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Bug Jack Barron [Mass Market Paperback]

Norman Spinrad
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1983
Lover and hero, Jack Barron, the sold-out media god of the Bug Jack Barron Show, has one last chance to hit it big when he meets Benedict Howards, the power-mad man with the secret to immortality.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars SF that's all too real. Oct. 19 2000
By S Smyth
If you've got a problem, bug Jack Barron, the television personality with one-hundred million viewers. If you've got $50,000.00 in liquid assets, contact the Foundation of Immortality and Benedict Howards will have you frozen until technology can bring you round and cure your ailment - forever. So a Negro without his assets in a suitably liquid state bugs Jack Barron, about how he's been refused a place in the Foundation of Immortality's freezers; that he's being racially prejudiced. This claim is refuted, and in order to win Jack Barron's allegiance Benedict Howards offers Jack Barron the chance of immortality - for real - forever. And whilst Jack Barron is sorely tempted to play along, their comes a point beyond which even he won't cross...
Only the slang and political references in this book would be a problem to today's younger readers. Apart from that, the ideas are all still fresh and, for the most part, fully realised in today's television culture. This book is consistent with the quality of writing in Norman Spinrad's 'No Direction Home', and which I would like to see more of.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cyberpunk, before Gibson & co... May 5 2000
This is a great pre-cyberpunk novel. The main character, Jack Barron, is a TV journalist. His nemesis and arch-villain is one rich and ruthless industrial. He enjoys picking on that guy, and playing the part of the chivalrous, 1st amendment fanatic journalist. No problem...
Then, one day, he for a change decides to run with a different story: someone has apparently been ... hmm ... buying young children from poor, very poor families... Over the course of a few weeks, Jack Barron will discover how those events are connected, who is behind all that (you have one guess...) and what is the goal behind them (do you like the idea of dying? Just asking...)
Then, he will be face with the ultimate challenge... What exactly is the price of his silence?
A very good book, much better written than many other Spinrad books (he's a little bit too weird for my taste, at times...) A great read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Where are you when we need you Jack Barron May 5 2002
...this work was dated, it is dated in its language, it is dated in the world view that it presented, but it is perhaps most dated in presenting a "media" figure who has retained some morality and who refuses to completely sell out to the powers to be.
In a nut shell, a once powerful leader of a left leaning political group has sold out his ideals, to become the host of the best rating current affairs show in America. By chance he is offered the chance to break a story on the most powerful corporate figure in America, a story which could change the fabric of America. Does he break the story, or does he accept the very attractive offer made by the corporate figure - after all wouldn't we all like to forever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read, Wonderful Imagination July 24 2001
Norman Spinrad is one of those authors who never "broke out" but not because of the quality of his work. I would rank him with Ellison and Dick for quality. In short, he should be one of the greats.
His imagination is so rich that you will spend as much, or more, time thinking about what you are reading as actually reading his work. This book is a tremendous example of his gift. Spinrad understands the direction our purient privacy denying society twenty years before we arrived in our current sorry state.
If anything, reading this book you often forget when he was writing because the society he describes is seemingly so famil
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