Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

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Macmillan, May 30, 2006 - Fiction - 315 pages
24 Reviews
"Fresh and unconventional . . .Doctorow demonstrates how memorably the outrageous and the everyday can coexist."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Alan is a middle-aged entrepeneur in contemporary Toronto, who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in a bohemian neighborhood. This naturally brings him in contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wings--wings, moreover, which grow back after each attempt to cut them off.

Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain; his mother is a washing machine; and among his brothers are a set of Russian nesting dolls.

Now two of the three nesting dolls, Edward and Frederick, are on his doorstep--well on their way to starvation, because their innermost member, George, has vanished. It appears that yet another brother, Davey, who Alan and his other siblings killed years ago, may have returned...bent on revenge.

Under such circumstances it seems only reasonable for Alan to involve himself with a visionary scheme to blanket Toronto with free wireless Internet connectivity, a conspiracy spearheaded by a brilliant technopunk who builds miracles of hardware from parts scavenged from the city's dumpsters. But Alan's past won't leave him alone--and Davey is only one of the powers gunning for him and all his friends.

"Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is a glorious book, but there are hundreds of those. It is more. It is a glorious book unlike any book you've ever read."
--Gene Wolfe

"His best work to date."
--Toronto Globe and Mail
  

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I just felt a little robbed of a proper ending. - Goodreads
Non chronological story telling was in full form. - Goodreads
The ending was abrupt and predictable. - Goodreads
I found none of this in his writing. - Goodreads

Review: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

User Review  - Shane - Goodreads

So this was pretty cool. Dark, creepy and completely absurd. The sex scene was hot even though (maybe because) he focused on her wings. The name changing thing was annoying at first but then got kinda ... Read full review

Review: Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

User Review  - Gretchen - Goodreads

Something of "100 Years of Solitude" with wings, no tails or navels, in less than a generation. The ambivalence of names. Complexity of familial relationships. When is a curse a blessing. The ever present dose of Cory's politics, which I enjoy, but my 12-yr-old finds insufferably pedantic. Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Canadian-born Cory Doctorow is the author of the science fiction novels Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Eastern Standard Tribe, and Makers, as well as two short story collections. He is also the author of young adult novels including the New York Times bestselling Little Brother and For the Win. His novels and short stories have won him three Locus Awards and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He is co-editor of the popular blog BoingBoing, and has been named one of the Web’s twenty-five “influencers” by Forbes Magazine and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

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