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Fast-paced love story blends rock ‘n’ roll with tech revolution

Writer Barry Wightman will appear at BookCourt in Cobble Hill on July 21. Photo by Chris Kirzeder.

Brooklyn BookBeat: Author to release book in Cobble Hill

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Fiction writer and rock ‘n’ roller Barry Wightman has recently published “Pepperland” (Running Meter Press), a 1970s ode to music, technology and political revolution.  The author will appear at BookCourt in Cobble Hill onJuly 21 to launch his book, which has received widespread praise from critics.

In “Pepperland”, just as a generation’s idealistic political revolution sputters out, a high tech digital revolution begins to emerge in the dark days of recession-wracked 1974. In the middle of it all is Pepper Porter, who is on an improbable journey to rock ‘n’ roll stardom when his long-gone girlfriend reappears. But this book is not a typical love story. 

Sooz, a subversively brilliant computer whiz, has crafted an algorithm that “will forever change the direction of all human communications,” fuel the birth of the personal computer and the Internet. But there’s trouble looming as Sooz is on the lam from the FBI—she’s ex-Weather Underground—radical and revolutionary. Falling in love with Pepper, she asks, “Do you want to play your little rock 'n’ roll songs or change the world?”  He says, “Both.”

Wightman’s storytelling style was inspired by Jack Kerouac’s jazzy prose, David Foster Wallace’s quirky brilliance and Nick Hornby’s hip charm. “Pepperland” is a bold, unconventional attempt to communicate the ecstasy of rock ‘n’ roll on the page.

* * *

The July 21 event will begin at 7 p.m. BookCourt is located at 163 Court St. in Cobble Hill.

Barry Wightman is Fiction Editor for Hunger Mountain, a journal for the arts based in Vermont. He is an award-winning essayist who has contributed work to WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio and reviews books for publications in Chicago, Milwaukee and Washington D.C., including the Washington Independent Review of Books. Wightman is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and plays in a rock ‘n’ roll band, The Outta State Plates.

July 15, 2013 - 1:00pm


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