Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Julius is an ad-hoc leader of Disney World's Liberty Square and a castmember of the Haunted Mansion or the "Mansion” as it has come to be known by its zealous crew and worldwide horde of enthusiasts. He has been drawn to a life of living and working at the park since his first visit as a ten year-old kid. Disney World is now run by the “ad-hocracy” who wrested control from the shareholders years earlier in a bloodless coup. Julius, called Jules by his younger, crack smoking girlfriend Lil, spends his days in costume working to entertain the public or maintaining the mechanical aspects of the precision tuned ride. One day Jules wakes to find he had been murdered.
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All the gory details are caught on the parks camera as an unknown female assailant shoots him from a distance with a coded bullet that will fly around others striking only him and his matching DNA. Jules believes he was murdered by a rival ad-hoc parkmate named Debra. Thinking her motive for having him killed is to rush through a makeover of the Hall of Presidents while he is being cloned and rebooted. It is not his first death, as years before he drowned in a scuba diving accident.

Debra is a resourceful, veteran Disney ad-hoc, having cut her teeth in the violent takeover and reprogramming of Disney Bejing. She is a legendry figure, having been killed virtually everyday during her service to the theme park in China. She has a top-notch team of engineers and technicians who help her to retool rides as she sees fit. Jules decides to get revenge by fusing the electronic components of the Hall's animatronic characters by firing an energy-transmitting weapon from an abandoned garbage tunnel that runs under the attraction. With his side kick Dan, who recently wanted to kill himself, they fire the gun but later learn that it had no effect. Dan's thoughts of suicide have been postponed until he increases his Whuffie to a much higher level.

Jules devises a strategy to upgrade the Mansion before Debra can have him killed again in order to revamp it, usurping his authority while he would be recovering from another round of cloning. With buy in from Lil and Dan the three set in motion the plan involving the participation of legions of die-hard Mansion fans. The Mansion devotees are being invited to the park to join in the reverie of ad-hoc life. Charged with adrenaline and equal parts excitement and apprehension they move forward and risk a full confrontation with Debra and her loyal subordinates.
The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

Chapter Analysis of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   humorous or laughable FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   factions fight within govt for control Story involving clones/duplicates?    -   good clones fighting bad clones Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Clones    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   performer Age:    -   long lived adults


Earth setting:    -   near future (later in 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   explicit references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   quite a lot of techical jargon How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Cory Doctorow Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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