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

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Crown Publishing Group, Feb 20, 2001 - Social Science - 256 pages
56 Reviews
Jesse and Eric were geeks: suspicious of authority figures, proud of their status as outsiders, fervent in their belief in the positive power of technology. High school had been an unbearable experience and their small-town Idaho families had been torn apart by hard times. On the fringe of society, 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. Nobody ever spoke of them, much less for them.

But then they met Jon Katz, a roving journalist who suggested that, in the age of geek impresario Bill Gates, Jesse and Eric had marketable skills that could get them out of Idaho and pave the way to a better life. So they bravely set out to conquer Chicago—geek style. Told with Katz’s trademark charm and sparkle, Geeks is a humorous, moving tale of triumph over adversity and self-acceptance that delivers two irresistible heroes for the digital age and reveals the very human face of technology.

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I loved this book, and it inspired me to start up a Geek club in my school. I am a teacher who grew up in a family of geeks, but more of a conformist than the rest of the members of my family. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for geeks and other kids who don't fit in. I liked the fact that this book defines geeks as more than just nerds obsessed with computers. The book came out in 2000, and reading it 10 years later made some to the technology references laughably dated. The author mentions "AltaVista" and never "Google" and not once is there any reference to "Facebook". This didn't bother me like it might bother some people. The only thing I want to know now is where are these two kids now? 

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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 The outdated technology makes it ...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


The Geek Ascension
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About the author (2001)

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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