In a world pushed beyond the moral simplicity of black and white, all that survives is Grey.
High fashion, corporate malfeasance, celebrity culture, and an obsessed media collide with exuberant violence and volatile intensity in Grey, the explosive debut novel by newcomer Jon Armstrong.
For Michael Rivers, life is perfect. Michael has everything; tall, handsome, and famous, he is worshiped by billions of fans around the globe. He is wealthy beyond measure, the heir apparent to RiverGroup, one of the handful of high-tech corporations that controls the world. He is fashionable, setting trends with his wardrobe of immaculate designer suits, each a unique and celebrated work of art. And Michael is in love, perfect love, sharing a private language based entirely on quotes from the latest fashion magazine advertisements, with Nora, his beautiful, witty, and equally perfect fiancée, the only woman with whom he can see surgically-altered monochromatic eye to eye.
When an assassin’s bullets pierce Michael’s body before the unblinking eyes of cameras, reporters, and viewers at a press junket, everything changes, forcing Michael to question everything about his previously perfect world. Illusions shattered and forcibly separated from Nora, Michael seeks to uncover the reasons behind the attempted assassination, embarking on a quest that leads him to question his relationships with his loud, pro-fane, and narcissistically Ültra father; his estranged mother; and the perilous, contaminated, neo-feudalistic world that lies beyond the safe and protected bubble of corporate family life.
Michael must delve deep into his past, finding that all paths he uncovers seem to lead to the now-closed PartyHaus, and to a time when he was the golden boy, dancing furiously to the beat of notorious all-night Rage parties thrown by his father.
“Armstrong’s vision of the future isn’t far removed from our obsession with “American Idol,” “America’s Next Top Model” and the romantic and rehabilitative antics of Britney, Lindsay and Paris. There are touches of early Kurt Vonnegut and Anthony Burgess in this novel, but “Grey” follows its own well-conceived satirical strategy.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Equal parts ill-fated love story á la Romeo and Juliet, poignant coming-of-age tale, and disturbingly provocative glimpse into humanity’s future, Armstrong’s debut is simply unforgettable — nothing short of a science fiction masterwork. A Clockwork Orange for the 21st century.” Barnes and Noble Spotlight Feature
“A Romeo-and-Juliet tale of star-crossed lovers and their conflicted families plays out against a futuristic backdrop shaped by outrageous fashion trends…” Publishers Weekly
“A dazzling trip through a world alternately glamorous and grimy, set in a crumbling but media-saturated future, with eyeball-kicks galore.” Locus Magazine
“This book is funny, gross, witty, crass, weird, beautiful, bizarre, and bloody: ergo–cool!” Yet Another Book Review Site
“I couldn’t put the book down. This book will hook you early and drag you straight through to the end. Definitely a fun read.” Douglas Lain, author of Last Week’s Apocalypse
“A Clockwork Orange meets American Psycho meets Tank Girl.” Book Stud
“…like a postcyberpunk Bret Easton Ellis.” Chris Nakashim-Brown
“Celebrity worship, reality television, high fashion and corporate sociopathy all take a hit. I love a good tear-down of pop culture.” BlurredEdge
“If you enjoy or, better yet, prefer a more literary than commercial read and you can appreciate a satirical stab at not only the fashionable elite of entertainment but a subtle yet obvious social comment on the general public and its destructive nature, then give Grey a read; it will not disappoint you.” Book Opinions
“This is both an instant classic of post-genre literature, & an outrageous parody of it. It’s Shakespeare on acid with tones of Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, spiced with tones of Gibson, Sterling, Neal Stephenson, and a crazed graphic artist who creates all the artwork with words alone, & quite an original work.”