Jack Sparks, the pop culture celebrity-journo and broadcaster, died under mysterious circumstances in late 2014.
And yet today, in the pages of his book The Last Days Of Jack Sparks, he is reborn.
Publication day is a bitter-sweet affair for me on this particular title, because I was lucky enough to meet Jack before his terrible downward spiral began. Oh, we never really became friends - I kinda got the impression that Jack didn't really have any, apart from maybe his flatmate Bex - but we'd run into each other every once in a while, back when we were both music journalists. We'd escape some tedious press junket and sneak off for a beer or 27.
Jack Sparks really polarised opinion. People loved him or people hated him, there was no in-between. He had many faults - not least a habit of talking almost exclusively about himself. But he made me laugh, both on the page and in person. How could I not laugh at this larger-than-life hybrid of Richard Dawkins and Hunter S Thompson? Jack was a one-off, and I was so sorry to hear of his death, 18 months back.
When the news broke, of course, the internet was flooded with accusations and hearsay and all the usual hysteria. So I'm very glad (happy's certainly not the right word) to have been involved with The Last Days Of Jack Sparks, which finally reveals what happened to the man I once knew. Even though it ain't pretty.
Why did Jack decide to turn his latest non-fiction book into a tireless quest to debunk the supernatural?
Why was he so convinced the exorcism he attended in Italy was fake?
And why did he become so determined to hunt down the makers of the creepy 40-second YouTube video that appeared on his channel?
The Last Days Of Jack Sparks answers these questions and many more. I, for one, was shocked by just how deeply it delves into Jack's true psyche. Prepare to laugh, to wonder, to question, to fear and to be horribly entertained.
The reactions to the book have been incredible so far.
Christopher Brookmyre has called it, "The Omen for the social media age." Sarah Lotz reckons it's, "Scarier than spending the night in an abandoned asylum and wittier than the lovechild of Stephen Fry and Charlie Brooker". And M.R. Carey has said it's, "Chilling and utterly immersive."
One thing's for sure: if you don't enjoy The Last Days Of Jack Sparks, then you'll only have Jack himself to blame. And sadly he has no forwarding address. But if you do enjoy it, please forward all credit and praise and champagne to me. Thank you.
Now, here is a procession of links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon Oz
There are loads more retailer links on this site's own Jack Sparks page.
Read a PDF extract from the start of the book.
The Jack Sparks tribute site, featuring words from me, Jack himself and Jack's brother Alistair, plus touching memories of Jack from various celebs.
Audible's exclusive audio interview with me, about The Last Days Of Jack Sparks, the appeal of dark stories, Doctor Who and writing in general.
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