiences. Can Julius stop his adversaries from destroying this landmark?
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Born in 1971 to a Canadian family whose values included political activism, Cory Doctorow devoted much of his youth to activist and social justice causes. After leaving college without a degree, he went on to serve pivotal roles in the field of copyright in the electronic and internet age. In 2003, he published his first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which was greeted with much success from the science fiction community. A sought-after lecturer, Doctorow recently held the inaugural Fulbright Chair in Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. He has since published other works, among them a short-story collection entitled A Place So Foreign and Eight More, and a novel, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
I lived long enough to see the cure for death; to see the rise of the Bitchun Society, to learn ten languages; to compose three symphonies; to realize my boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World; to see the death of the workplace and of work.
I never thought I'd live to see the day when ...
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Reviewed by cgarri on Jun 3, 2011
A quirky story of how a life goes wrong in an utopian society. All the characters were interesting, though the story was not so much. There are certainly better reads out there.
Reviewed by lizkies on Feb 22, 2010
I'm not even sure why I liked this so much.
I had so much fun with the language, symbolism, and ideas here. I love "squirting" information at each other's systems with finger guns. I love the succinct, intriguing flashbacks. And the story's main thrust, Julius's willful spiral after being knocked offline, is really moving. I love that it's not a story of man vs. society, an attack on a big-brother dystopia, as much as a person losing all his bearings and finding his utopia can't help him.
Reviewed by Lolabean on Jan 29, 2010
Great story, so-so ending
I really got caught up in this story. I loved the technical jargon and Julius' descent into paranoia, but the ending kind of felt flat to me. The plot seemed to be building up to a huge cataclysmic climax but it sort of just quietly wrapped itself up. Not at all what I was expecting.
Reviewed by feminaexlux on Aug 3, 2009
It was a pretty nice read, but the ending sure threw me off. It didn't quite fit the build up.
Reviewed by christe on May 10, 2009
A What-If closer to our reality than we probably know
Probably the most intriguing thing about the book -- and the probable cause for anyone to pick up up the first time -- is the developing of Disney's fantasy park into a miniature society complete with unfathomable policies and ruthless administrators. There's some sobering sarcasm in here.
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Ratings for 'Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom' by Doctorow, Cory