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Buddy Holly: Is Alive and Well on Ganymede [Hardcover]

Bradley Denton


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Book Description

September 1991
Conceived in the backseat of a car on the day that Buddy Holly died, Oliver Vale turns on the TV one day to find Buddy Holly on every channel, and soon he is on the run from a pursuing mob of religious fanatics. Reprint. K.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co (September 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688108229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688108229
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,830,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Denton ( Wrack and Roll ) offers pop culture, tabloid headlines and rock 'n' roll in an entertaining blend reminiscent of such quirky films as Repo Man and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. Kansas computer salesman Oliver Vale, who was conceived at the very moment that Buddy Holly's plane crashed in Iowa, is surprised when Holly appears suddenly on televisions all over the world, apparently resurrected with his guitar on the bleak surface of Ganymede, with a sign bearing Oliver's name and address. Fleeing angry neighbors and the FCC, who believe he's responsible, Oliver heads for Lubbock, Tex., to visit Holly's grave and learn whether he has indeed been raised. The broadcast continues unabated, and Oliver's pursuers grow to include two groups of space aliens, a cyborg guard dog, a renegade CIA operative and Oliver's own confused therapist, all heading for a transcendental climax at a Kansas drive-in. As the plot gathers momentum, Oliver's memories and his mother's diary entries capture the impulses at the heart of American popular culture. Although the finish doesn't quite come off, Denton's masterful balancing of humor, action and perceptive characterization yields intelligent, moving entertainment.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

When televisions worldwide begin broadcasting a nonstop, noninterruptible live performance by Buddy Holly purporting to originate somewhere in the vicinity of Jupiter, Oliver Vale--the apparent object of the broadcasts--finds himself drafted for a mission so secret that even he is not sure of its purpose. Denton ( Wrack and Roll , Warner, 1986) fills this supremely funny novel with warring space aliens disguised as humans, a robot dog, a psychopathic assassin, an overzealous psychologist and her jealous husband, a motorcycle gang, and a messianic televangelist--all to prove that rock 'n' roll never really died. A good supplementary purchase for most general fiction and sf collections.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bradley Denton is alive and well and writing fabulous stuff June 14 2006
By Lydia Ash - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you like a healthy dose of humor (and not a little music history) injected into your SF, I highly recommend Mr. Denton's 1992 Campbell Award-winning novel.

Denton makes the reader care about an imperfect, psychologically flawed protagonist who, by the end of the novel, reaches a remarkable (but not unrealistic) level of satisfaction and self-awareness. His secondary characters are well-developed and the reader might appreciate a couple of them even more than the main character.

Denton addresses a number of issues: the influence of television and passive entertainment on society, religion vs. morality, and the dangers of blindly siding with one point of view. He gives the reader something to think about, but doesn't preach or beat the reader over the head with his opinion.

Specific human interests allow "Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede" to be engrossing, compassionate, and entertaining. Denton's love of music, dogs, and motorcycles is enough to touch the reader, even if that particular affection is not something shared in common.

This title is no longer in print (unjust world!), but it's most certainly worth the effort to find a used copy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST-read for sci-fi OR Rock and roll fans Jan. 4 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although my generation is much more rcent than the rock and roll legends of this book, I found the novel entertaining, exciting, suspensful, and with a great sense of humor. Even rock-and-roll fans, if not sci-fi fans, should read this treasure!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal SF That is Extremely Real Feb. 9 2005
By Randy Gibson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was born and raised about 10 miles from where Bradley Denton went to high school and that location in Kansas is the scene of the climax in this extremely funny and bizarre SF novel. Denton is a brilliant writer, simply put. He creates believable characters with whom it is incredibly easy to empathize, then places them in extremely surreal and unimaginable situations. The result is a modern nod to Heinlein with humor and violence running hand-in-hand to point out the foibles and hypocrisy of modern society. These themes are common in all of Denton's novels and short stories, but this particular book brings it home in a much funnier story. Of course, the impact of the book is even stronger when some of the action literally travels down a street you grew up on and comes to a climax in the local drive-in theater where you spent many a hot summer night as a youth. At any rate, fans of classic rock'n'roll who also enjoy brilliant science fiction will love Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede. Bring the popcorn!
4.0 out of 5 stars Nebbish makes good June 8 2014
By Dr. F. S. Ledgister - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating variant on the quest tale with elements of the Southern and Midwestern gothic thrown in. It's an amusing piece of SF/popular music mashed up and served together.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read Feb. 11 2014
By Michael A. Ulrich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I won't go into details about the book, nor will I elaborate on its plot, as I can only assume if you're reading reviews about the book then you already have the gist of its content. I will say that if you enjoy surreal comedy with sci-fi elements somewhat reminiscent of 50's B-movies, then you will enjoy this book. I know I did.

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