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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Bug Jack Barron

Copyright 1969 by Norman Spinrad

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point    Superb (5/5)

I first read this in 1973 and most recently in 1998

Jack Barron is the face of the top-rated TV show Bug Jack Barron. He chases the businessmen and the politicians on the viewers behalf. He can make or break the careers of those he investigates.

Of course he knows on which side his bread is buttered and he exercises a careful balance.

But then he mixes it up with Benedict Howards, the billionaire director of the Foundation for Human Immortality and he knows he can bring this monstrous businessman to his knees. Howards, however, knows his price and its just too high for Jack Barron to turn down.

Until that is he finds out in what abhorrent horror he and his ex-wife Sara are complicit.

One of my favourite books. A post-hippie psychedelic spectacular, it's dated but it's still an incredibly exciting read. Rereading it, as I have done every few years, it always stirs me. It's such an angry and passionate thriller. One man, still with his dreams of the sixties against big and evil business. Of course, he does have the most influential TV show on the planet behind him.

Apart from being an all-time SF classic, what's it got? immortality, monkeys, drugs and dangerous moral decisions.

Loaded on the 6th July 2009.
Cover of Bug Jack Barron

Reviews of other works by Norman Spinrad:
Little Heroes
Pictures At 11
Greenhouse Summer