Larry Hosken: New: Book Report: Brain Storm

This novel is by Richard Dooling, the same guy who wrote Bet Your Life, one of my favorite books of 2003. This book was pretty good, too. It's a legal thriller—hey, come back! It's a legal thriller with some detective work, but also some lawyerly musings about hate-crime laws. I'm not a fan of hate. But this book raises some tough questions. Like, how do you legally prove that some bigot committed some crime because of their bigotry? Many bigots are assholes in a variety of ways; proving specific motive is hard. Now I've made the book sound deep and serious, but it's funny and raunchy and sometimes it's sweet. I made some wrong guesses about where it would go... which I guess I shouldn't point out, since the book is kind of a mystery, and spoilers are bad. There is a fun retro-computing scene in which the protagonist, a power computer user, does an internet search—by interacting with a specialized application running on his own computer. This book was back from 1998. You kids today, you don't know how easy you have it with your widely-available internet search engines.

Tags: book vintage computing
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