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Dead lines
Bear, Greg
Adult Fiction BEAR

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this taut ghost story set in the California of everyone's dreams-and nightmares-from Hugo and Nebula winner Bear (Darwin's Children), anything-goes hardcore porn films have blasted softcore screenwriter Peter Russell's career. The horrifying abduction and murder of his young daughter has destroyed Russell's marriage; his best friend has just died; and Joseph Weinstein, the reclusive sugar daddy who employs Russell as a dogsbody, seems to be descending into senility. Worse follows. In pursuit of financial security, Russell sells Weinstein on "Trans," a seductive new gadget promising unlimited instant broad-band communication, and all too soon reaching out and touching via Trans even wakes the dead, whose path to the hereafter is now so clogged with spam and unlimited phone calls that they return to haunt the living. Bear's ability to incorporate scientific concepts into tightly woven, fast-paced story lines reaches menacing new proportions here, because it draws on that nagging suspicion that the ubiquitous, innocent-appearing cell phone may really be killing off its users. By deftly extrapolating that doubt into everyone's most dreaded fears-loss of job, loss of friends, loss of children-Bear reanimates the old story of Faust, who sold his soul for unlimited knowledge and power, hinting ominously that the price of rampant technology may be dearer than we think. Agent, Richard Curtis. (On sale June 1) Forecast: What hard SF fans Bear may lose by exploring midlife crisis while downplaying science he may pick up among mainstream readers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This thriller with ghosts centers around Peter Russell, an everyman in his late fifties who draws an unusual amount of attention from beautiful women. A former cheesecake film director, now gopher to a millionaire, Peter is caught up in a phenomenon that goes beyond the temporal world, and strange communication devices, called Trans, tap into the bandwidth inhabited by the dead. The death of Peter's best friend begins a journey that involves his rich boss, his ex-wife and daughters, and the Trans creators and climaxes with the destruction of the network and a return to "normalcy," albeit one in which most of the characters are dead. Though a good reader with a pleasing, gravelly voice (not unlike George Carlin), Jason Culp seems unable to differentiate his tones enough to accommodate the characters and drama. Bear's characteristic sensitivity to children (as seen in his Darwin series) comes through in this genuinely sad and truly creepy tale. An optional purchase.-Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Hartford (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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