Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet out of Idaho

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Random House Publishing Group, Apr 18, 2000 - Social Science - 256 pages
53 Reviews

Jesse and Eric were roommates in the tiny town of Caldwell, Idaho, nineteen-year-old working class kids eking out a living with their seven-dollar-an-hour jobs selling and fixing computers. College was never in the cards. Their families had been torn apart by divorce and hard times, separation and illness. They had almost no social lives, and little to look forward to. They spent every spare cent on their computers, and every spare moment on-line.

Jesse and Eric were proud geeks— suspicious or disdainful of authority figures, proud of their status as outsiders, fervent in their belief in the positive power of technology. They'd been outsiders as long as they could remember, living far from the mainstream of school or town life. Nobody spoke for them, they were on nobody's social or political agenda.

Geeks is the story of how Jesse and Eric—and others like them—used technology to try and change their lives and alter their destiny. They rode the Internet out of Idaho to Chicago, a city they had ever set foot in, seeking the American Dream, a better life. Geeks describes this brave and difficult journey, as two self-described social misfits use the resources of the Internet to try to construct a new future for themselves, escape the boundaries of their dead-end lives, and find a community they could belong to.

Geeks explores a growing subculture about which many of us know little, a world with its own language, traditions, and taboos. In telling the stories of Jesse, Eric, and others like them, Geeks is a story about the very human face of technology.

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Review: Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho

User Review  - Goodreads

3.5 If it was called nerds as opposed to geeks, it would have made more of an impact. Still relevant to today's culture and I feel like Katz was ahead of the curve. The outdated technology makes it ... Read full review

Review: Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho

User Review  - Goodreads

Geek (noun)- Short for computer geek, a person who knows and has a passion for computers, but often disapproved of. It is increasingly being used in a positive manner, but it can still be used in a ... Read full review


Title Page
First Encounter
The Cave
The Geek Club
Leave Fast
The Trip
Escape from Richton Park
The Dean
Into the Hellmouth
Dont Expect Miracles

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About the author (2000)

Jon Katz is the author of Running to the Mountain and Virtuous Reality, as well as six novels. He has written for Wired, New York, GQ, Hotwired, and the New York Times and was twice nominated for the National Magazine Award for articles in Rolling Stone. He writes for and the Freedom Forum's website "Free!" on the Web. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey with his wife, Paula Span. He can be e-mailed at

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