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Jack Glass by [Roberts, Adam]
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Jack Glass Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 382 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

"In the tradition of Swift, Orwell and Atwood." "Times""

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: 2254 KB
  • Print Length: 382 pages
  • 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: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #53,209 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The sub-title on the beautifully-designed cover says ‘The story of a murderer’, while the inner title page describes the tale as ‘A Golden Age Story’. The acknowledgements at the end go further and say that the Golden Age referred to is both that of science and detective fiction, with the book an ingenious and original combination of both genres. If these descriptions suggest a confusion of identities that is perhaps appropriate given that the book is formed of three interlinked novellas about the titular criminal, assuming he is a criminal and not a revolutionary. It all depends on point of view, initiated if not clarified by a narrator who offers to ‘doctorwatson’ the story for us. Even this narrator’s identity is not made clear until the last page and, as with much of the book, not what one expects at all.
For example, the genteel detective stories that inspired the book seem very far away from the opening instalment, in which a group of criminals work out their sentences excavating the guts of an otherwise uninhabited asteroid in order for it to become the habitation of the very rich. This section of the book is visceral, horrific and wholly unpredictable. The point of view character becomes ‘Jac’. Is he the titular Jack? He seems very passive, possibly because he has no legs and does not seem much of a threat to anyone. The convicts’ stories and personalities become clearer as they work, but it seems hopeless; the men are trapped for the duration of their eleven-year sentence with only the technology they have been left with to keep them alive. Despite this hopelessness, which is so well described you wonder what’s going to happen in the rest of the book, Jac appears to be working towards something… The denouement is as outrageous as it is unexpected but is pure SF.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderfully frolicking tale. The story starts with the end - Jack Glass has escaped from an impossible prison but we don't know how or why it was necessary. Then it jumps to the beginning and tracks his story. This is interspersed with tales of the escape - but his preparations seem odd and pointless. But it all works out in a lovely surprising way in the end. You'll enjoy this.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
I suppose the word that comes to mind first when you think of Adam Roberts is "clever", as befits, after all, a Professor of English Literature. The trouble with Roberts is that in some of his books cleverness seems to become an objective in itself. This was especially the case with "Yellow Blue Tibia", where Roberts's fondness for pastiche eventually got out of control and resulted in a novel that was practically nothing else but pastiche.
So it's nice to be able to record that "Jack Glass", whilst an acknowledged pastiche of both Golden Age detective stories and Golden Age SF is actually a rattling good novel, with a highly ingenious plot and interesting characters. Indeed, "ingenious" isn't quite adequate as a word to describe the three interlinked novellas, especially the first, in which Jack somehow escapes from an isolated prison asteroid with no spacesuit and no means of propulsion. And the solution to the final murder mystery turns out to be based on that old SF warhorse, an FTL drive, but here used in an entirely unexpected way. A success therefore both as a pastiche and in its own terms as well.
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