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Spark

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4.42  ·  Rating details ·  50 ratings  ·  30 reviews
"Dreyfus writes with the darkly absurd humour of a thirsty and somewhat paranoid Jonathan Swift" - Pop Matters


Jake Miller has just been shot by a member of the British Counterterrorism Unit. As he lies on his bedroom floor, wondering if he’s going to bleed out, he attempts to put the last few months of his life into perspective. One minute he’s starting a high-flying job i
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ebook, 284 pages
Published September 19th 2014
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4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  50 ratings  ·  30 reviews


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Kevin Cole
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow.

This is the best book I've read in years. Everything about it connects to me at a personal level, not just artistic. They say every read is a personal reaction. Here's mine (promise to get to the story itself soon):

A long time ago, in a podunk college town far, far away, my 20-year-old self discovered Frank Zappa. From the moment I heard "Who Needs the Peace Corps?" I was hooked, and for the next several years I obsessively collected and consumed everything the oddball ever put out.

There wer
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BlackOxford
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
Sarcasm Squared

What do you call sarcasm about sarcasm? Could it be sardony? If so Spark is way up there on the spectrum "irony, sarcasm, satire, sardony.” How far is it possible to send up yourself?

Spark is the self-proclaimed voice of the Y-bother generation. These are the millennial 'snowflakes' who feel betrayed and abandoned by the world but maintain an attitude of romantic love worthy of Byron. Because their metier is sarcasm, they present a real problem to the writer who wants to rub them
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Harry Whitewolf
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Can one man destroy the global economy? In the Anonymous and hacktivist age, it actually seems more than possible.
Who would that one man be? Perhaps some terrorist or lone psycho, if you believed what you heard on the six o’clock news. But in truth, he’d just be some guy. And it would just sort of happen.

Internet scams, hacking and cracking, the Deep Web, capitalist greed, cycles of destruction and creation, using speed dating as therapy, notions of god and snorting sheep… you’ll find it all her
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Mary Papastavrou
Lately glorious things happen to me as a reader. I've had fantastic literary experiences with Robertson, Gransden and now Dreyfus. I know that lately I use the word 'genius' pretty consistently, but oh well, it's pretty accurate.

Spark is a book of immense intelligence. The kind of intelligence that warms your heart and makes you happy. To sum it up, it's a book of revolution, a socio-political satire, a study of loneliness, a London journey, an amalgam of different intellects and moralities thro
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Jason
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
SPARK LIVES!!!!

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, having the London riots still fresh in your mind makes this all feel more real, it seems that everything in this book is possible... all it needs for Spark to step up and start the ball rolling.

When I first started this book I thought I was going to be reading a modern day version of fight club, but after a few chapters the book found its own way.

There are some brilliant ideas and I thought Jake's method of therapy was genius, I might have to
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Alison
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't say too much about the storyline, as I'll end up giving away too much. However, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, in fact, I couldn't put it down. The short, sharp, fast-paced chapters make it far too easy to stay up all night (one more chapter). The language is articulate and flowing, the author sure knows how to pack a punch and make you feel like you're actually there. I cannot reccomend this book highly enough, probably the best I've read this year ..... By a mile. Looking forward t ...more
Mike Robbins
Jake Miller is a youngish professional and former computer hacker who moves to London to take up a job as an analyst at Dynasty Plc, a large bank. From the start, he’s not too keen on corporate life. Moreover the household he’s wound up living in is downright odd. His landlord, Vinnie Sloane, is a foul-mouthed posh git who makes his living from internet scams while ingesting unpleasant substances. Still, Jake sort of adjusts. Until he’s betrayed by a love interest. Then his hatred for Dynasty, V ...more
David Heath
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
'Revolution' would be an understatement when talking about the book 'Spark'. My first experience with author Rupert Dreyfus was a good one, and I'm quite glad that I took the plunge with this modern tale of grit, online debauchery, and revolt.

I won't bore you with yet another synopsis of the book; let's get right down to the meat of it. I thought that this was an excellent book with a lot of heart and a relevant social message for the modern era. The characters were believable and interesting,
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Leo Robertson
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have been lucky enough to discuss Spark with its author. When I asked him if he would like to see my review before I posted it, he said it would be fine so long as I claimed it was the best book since the Bible, [winky face.] I later realised he meant “just give it the highest praise”, but we scientists have problems with subjectivity.

"This is the most comforting thing since I drank that asbestos-rimmed jet fuel margarita!" ?

