Template:Infobox Book Eastern Standard Tribe is a 2004 novel by Cory Doctorow, who also wrote Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and A Place So Foreign and Eight More. Like Doctorow's first two books, the entire text was released under a Creative Commons license on Doctorow's website, allowing the whole text of the book to be read for free and distributed without the publisher's permission.

Plot summaryEdit

The protagonist, Art Berry, has been sent to an insane asylum as a result of a complex conspiracy. The novel takes place in a world where online "tribes" form, where all members set their circadian rhythms to the same time zone even though members may be physically located throughout the world. He works in London as a consultant for the Greenwich 0 tribe (though he and his associate Fede are in fact double-agents for the Eastern Standard Tribe). Despite his talents as a human experience engineer, he delivers subtly flawed proposals to them in order to undermine them and enable his own tribe to get a coveted contract. He meets a girl, Linda, after he hits her with his car at 3am. Art has an idea for peer to peer music sharing between automobiles, and plans to give it to the EST (taking a cut to himself.) However, his girlfriend meets his coworker, Fede, and they plan to double cross the EST and sell the idea to another tribe. Knowing Art won't approve of the plan, they do it behind his back. Fede later claims he would have cut Art in on the deal afterwards. However, Art figures out what is going on, and as a result they have him committed to an insane asylum to protect their plot. The book alternates between two point of views: Art meeting Linda in London, and Art in the asylum. The London plot culminates in his attack on Fede when he discovers his betrayal. The asylum plot takes place after his attack on Fede, and culminates in his escape from the asylum and founding of a new company to market health care products using his inside knowledge of psychiatric institutions.


In chapter 18, when he is on the phone with a very tired Fede, Art speaks the following sentence, in an attempt to snap Fede awake: "The boats are mambo, but I think that banana patch the hotel soon." The words "mambo" and "banana patch" are a reference to Steve Martin's 1978 live comedy album A Wild and Crazy Guy, in which Martin says in one skit: "May I mambo dogface to the banana patch?".

Release detailsEdit

External linksEdit

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.