Review Blog

Oct 05 2015

The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi

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Little, Brown & Company, 2014. ISBN: 9780316220750
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Themes: Whistle-blowing; Big Business & Corporations; Fraud; Terrorism; Family relationships; Belief and doubt; Science & Truth. The teenage protagonists in this story have become caught up in the world of big business and the introduction of doubt to protect wealth. The teens were victims before they became involved in a plot to sabotage the Public Relations team who protect the money-making foci and motivations of big business by obfuscation and spin. The teenagers hatch a complex plan involving computer hacking, creative use of their own insurance wealth and intelligence, rats and kidnapping. Their intention is to bring truth into the open and to remove the influence of the PR 'Doubt Factory'. Their kidnap victim is the daughter of the chief of the PR company and she herself is transformed in the process.
This complex plot is exhilarating and adult in its focus, and yet because of the age of the participants it reads like a compelling adventure for intelligent teenagers. The consequence after reading the tale is to doubt anything that Big Business is involved in, and to question science and the law as a means to purvey truth.
I can recommend this to an older Teenage audience - Aged 15+.
(Note: there is a language warning: 'F' bomb sprinkled through the text, and although it is not surprising - in keeping with the language use of teens - it may influence purchase selections for some.)
Carolyn Hull

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