"0/5: No incest” ?

… maybe it’s better if I came up with my own benchm
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Daniel Clausen
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2017
4.3 Stars. Review coming very soon.

There is more than a little despair, more than a little anger, more than a little revolution in Dreyfus’s Spark. There is an easy, effortless story-telling, memorable characters, and fantastic pacing that make this book hard to put down.

There is also more than a little “Fight Club” in the book here, including a scene with a character baiting another character into punching him in the face. There is an anti-establishment theme that seems timely, but also a bit
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hanna
Mar 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, fiction
3.5/5 stars


AHH okay so let me collect my thoughts; my brain is currently overwhelmed. Forgive me.


So this was an interesting read, my use of the word 'interesting' is not the British usage where they just vaguely say it for lack of a better word. I found this to be truly interesting, I loved the dialogue. Oh god, *fangirl squeal* the dialogue. It was intimate and felt so real, it gave me Fight Club vibes. I have many British friends “innit”, and my favorite thing to coo over is their slang. Words
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Dennis Jacob Rosenfeld
I have a penchant for transgressive fiction and that's how Spark came to me. It definitely fits the bill and has several of the elements that I like about the genre. The story is told from the point of view of Jake in his dying moments as he recounts how he came to be shot by a counterterrorist soldier in London. Without revealing to much it involves a broken heart, a mind numbing job, a fair amount of paranoia and computer hacking. This is a really strong debut novel and I like the rebellious a ...more
Riya
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Spark reads something like a cross between How I Made the Mistakes and The Army of the Republic, with a first person narration that is refreshingly honest and real. Jake Miller is my favorite kind of character. He's self-deprecating and fully aware of (but not really apologetic about) being a bit of an asshole. Instead of trying to paint his hero as some perfect fantasy revolutionary, Dreyfus gives us a regular guy, a computer nerd, and shows us how now, more than ever, regular people really cou ...more
Rebecca Gransden
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
In Spark we follow Jake, an intrepid crusader for the disenfranchised, a man who funnels his own dissatisfactions into an outpouring of pent up venom apt for a plugged in and zoned out populace.

By accident rather than design he stumbles across an idea that appeals to the untapped need of a public ready to unleash its frustrations.

Weary of soul sucking corporate office politics and a staid existence seemingly without hope, Jake takes a chance and winds up in the orbit of the Duke of the Dodgers V
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Zoe's Human
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review is definitely not intended for anyone under the age of 18. Of course, the book really isn't either. In other words, NSFW, so don't start crying about the language in my review.

Spark is funny, intriguing, and fast-paced with a completely credible protagonist and a message worth saying. I literally laughed out loud several times and felt the visceral thrill one gets from well written suspense. The portrayal of corporate culture is spot fucking on and I FUCKING LOVE THE ENDING. I seriou
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Luke Marsden
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie
I was expecting this to be a novel full of anger, but found Jake, the protagonist and narrator, a level-headed and likeably honest type with a dry wit. This worked in the book's favour as a work of black comedy, but slightly against it as a ballsy piece of rebellion. It's a homage to principled subversion but steps back from the edge of being out-and-out subversive itself. What it does best, though, is to entertainingly conjure up the atmosphere of underground London and its characters, some of ...more
Dorian Box
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Disaffected Jake Miller is a self-proclaimed “bumbler” working in a boring job at England’s largest bank, a corporate world he despises. (As an American, I picture a young John Cusack.) If his life were a song, he tells a mysterious woman named Sky, it would be “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish” by the Smiths. Well, that’s about to change big-time.

Actually, it already has. Jake has been shot by a British counter-terrorism unit. Readers don’t know why as Jake begins unraveling the chaotic c
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Max Freeman
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a bleeder, and I'll tell you why.

Without labouring the obvious, there is some blood and guts in here, but that's not the reason for my comment.

I'd be tempted to compare Dreyfus to Palahniuk. But whilst I loved Fight Club, anyone who has read snuff, diary, and to be fair, most of Chucks other stuff, will begin to notice that an awful lot of his research, seems to start with a google search for "facts about ....."

Dreyfus, like many other genuine Rebel independent writers, does not suf
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Steve Topple
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
OK.

So I wouldn’t cite this as recommended reading for my 75-year old Mother (the expletives alone would be a stumbling block). But this is not aimed at her generation; this is contemporary political fiction for the 21st century.

