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Jack Glass (Golden Age) [Kindle Edition]

Adam Roberts
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description


Jack Glass is the murderer. We know this from the start. Yet as this extraordinary novel tells the story of three murders committed by Glass the reader will be surprised to find out that it was Glass who was the killer and how he did it. And by the end of the book our sympathies for the killer are fully engaged.

Riffing on the tropes of crime fiction (the country house murder, the locked room mystery) and imbued with the feel of golden age SF, JACK GLASS is another bravura performance from Roberts. Whatever games he plays with the genre, whatever questions he asks of the reader, Roberts never loses sight of the need to entertain and JACK GLASS has some wonderfully gruesome moments, is built around three gripping HowDunnits and comes with liberal doses of sly humour.

Roberts invites us to have fun and tricks us into thinking about both crime and SF via a beautifully structured novel set in a society whose depiction challanges notions of crime, punishment, power and freedom. It is an extraordinary novel.

Product Description


Roberts pulls off another coup in the characterisation of Jack Glass... This novel, alongside By Light Alone, will see him [Adam Roberts] recognised as one of Britain's foremost sf novelists if it receives the attention it deserves. (Anna MacFarlane Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction)

Book Description

Golden Age SF meets Golden Age Crime from the author Kim Stanley Robinson thinks should have won the Booker.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1432 KB
  • Print Length: 382 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00GU3DHI8
  • Publisher: Gollancz (26 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0087GZ1YE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #172,490 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Adam Roberts is a writer of science fiction novels and stories, as well as Professor of Nineteenth-century Literature in English at Royal Holloway, University of London. Three of his novels, "Salt", "Gradisil" and "Yellow Blue Tibia" were nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award; and his most recent novel "By Light Alone" has been shortlisted for the 2012 BSFA Award. He has published over a dozen novels, a number of academic works on both 19th century poetry and SF, stories, parodies, bits, pieces, this and that.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Original SF 2 Feb. 2014
Jack Glass, notorious criminal and murderer of millions is imprisoned on a asteroid with seven other criminals. The people who have sent him there for eleven years don't know he is there, but when they find out they will be back to get him. It is a cruel, sharp and brutish place, and he must use all his guile to escape from the un escapable place.

On a small planet elsewhere, two sisters are experiencing a spell in gravity in a sealed orbital habitat owned by their hyper rich family. There are themselves, and few personal staff, and 20 or so servants. Normal life is interrupted following the murder of one of the servants, and one of the sisters, Diana, takes over the investigation from the police allocated to the investigation. as she progresses thing are not what they seem, and the murder is a prompt to discover some of the greater questions and threats to the family.

I have read a couple of his before, the last one read I thought was not great at all so I wasn't looking forward to this much. I thought that it was an original story line, a bit gruesome and brutal at the beginning. I liked the way that the story unwrapped in layers, so you were never sure just what to expect next.

The characters were interesting, Jack Glass in particular as he was innovative and single minded. I couldn't warm to the two sisters, they came across as arrogant, and self interested, but that may have been the idea. The worlds that he has created didn't come across as fully plausible, but the integrated tech did. Overall ok, not are I would read another by him just yet.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read 19 Dec. 2013
Interesting: yes.

Well written: very.

Thought provoking: somewhat.

Inventive: exceptionally.

I only felt let down by the ending of the first story of three (althougth, really, the three tales do follow a linear narrative), which was ridiculously unbelieveable, but very creative.

My only other criticism: why did Diana not question Jack Glass on his escape method from prison? Wholly out of character, Adam.

Buy it. Read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars proper Sci-Fi 31 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is clever with three stories with very different plot lines and 'feel' to them. Only in the final section are the three brought together.

Also included are some genuinely thoughtful concepts reminiscent of the SF greats of the 50s & 60s.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack in Class 24 Sept. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book cover looks amazing and apart from the rocket ships, could be mistaken for non-genre literature. The three quotes on the back all mention the word "literary". So it makes me smile to think of a reader picking up this book expecting Ian McEwan (mentioned on the reverse), and discovering (and hopefully falling in love with) this political, techno, 100% pure science fiction novel. The inside jacket gets it right "From a tiny asteroid in the far reaches of space, to a comfortable country house, to a sealed orbital habitat, Adam Roberts takes us on a spellbinding journey through a future that challenges all our notions of crime, punishment, power and freedom." Get in! The book is split into three stories. The first is a very melancholic and dark prison tale, full of despair and horror. This acts as an introduction to the main story and longer middle section. This second story uses a common cyberpunk theme of warring multinational corporations and heirs amongst numerous others. The third and final section deals with the war aftermath and revolutionary activity against these vicious capitalist "clans". Funny, serious, exciting and thought provoking. The prose throughout is a joy to read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking return to form 15 Jun. 2013
After two lacklustre near future novels this far future novel, which plays with the toys of the murder mystery genre, is a cracking return to form for this author.

