It's only natural that Alan, the broadminded hero of Doctorow's fresh, unconventional SF novel, is willing to help everybody he meets. After all, he's the product of a mixed marriage (his father is a mountain and his mother is a washing machine), so he knows how much being an outcast can hurt. Alan tries desperately to behave like a human being--or at least like his idealized version of one. He joins a cyber-anarchist's plot to spread a free wireless Internet through Toronto at the same time he agrees to protect his youngest brothers (members of a set of Russian nesting dolls) from their dead brother who's now resurrected and bent on revenge.
Not too long ago, Chris and Jenette talked about this book, or at least mentioned it. Cory is the guy who does boingboing, as well writing another book, Eastern Standard Tribe, which I mentioned in that past as a book I want to read. All of his books look good, and guess what; if you want them you can get them for free. Kick butt.