For the Win by Cory Doctorow

Posted December 4, 2017 by Amber in Reviews / 9 Comments

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For the Win by Cory Doctorow

For the Win by Cory Doctorow

Digital Audiobook narrated by George Newburn

Published by Random House Audio on May 11th 2010
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 477 pages or 16 hours, 31 minutes
Source: Overdrive

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositoryIndieBound

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In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual "gold," jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world's poorest countries, where countless "gold farmers," bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of "General Robotwalla." In Shenzen, heart of China's industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister's people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation


Nope, sorry. I’m tired of reading books that want to spend a load of time preaching to me. It’s not that the issues you’re talking about are unimportant. It’s that I can hear enough about greedy corporations and the global economy in the news without my “fun” time turning into a lecture about how we need to be more proactive in standing up for our rights and equality. I don’t mind books that make you think but egats, who wants a book to talk down to them.

I DNF’d this at about 10%. There was a bit in the beginning where I thought, “hey, this may be good!” Sneaky author, luring me in with an Alice in Wonderland themed MMORPG. I’d be a sucker for that game. But this book isn’t about video games, don’t be fooled. It’s about Injustice.

I suffered through 7 hours of Cory Doctorow in Little Brother monologuing about government corruption and the naive weakness of adults to do the right thing. I’m all set with this author. There’s a difference between sticking my head in the sand and trying to actually ENJOY a book.

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9 responses to “For the Win by Cory Doctorow

  1. Have you read Ready Player One? I listened to that one fairly recently. I didn’t really think about DNFing it at any point, but at the beginning there was a reasonably long section that was a bit preachy. Didn’t bother me too much, but it was probably shorter than what this book threw at you. I wonder if it’s more of a thing in this genre? I’m not too well read in it to know for myself–Ready Player One is all I’ve read of the novels based on a futuristic MMORPGs.

    • Amber

      I actually have read Ready Player One, and I like it a lot. It’s one I recommend all over the place! This book, unfortunately, went right around to break the fourth wall and give you a proper lecture. It’s something Doctorow did in his other book, Little Brother, as well, so I think it’s largely his style. You’ve got to expect a little preachiness in any tech-based dystopia, I just hit my limit here. 🙂

      There are a lot of people who really enjoy Doctorow’s books, though! So please don’t let my personal impatience with them turn you off. 🙂

      • Oh, good! I very much enjoyed that one, though I’ll admit that I’m quite anxious about the movie. I fear it’s going to suffer from all the woes of both a film adaptation of a book (which are often not so good), as well as those of being a film adaptation of a video game (which are always dreadful). But I’m hoping to be mistaken, since it’s a great story.
        We’ll see if I get around to Doctorow’s works or not. Perhaps someday! There are just too many good books in the world. Far too many.

        • Amber

          Oh no, I have the same exact fear about the film. After seeing the trailer from SDCC, I have a feeling we’re going to fall into a fast-paced, low-plot action film. Casting a fit actor for Wade bothered me too… heavier protagonists rarely see screen time. But everyone is saying that what we see isn’t IRL, just in Oasis, so we’ll see. *sigh* Not that I want the actor to get heavy and unhealthy, I just wish there was a little more realistic diversity in film.

          • Agreed. I liked in the book that he started out heavy. I also liked that, in the book, he made a plan, stuck to it, and got into shape before the end of the story, since his weight was something that obviously bothered him earlier in the book. I was disappointed to see what Wade skipping that meaningful personal transformation.
            And in one of the trailers, I was pretty sure you saw Wade putting on his HAPTIC gloves and visor (or however it’s spelled–I did the audiobook).

          • Amber

            I think that’s correct.

            I did both! How did you feel about Wil Wheaton’s narration? While I’m not the biggest fan of him in general, I thought he was so well suited to that particular book.

          • Amber

            I think I heard about that – it was the DeLorean contest, right? Such a cool idea. I heard about it a bit after the fact, but it makes the book so much more immersive and interesting. True to style, you might say. 😀