A few centuries hence, the solar system has become a large slum, in which trillions live in bubble homes floating in space, subsisting on basic food grown from hydroponics and recycled water. Above the masses are the police/gangsters and above them are the Clan Families. And pre-emminent among the Clan Families are the Ulanovs, the source of all power. Not surprisingly, there are those in the 'Sump', the bubble-dwellers, who want to change this despotic system.

The story focuses on the two scions of the Argent Family, Diana and Eva, the former gene-engineered for intuition, the latter for logical reasoning. Eva is working on her seventh PhD, which is on "champagne supernovas", a very rare type of supernova which appear for no discernable reason. And there is a rumuour that someone has invented an FTL drive. If this is true it then it could either free mankind to roam the stars or give the stars to the Ulanovs, or another of the Families...

I think I have said enough as I do not want to give away anything that might ruin the impact of the three crime/whodununit-puzzles herein. I have not said anything about the title character but he is declared a murderer right at start so this snippet is giving nothing away. I found this novel hard to put down, as it fires on all cylinders in its rich blend of genre fictions. If you have not read anything yet by this author yet, try this novel.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High quality, intelligent puzzle stories 17 Jan. 2013
By R. A. Davison TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not quite sure how I was drawn to Jack Glass, I think it popped up in 'People Also Bought' on Amazon, it sounded interesting and I think ultimately I bought it as a consequence of that unforgivable thing of "liking the cover" which is very pretty, despite the well known proverb.

What is marvellous about Jack Glass is its originality. We are informed in its preface, that protagonist Jack Glass is an infamous murderer, and what the book comprises of is three short stories about crimes he has committed. These crimes are described thusly by the narrator who is the self appointed Doctor Watson to Glass's murderous Holmes :

"One of these mysteries is a prison story. One is a regular whodunit. One is a locked room mystery. I can't promise that they are necessarily presented to you in that order; but it should be easy for you to work out which is which, and to sort them out accordingly. Unless you find that each of them is all three at once"

As well as being three mystery stories, comprising of "In The Box", "The FTL Murders" and "The Impossible Gun" Jack Glass also belongs to the sci-fi genre with all three stories taking place in some futuristic time which is both recognisable and completely different from our present day.

What I liked so much about Jack Glass was that as well as being a story it's an intellectual challenge, both in terms of solving the mystery before it's revealed and in order to get "your head around" some of the high end Science concepts explored as part of the futuristic science fiction. The paradoxes and so forth.

I found that I utterly kicked myself when the second story "The FTL Murders" was resolved, and also really enjoyed the first story, finding the third weaker by comparison.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent book defied expectations of the genre . Was gripped to the end . Almost read it in one sitting
Published 20 months ago by Lauren Stewart
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a shame - could have been great
The author divides this book into three clear parts, which makes a review pretty easy - the first part is great, the second pretty good and the third awful. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Timothy Hammond
5.0 out of 5 stars scifi whodunnit!
Adam Roberts' books are always brilliantly bizzarre. The 'science' is, as usual, bonkers and most entertaining. Read more
Published 23 months ago by rosie123
5.0 out of 5 stars Faster Than Light
Be advised that there is a glossary at the end - you might need it. I didn't read the contents list and discovered it after I'd finished the book - but it didn't matter in the end... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Eileen Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars More excellent work from Roberts
This was a really enjoyable read, and continues Adam Roberts' reputation for producing thoughtful, intelligent, interesting stories. Read more
Published on 22 Mar. 2013 by just another customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag - some good some bad
This book is three stories about Jack Glass, a wanted criminal in a future solar system where a draconian oligarchy rules the space-ways. Read more
Published on 15 Mar. 2013 by Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars Another extraordinary work by Adam Roberts
This is the second extraordinary novel by Adam Roberts (after Yellow Blue Tibia: A Novel) I've enjoyed and I've now upgraded him into the group of my favourite writers. Read more
Published on 3 Feb. 2013 by MaskedMarauder
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably disappointing
Don't waste your money on this appallingly disappointing waste of letters. I've read numerous Adam Roberts books; if you want to read some of the greatest British science fiction... Read more
Published on 27 Jan. 2013 by Mr. G. Lawrence
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