Book Review: The Lost Cause

Book Review: The Lost Cause

At the beginning of October 2023, Cory Doctorow launched a Kickstarter for the book The Lost Cause. As is tradition, I immediately backed it to get the audiobook.

In short, I tremendously enjoyed the audiobook. Cory’s narration is full of energy for each and every character. I imagine that when an author narrates his/her own book, it leads to a depiction of the tones and characters that’s much more faithful to the author’s original intentions.

I still find it challenging to write a fiction book review, but we all gotta start somewhere.

I’ll start with my favorite part of the book: it inspired me. It inspired me in two ways: first, with a beautiful story about how communities can come together to help refugees and address the climate crisis. Second, it inspired me by painting what I recon is a pretty realistic depiction of what the future might look like if we don’t start addressing issues now. It is one thing to hear about sea-level rise and ecosystems changing, but it is another thing to experience it through relatable storytelling.

Another thing that really impressed me about the book is how Cory Doctorow, despite being in his 50s, writes in a completely relatable way to me in my late 20s. How he grapples with issues of race, privilege, rights, and being a decent human being feels incredibly relevant to my daily life. The book does a fair job of going beyond simplistic narratives around such things and digging into the hows and whys. For example, there is a decent discussion in the book about how and why the anti-immigrant and anti-high-density-housing folks got to be that way.

Although I usually love Cory’s books, this one felt especially relatable to me at this moment in my life. It touched on many important topics, including the environment, urbanism, high-density housing, technology used against people, dealing with the police, immigration, generally having empathy for humans, cryptocurrency weirdness, the rich running away from problems, and so much more.

I can’t wait to listen to his next book, The Bezzle!

PS: I'm writing this on the first day of my new apartment in Amsterdam and couldn't be happier here!

Disclaimer: Doctorow offered to add your name to the end of the next book if you write a review and send it to him. That’s a partial motivation for writing this but I already paid for the book before I knew about that offer.