“Spark” follows a few weeks in the life of Jake Miller, as told in first person flashback, as he lies on his bedroom floor dying from a gunshot wound, inflicted by a member of British Counterterrorism. Jake is a corporate banker by day, skilled hacker by night, who, throu
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Robert Gibbs
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book, and it was nice to read something with a real meaning behind it. Being an ex media student at university, it's always a slight fetish when a book is about that exact subject - media. Including real theories from the likes of Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman and Edward Snowden. All of which would probably enjoy this read.

The story of the book is really fantastic and it is very believable. I'm starting to question whether or not Mr Rupert Dreyfus is part of Annony
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Chris Harrison
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
A stranger in a strange city. Jake Miller arrives in London to start work at Dynasty PLC, and finds digs at a house owned by reclusive scam artist Vinnie. But Jake is no office drone, he's a hacker and hatches a plan that will bring him too close to an armed police unit.

Rupert Dreyfus's novel runs along in 1st person from the perspective of Jake. It's a world of secretive weirdos, ambitious colleagues and plans hatched in shady rooms in the closed bowels of a London that seems to exist in perpet
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Paul Howsley
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's often a gamble when reading work by new authors, often very rewarding too. Spark was both. Exciting, fun and with characters you won't quickly forget.

I don't like to discuss plot lines in a review but overall it's engaging, fresh and i couldn't guess the word count as i just flew through it.

Highly recommended and i'll be looking for more work from this author in the future.
Jaime Rión
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brillante! una profunda reflexión sobre el mundo en el que vivimos disfrazada de una novela espectacular! #mustread
Bran Gustafson
This is a fantastic book is proof that indie can be great. It was thrilling, funny, surprising, thought-provoking and all around hard to put down. It reminded me in some ways of Fight Club, though I can't say I've ever read a book quite like this.
Amy Holland
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you like twisted sarcasm and dark humor, then you'll definitely want to read Spark. The story itself is great—very well written—and the analogies and character dialogue are hilarious! There is not one dull moment in this book. When I wasn't cringing or gasping (in a good way) at the crazy twists, I was laughing. Jake, the main character, has very unusual but hilarious opinions and views on life (his descriptions of his roommate, Vinnie, are especially hysterical). I actually had to mark my pa ...more
Kay Ashworth
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was really entertaining, with twists and turns and I couldnt put it down. The average Joe Soap you walk past in the street could change the world forever! eeek. Not necessarily because this guy is clever but because of the technology we have in the world today. A true but scary thought. Looking forward to more of Dreyfus books.
Chubs72
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Chubs72 by: Goodreads
This is fantastic. What an awesome read, very thought provoking and moving. SPARK LIVES!
Rupert Dreyfus
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote this book so I refuse to comment. I've only added it here so I can recommend it to others...
Michael Davis
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent and thought provoking story from Rupert.
Michaela
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Longer review will follow.
The short version is while i liked the idea of the book, the whining of the main character annoyed me a lot. So much that i couldn't really enjoy the rest.
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Rupert Dreyfus is an award winning, Amazon top 10 selling author who writes black comedies as a means of venting about the state of the world. The influential magazine of cultural criticism PopMatters said that he writes “with the darkly absurd humour of a thirsty and somewhat paranoid Jonathan Swift”. Closer to home, activist and one-time musician Edwin Stratton described his work as “black bloc ...more
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“We think of our species as swinging on the pinnacle of evolution, but this definitely isn’t the final design. If our bodies don’t evolve much further, our minds will. It’s the only way our species can save itself. An evolution of human consciousness is only a matter of time. And that’s when we will finally discover the good life, hand in hand. Meanwhile we just have to tough it out and make the most of things.” 12 likes
“I like to judge people and it was clear to me that Colin’s life has been about as exciting as a cluster headache. You can tell this just from his humour tumour which runs through every conversation you have with him. I got the impression that Colin had arrived at his early fifties resenting the fact that he’s spent his entire career worshiping at the altar of Dynasty PLC. But he is now so indoctrinated by the world of corporate banking that he’s forgotten how to express the real him.

This is what a life working for large corporations does to people. The workplace is a place not to be you; it’s a place to be the corporate you. The you that doesn’t really exist. We all see this corporate you and pretend that it’s a normal part of life. But we know that something isn’t quite right. We know that the real you is slowly fading away like old wallpaper. The corporate you is a myth; just like Icarus. And yet we are powerless against it. All of us are powerless against the wrath of the corporate world.”
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