Jack Hickman is an antisocial software exec who designs team-building applications in the late 1990’s. Controlled and calculating, his world begins to splinter when he learns – in the middle of a corporate meeting – that his father has committed suicide. Returning home to the Gulf Coast, Jack struggles with a host of unresolved feelings as he buries the man he hated most. Interwoven throughout the novel, chapters set in the 1970s depict Jack as a boy, chronicling his relationships with a storm-tossed mother and a menacing father, living in the shadows of the petrochemical plants scattered along the Gulf Coast. The novel highlights the differences between life in California at the end of the Dot-Com era and life in blue collar Texas during the 1970’s, contrasting Jack as a man and as a child, and showing how the people who bring us into the world shape us forever.
Big Jack is Dead took me back to my own childhood, growing up in a small town in a dysfunctional family. The characters jumped off the pages or I was sucked into the story as I sympathized with the younger Jack. This is not a feel-good read, it’s not a HEA, it’s a story of internal struggle, emotions and questions that may never be resolved in a manner that will suit Jack Jr.
Big Jack is Dead is just one heck-of-a-darn-good-read !!!
BIG JACK IS DEAD is Harvey Smith’s first novel.
Born on the Texas Gulf Coast, Smith spent his early years moving between a handful of Texas cities…Freeport, Angleton, Palestine, and Moulton. After leaving home, he served for six years in the USAF before settling in Austin, TX.
As a videogame designer, Smith has contributed to games such as Deus Ex and Dishonored.
Currently, he resides in Lyon, France.
Print Length: 286 pages
Publication Date: March 31, 2013
5 out of 5 stars