Recommended by Matthew in June 2010. Comment on Reader: " I've just finished reading Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. It's aimed at teenagers, but a brilliant book. Lots of food for thought about anti-terror laws, surveillance and oppressive policing." Later, in an email to me: "You might just dismiss it as far-fetched, though - but regardless, it's got interesting things to think about, such as how society and individuals cope with oppression and risks to public safety."
Borrowed the book from him on seeing it and took it with me during a trip to London in August 2010. Reading it on the way back, I got fantastically bored and annoyed with it, the first-person perspective of an arrogant teenager was just grating, and I hated the way traumatic events were portrayed so illiterately. Someone being crushed by a crowd was just sort of thrown in there in a sentence along with a remark about the horror of it. I respect Matthew enough to want to persevere with it to get the message, although I suspect other, better, books must exist that would do the same job (1984 itself, perhaps), but I don't know if it's going to happen. I got 4 chapters in and I was gearing up to continue reading it but I got distracted by Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, and have since moved on.