Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom-Stand Alone-2.5/5

By Cory Doctorow

You can’t buy respect.

Down&Out in the Magic Kingdom

Mankind has cured every disease, solved the scarcity of resources, and even conquered death, but one problem still remains…boredom. People want to be entertained, and that leads to a new form of currency, Whuffie. Anytime someone manages to engage and entertain other people, they gain a little whuffie. Anytime someone does something reprehensible, they lose whuffie, and those without are reduced to the bare essentials, and treated as social pariahs.

The concept has many ramifications, but this story chooses to focus on the idea of social economics, uses one person’s experience working at Disney World as a microcosm, with a handful of flashbacks to establish a context. Scenes focus on action and dialogue, using summaries to gloss over nonessentials. This gives the story a strong focus and fast pace, at the cost of setting and character. A half-hearted catharsis heralds the end of the story, with a brief epilogue to wrap it all up.

+Strong ideas
*Simple Plot
*Interesting Setting
*A quick and easy read
-Weak Characters


Next time…
Ready Player 1 (Stand Alone)

3 thoughts on “Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom-Stand Alone-2.5/5

    • I think the opening concept and introduction was original, but then the author wasn’t sure what to do with it, so they slipped into more conventional storytelling. I was most disappointed by how easily I feel the main story could have been told without the concept of Whuffie, instead taking place in a political or corporate venue.

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