Are you reading Doctorow specifically because he's going to be in town in a couple weeks for NorWesCon?
@1: Nope, that's just a bonus. I'm reading this one because it's intentionally available for free in just about every format of ebook, in the hopes that more people will play along at home.
Too bad these are Doctorow's strongest characters. In the next few books they're reduced to ciphers spouting off his BoingBoingesque rhetoric.
@2: Fair enough. I cheated and read the whole book the first night, which makes it a little wierd to comment on the early chapters.
The thing I was left wondering about was, how do concepts like justice and revenge translate in a moneyless, deathless society? Presumably there is an ad-hoc court somewhere to hand out punishments, of a sort, and killing somebody will crater your Whuffie, but what exactly would Jules do if he caught the person who killed him?
Another TERRIFIC Docotorow book - 'Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town' - the ultimate page turner - koo koo bonkers crazy

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