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3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  37 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Independent Publishers Book Award winner - a Silver IPPY!

She asks him—do you want to play your little rock 'n roll songs or change the world? He says—both.
The recessionary days of 1974. Chicago. Pepper Porter is on his improbable way to rock ‘n roll stardom when his long-gone girlfriend reappears. Sooz, a subversively brilliant computer wizard, has come up with the algori
Paperback, 330 pages
Published May 21st 2013 by Running Meter Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Mike McClanahan
Jul 07, 2013 Mike McClanahan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to know what the early 70s were like and read a damned good story, too
Down With Entropy!
If you remember the screech of a modem's handshake signal or falling in love to "Miracles" by Marty Balin (The Jefferson Airplane/Starship's other lead singer), you need to read Pepperland. If you don't (but want to know what it was like), you need to read it, too.
It’s May 4, 1970, and Martin Alan (call me Pepper) Porter is skulking through a computer lab at the University of Michigan in search of the Holy Grail…a bootleg password that gives unlimited access to the school’s mai
Carol Surges
May 02, 2013 Carol Surges rated it really liked it
If you are of a certain age you’ll remember that time when notebooks were notebooks, not Notebooks, and phones had cords not cameras. Music, magic and technology all intersect in Pepperland, where crazy riffs on summer camps, missing guitars, rock ‘n roll, counter-culture, VW vans, modems, ARPANET, the Playboy Club and girls all are fodder for a revolution. Orange and turquoise, Nixon, The Carpenters, TI calculators… there isn’t much that is left out of this grand fusion of a time gone by. Most ...more
Julie Schoerke
Feb 25, 2013 Julie Schoerke rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of music, techies, fiction lovers
The cover gives you a sense of the fun. If you love rock 'n roll (at any age, of any generation) and wonder how we got from Batman's computer in his cave to the teeny-tiny things we hold today, this novel sheds light on the history while also providing a story with a lot of heart. The author is a well-respected journalist who has cut his teeth in the world of literature (as well as being in a rock 'n roll band and being on the cutting edge of computer development in the 70s and 80s) the ...more
Jim Cherry
May 15, 2013 Jim Cherry rated it really liked it
This usually happens in modern World War II movies, there’s a character in the unit who after the war his grand idea is (usually) to start a hamburger stand that will sell franchises across the country and they’ll be wildly successful because everyone will like the food so much. He’s usually derided but we get the joke because we already know the future and we know the guy wasn’t crazy. This is the main conceit of Barry Wightman’s Pepperland. It’s not a one off joke and it carries the story!

Alyce Rocco
Oct 19, 2013 Alyce Rocco rated it did not like it
Barry Wightman's novel, Pepperland, looked to be a good read. There were not as many references to 70's rock 'n roll as I expected. The musical aspect was centered around Porter Pepper's aspirations to change the world through music.

I got as far in the novel as when Porter's band, Pepperland, was former, and assumption, offered contract with Checker Records.

One of the reasons I had trouble reading Pepperland was author's use of numerous footnotes.

"We are driving Otto, our aging VW van. yes, I
May 20, 2013 Willa rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Set in Chicago in the 70's, "Pepperland" is the first-person coming-of-age account of "Pepper" Porter, a burgeoning rock star, and his techy girlfriend, Sooz. The big question she asks him is, "Do you want to play your little rock 'n roll songs or change the world?" and his answer is, "Both."

Soon, Sooz (using the alias Grace Slick) is a fugitive, involved with the Weather Underground and on the run from the FBI. When Pepper asks her what her life is like, she answers, "You get used to anything."
Bruce Campbell
Aug 08, 2013 Bruce Campbell rated it it was amazing
"Pepperland," Barry Wightman's new novel, joyfully careens from Ann Arbor to Chicago to downstate Illinois, back again, and to points beyond at a watershed moment in American history - the dawn of the Digital Information Age. The story follows the trusting, somewhat naive protagonist, Pepper, and his mysterious, driven, sometime-girlfriend, Sooz. There is plenty of music and energy, some intrigue and a hint of danger, as well as just enough magic to keep the reader engaged from start to finish. ...more
May 21, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing
This book has all the rhythm of a great rock n roll catches you up and keeps the excitement going. The plot has some cool twists and turns, and the characters are so very real. Sooz is a definitive hot, brilliant woman who has the plan for our Internet futures in her soaring brain. Pepper has what it takes to be the great leading man...he has attitude, he has humor, and he knows what he wants.
The book has its own unique flow. The beat of the writing is strong, but it is also lyrical. I
May 03, 2014 Kate rated it liked it
I thought I would hate this book's frenetic "rock n'roll" style. However, I actually enjoyed the ride, and I think this book deserves more readers! The author lives in Elm Grove, WI.
DNF. I wanted to like this book. I liked the idea of seeing through the eyes of someone who was there as the internet was being born, but was also deeply interested in music. But I just couldn't get into it. I held out past the halfway point, but in the end, I just didn't care. It's a good book, but it's not for me.
Rob rated it really liked it
Nov 03, 2013
Marissa DeCuir
Marissa DeCuir rated it it was amazing
Feb 25, 2013
Shelby Wilson
Shelby Wilson rated it really liked it
Dec 23, 2014
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Oct 07, 2013
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Jan 17, 2013
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Gigi CApone rated it it was amazing
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Robert Killion rated it it was amazing
Dec 18, 2014
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Patrick Lafferty
Patrick Lafferty rated it liked it
Sep 25, 2013
Thomas Cannon
Thomas Cannon rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2015
Ian Wightman
Ian Wightman rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2013
Brian W Cox
Brian W Cox rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2015
Kyla rated it it was ok
Jun 18, 2014
Phil Parkman
Phil Parkman rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2013
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Feb 26, 2013
Kendra Kreutz
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I’m a writer – a novelist, blogger, business writer, book reviewer – a multi-purpose scribe. My first novel, Pepperland, will be published by Running Meter Press, an imprint of Big Earth Publishing of Boulder, CO – out now. What’s it about? Rock 'n' roll and the birth of the Internet - a love story.

Barry Wightman spent thirty years in high tech traveling throughout Asia before reinventing himself
More about Barry Wightman...

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