A pretty decent book. It seemed like Doctorow had ideas for only a few interesting, reasonably complex characters, and everyone else is pretty much one-dimensional (Debra, and Lil's parents, for example -- they just show up in order to do what needs to be done to move the plot along, then disappear until the next time. And Tim, the elf guy, had potential to be a lot more interesting than he had a chance to be.) The Whuffie-based society idea was pretty cool. I liked the idea of everybody's ratings/status/wealth being pretty much like the stock market -- your value varies depending on how many other people know about you and what they think of you. I would have been interested to find out what happens to someone who is really "down and out" -- here, when people hit bottom, all that happens is they go and stay with friends for a couple days until the next plot twist. That said, I'm planning to read more Doctorow -- have downloaded "Someone Comes To Town, Someone Leaves Town" and will probably start it tomorrow.

I have to say, though: THANK YOU, Paul, for pointing out Calibre. It's pretty great. I love how you can, for example, grab something as a PDF off the web and use Calibre to convert it into whatever your preferred format is. (Sony Reader user here)

Also thanks to Calibre for pointing me in the direction of, which is mentioned in the demo video and from which I now have like 10 books.

Hmm. I liked the book, but I didn't really feel inspired to check out any other of the author's book. Sure, it had a few interesting ideas but as you say, the characters were a bit under done. Having said that, I enjoyed the book enough to want to read it to the end.
What I really liked was the idea of an online book club, and I look forward to more in the future.

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