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Jeff Milner Book Review: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

As some of you astute readers may remember, I’ve been reading a book online called Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. I just finished it, and now I’d like to write a little book review. Now I’m going to be quite honest with you (brace yourself, here comes the self deprecation). I’m not exactly an expert on books. I haven’t really read a lot of them. I mean I did read a bunch of Stephen King novels and I occasionally like to pick up this or that to pass the time. But as I said I’m not exactly a literary expert, and to make matters worse my writing ability is mediocre at best. So here it is – the first book report I’ve ever done that wasn’t for grades. Coincidentally I think it’s the first book report that I’ve ever done after having actually read the novel. Ok, enough rambling, it’s time to get down to business.

Cory Doctorow’s short novel, “Down and Out in the Magical Kingdom” is set in the future, I’m guessing a couple hundred years. In the future there’s no more scarcity, it’s very Utopian and it’s kind of like Star Trek where you don’t need money to get things. Also, in this world, the people don’t die. They save their identity’s to a backup and when death or illness sets in, somebody does you the favor of restoring you from back-up. There is a lot more sci-fi stuff that I won’t bog you down with now, instead I’ll move on to the meat of the story. Julius, the protagonist, is a cast member at Disney World, (he’s an important one — an Ad Hoc.) The trouble starts to brew when Debra, another Ad Hoc starts making changes to the rides. Julius is worried about her taking over the Haunted Mansion and taking the history out of it by having “scary haunted mansion experiences” pumped straight into your brain instead of the usual way of actually experiencing a scary mansion. I think my philosophy teacher would really dig this. Julius has to stop Debra, meanwhile keeping the other Ad Hoc’s and guests happy. Overall I really liked the novel and found myself imagining what life would be like if I lived in Doctorow’s world. “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom” was fun, cheap, and best of all it only took a few hours to read (it’s just 10 small chapters).

Now you can see why I could never break 78% in English class. Maybe I can plagiarize a better review from I guess I was never meant to be a writer.

What am I going to do now? Well, I’d like to go to Disneyland, but instead I think I’ll go home and get some lunch.

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