What are they saying?

"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."
Amazon Reviewer

What is the story?

For Michael Rivers, life is perfect. Michael has everything: he is tall, handsome, and famous, worshipped 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--a perfect love, sharing a private language based entirely on quotes from the latest fashion magazine advertisement--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 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 lead him to question his relationship with his loud, profane, and narcissistically Ultra 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 seem to lead to the now-closed PartyHaus, and to a time when he was the golden boy, dancing furiously to the beat of the notorious all-night Rage parties thrown by his father. High fashion, corporate malfeasance, celebrity culture, and a media obsessed with the Next Big Thing collide with exuberant violence and volatile intensity in Grey, the explosive debut novel by Jon Armstrong.

How does it begin?

Chapter 1

Nora and I finished our fried whale and plum sandwiches, our cream coffees, and the cocoa and coca pastries, and sat in a comfortable silence as landscapes of buildings and millions of well-wishers whirred past the windows at six hundred kilometers per hour. Halfway on our train-date, after the conductor blew the massive, buzzing horn, and the waitresses in their black-and-yellow-striped honeybee uniforms, complete with dangerously sharp-looking stingers, cleared the dishes, Nora closed her right eye and gazed at me with her left; I, in turn, did the same, and it was like we were the perfect couple.

This was our fourth and last date before our marriage, and while the whole thing had been arranged between our parents to complete the merger of our families' companies, I could not have imagined or wished for someone as wonderful as she. Standing just an inch below my six foot three, with shiny black hair, a light walnut complexion, and obsidian eyes, her features were wide and open like an innocent doll, but she was also intelligent and witty. Most impressive of all was that she, like myself, loved the fashion magazine Pure H. We quoted from it, dressed and struck poses like the models, and felt that we were just like the beautiful and tragic people of our dreams.

m o r e . . .

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