Wireless Summary (Jack O’Connell)

Jack O’Connell


(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

WIRELESS begins in the fashion of a mainstream mystery with the murder of an activist priest by a psychopath known as Speer. Speer arranges the evidence to indicate that Father Todorov is the victim of a prominent street gang whose territory is the Bangkok Park ghetto. But Speer is not really interested in visiting grief upon gang-bangers; his crusade is on a larger scale. He is determined to eliminate a pair of techno-anarchists known as the O’Zebedee Brothers and all those who revere their name.

Techno-anarchists are individuals who jam the transmissions of licensed radio stations to replace one orthodoxy with philosophical diversity and thus destroy the ideological underpinnings of the State. Speer views these electronic mavericks as a threat to civilization. Meanwhile, when the techno-anarchists themselves appear, it becomes obvious that their movement has already splintered. At the same time, the uneasy balance of power among the various gangs which keep the peace in Bangkok Park is no longer stable. Detective Hannah Shaw must attempt to restore peace within the Park, while G.T. Flynn seeks to restore a sense of community to the techno-anarchists before a significant faction falls into aggressive nihilism.

When the appearance of the sexiest word merchant ever to grab a microphone is added to the mix, WIRELESS becomes impressively weird. WIRELESS is not for the fainthearted who contend that a novel must begin, develop, and end without leaving the reader too confused by the wayside. Nor is it a work for those who expect three-dimensional characters who are plausible in their development and comprehensible in their actions. For all the rest, though, this is a place to stop and sit awhile.