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hpr1588 :: HPR AudioBookClub-09-Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom

In this episode, the HPR_AudioBookClub reviews Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow.

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Hosted by HPR_AudioBookClub on 2014-09-03 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
HPR AudioBookClub. 2.
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Duration: 02:29:12


HPR AudioBook Club


In this episode, the HPR_AudioBookClub reviews Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow. You can download this AudioBook for free (or voluntary donation) from and it's also available in just about every ebook format you can imagine on Cory's website and as a paperback through various booksellers. We found this AudioBook enjoyable and thought provoking. The general consensus that we seem to have reached is that while the book left the reader with many unanswered questions about the world in which the book was set, they are welcome questions. It's brain bending fun.

FiftyOneFifty (the link-king) found some cool links relating to the Haunted House and how it works. Check these out!

gigasphere wrote in to say,

I listened to this book in the space of a couple of days mostly. At first it took some time to get into but then was quite enjoyable, however in the second half I started to find it a bit hard going. The story is told exclusively in the first person (I think that's right) and as the story went on I found it quite difficult not having external points of view or reference. This is probably also due to good story telling as the main Character Jules is also getting frustrated and is increasingly isolated. The book was interesting and unique even before you got to the plot line and aspects of the world the characters were living in. I would recommend the book as an example of an interesting method of story telling and I'm keen to pick up the other big Cory Doctorow book, "Little Brother".

gigasphere's spoilers (Highlight to read)

From having read the wikipedia page on Cory I can see that Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which is Cory's first novel, seems to have a trademark extrapolation with our own reality. The concept of backing up you mind and being brought back from the dead in a clone seems an excellent example of hyper-our-reality at the moment, but to then have everyone capable of being online using implants is also amazingly realistic when you consider the almost boom in wearables going on and the ubiquity of smartphones. I am reminded of the xkcd comic where the guy was having a USB port implanted.
The whuffie aspect of the book which replaces money, reminds me a lot of the social media thing of being rated by how many 'followers' or 'likes' or may be even 'hits' you get. This also oddly reminds me of the download stats discussion on the mailing list at the moment.
I'm not sure I'll add much to the overall discussion of the book from here as my no spoiler summary really rounds up the book for me. I would have liked to have a broader telling of the story, particularly from Lil's perspective, but the restrictions placed on the story also work to make it great, in that you are forced, as in real life, to view the world through only one person's eyes.


We think you'll agree that the HPR_AudioBookClub really showed up for this one and they brought some all-star beverages. Please enjoy this episode responsibly.

  • x1101 just wanted to make us all jealous. He brought a Lagunitas Imperial Stout to our little party and enjoyed it as much as any of us would have.
  • FiftyOneFifty was slightly disappointed by his German style Doublebock, FIREMAN'S BREW: Brunette. He says it's an unprepossessing brew, but perhaps worth it for fans of beer made with chocolate malts. Not very sweet for a dopplebock, and without much hops note except for a slight spicy kick, despite a general thinness in the flavor, it has enough cocoa flavor to satisfy fans of beers made with chocolate malt, at least until they find a better one.
  • The planets aligned and dictated that Semioticrobotic bring his favorite tea, Ginger Twist by Mighty Leaf, to our little show. It's a zippy but soothing herbal tea (technically, then, a tisane) that combines strong ginger flavors with lemon-grass and mint.
  • pokey's limited run microbrew, Saison du Buff, is a collaboration between three breweries; Dogfish Head Ales, Stone Brewing Co., and Victory Brewing Company. It can be purchased from any of the three, and if you're lucky enough to find some you should do exactly that. pokey described it as a little spicy, very complex and really enjoyable. Big thumbs up.
  • pegwole was worshiping at the porcelain vessel. No, not THAT porcelain vessel... The good one. The one that's used to serve Coffee!
  • This month gigasphere wrote in to say,
    "It's hot over here in the UK South East at the moment (25-30 degrees Celsius, yes that's hot for here!) and I'm swamped with work so I have a really boring Apple and Elderflower Juice for my drink this month. I have an Ale on the shelf that I haven't tried before but will save that for next time round when I should have a more manageable workload. On the plus side my juice is really cold and refreshing with a really strong and pleasant flavour (sic)2. It's a fresh juice and so has been kept refrigerated. Now everyone can stop laughing1 at me and get back to their proper drinks!"
  • Rather than simply reviewing a beverage like the rest of us, Thaj (attention seeker that he is) risked his life on the show by ingesting a potentially lethal amount of Dihydrogen Monoxide! The HPR_AudioBookClub does not condone this type of risky behavior, and if you are entertained by it, then you're probably a bad person.


Revolution Radio by Seth Kenlon


Street Candles by David Collins-Rivera

We're really excited about these two AudioBooks because both of these authors are HPR community members! We're assigning both at once because one is pretty short, and one is pretty long. We were a little worried that people might not finish Street Candles in time to participate, and we think this scheme may buy participants the time they they/we need.

Seth Kenlon's personal profile page:
Seth Kenlon's HPR correspondent page:

David Collins-Rivera's personal blog:
David Collins-Rivera's HPR correspondent page:


Our next book club recording will be 2014/08/12T23:00:00+00:00. If you'd like a Google calendar invite, or if you'd like to be on the HPR_AudioBookClub mailing list, please get in contact with us on the HPR mailing list 'hpr at hackerpublicradio dot org'


Thank you very much for listening to this episode of the HPR_AudioBookClub. We had a great time recording this show, and we hope you enjoyed it as well. We also hope you'll consider joining us next time. Please leave a few words in the episode's comment section.
As always; remember to visit the HPR contribution page HPR could really use your help right now.

The HPR_AudioBookClub

P.S. Some people really like finding mistakes. For their enjoyment, we always include a few.

1: The HPR_AudioBookClub doesn't laugh at anyone for reviewing tea, nor any other drink. We intentionally call the segment a "beverage review," not a "beer review" so that no one should feel alienated. Also because some of us drink wine.

2: The HPR_AudioBookClub does laugh when people try to spell flavor with a "u"


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Comment #1 posted on 2014-09-04 01:30:38 by Stephen

re the reader

I agree with your collective assessment that the reader did well. But one thing really bugged me repeatedly--he made the classic non-local mispronunciation of the city of Kissimmee. It is *not* KISS-im-mee; it's kis-SIM-mee.

Comment #2 posted on 2014-09-10 02:15:07 by Fifty OneFifty

Cast member areas of the Haunted Mansion Facade

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