On a planet remarkably similar to our own, in the voraciously capitalist United States of Atlantis, the most powerful (i.e. richest) man in the world is media and IT tycoon John Lockes, who made his fortune by copyrighting the Return Key on computer keyboards.
But Lockes is also a philanthropist and has, through his company Infologix, devised a scheme that will effectively end all crime: tiny transmitters will be 'implanted' into convicted felons, allowing them to be tracked at all times by satellite.
Once this 'Rectag' technology is in place, all that remains is to launch the satellite. But Lockes is an elusive figure, a man of many secrets and many guises. And the man who perhaps knows him best is embittered investigative journo-turned-tabloid hack Macauley Connor.
Realizing he's reached rock bottom when he's sent to investigate a farmer who claims his chickens have been abducted by aliens, he readily accepts a commission to write a warts-'n'-all biography of Lockes. Meanwhile, a beautiful astronaut and an Infologix employee fall in love in orbit, a presidential candidate discovers he will stop at nothing to get elected and a bank heist goes horribly, and hysterically, wrong when two rival gangs hit the same place at the same time. Wicked, anarchic, outrageous and ebullient, Let There Be Lite is a first novel that takes some unerringly accurate swipes at - amongst other things - American politics, presidential elections, spin doctors, tabloid journalism, software billionaires, the fashion industry, fast food and food fads, chat shows (here hosted by the utterly asinine Lola Colaco) and the very nature of celebrity.
Imagine Gary Larson's cartoons in novel form or The Fast Show on speed and you've some idea of what sort of glorious anarchy to expect within the covers of Let There Be Lite... 'Rupert Morgan's satire of modern life is brilliant.
He is like Ben Elton at his wittiest but minus the worthiness: although he makes salient points about our time, taking swipes at democracy, big business, justice and celebrity - you don't feel as if they are being rammed down your throat.
His writing is fast and his characterization superb...Definitely one to watch'The Express'Satire which takes you up to the edge of libellous - and gets away with it...Nothing is spared by Rupert Morgan's blistering pen: neither love, family, democracy, race relations, politics, nor journalism.
Atlanta is a place where logic is dangerously inverted and morality a dangerously old-fashioned concept.
As a story it rattles along with the pace of a thriller.
As an inventive swipe at the Establishment, it will make you laugh while you wince'Daily Mail'Bittersweet, laugh-out-loud funny, and all too true' FAY WELDON'Outstanding...Fans of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams will adore this dazzling satire on the digital age, but it is startlingly original from its side-splitting first lines to the thoughtful conclusion...Packed with fresh comic touches' amazon.co.uk'Rupert Morgan's irrepressible wit sees humour wherever he looks.
The plot unfolds like a firework display, one explosion after another, each one more outrageous than the one before...The pace of the performance builds up into a grand finale that leaves you gasping and wide-eyed.
This is a first novel by someone who has perfected his craft.
The interweavings of plot and character are skilfully executed.
But above all it is so good to be made to laugh - really laugh.
This is one of those books, like Louis de Berniere's, which will have your friends and family furiously demanding to see what you are reading that makes you so roar with laughter'Oxford Times'Amusing and inventive' PETER ACKROYD'You must read Rupert Morgan's outstanding Let There Be Lite...It's fast-moving and hilarious...Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams will be spitting feathers'Esquire'At its best when taking pot-shots at a wide variety of modern ills - fast food, tabloid media, downsizing, soap-opera politics...One of Morgan's nicer inventions is a computer program that boils down complex texts to their essentials.
Its treatment of the Old Testament renders it down to: "Because I say so, that's why"'Independent'The match of the madder moments of John Irving or Tom Sharpe...this is a promisingly entertaining "lite" read' The Times'A really brilliant first novel, he is obviously a major talent' PRUNELLA SCALES