A wonderful roguish sci-fi romp across the solar system.
Not as deeply felt as Steel Beach, but still a great tale.
The Golden Globe is my favorite novel by John Varley. Its part of his Eight Worlds setting and revolves around the adventures of one Sparky Valentine, one time child star, actor, con man and thief. If you ever wondered how actors earned such a bad reputation, well, Sparky will educate you on that!
There is humor, adventure, exposition and flashbacks, lots of flashbacks. I won't go into too much detail for fear of spoiling it, but they help explain how Sparky wound up playing Shakespeare in the Kuiper Belt and wound up on the wrong side of the Charonese mafia.
The distance between successful actor and successful con artist is small indeed, and The Golden Globe has a lot of fun exploring the line that separates the two. The main character, Sparky Valentine, is that guy, and Varley has him pulling rabbits out of his hat the whole story long. He's out among the outer planets running from killers, pulling cons, acting in whatever manner he can figure out, loving his dog, and spending time with the lovely ladies he meets along the way.
This book has the strong characterization of most first-person novels, though he slips into an interesting third-person perspective when doing flashbacks, and occasionally breaks the fourth wall when it makes sense. It's got Varley's gizmos and dreams of future tech (including a fascinating sub-dermal face changing thing --- great for actors). Ultimately, a book of this kind lives or dies based on how well the main character appeals to the reader; in this case, I thought he was great. I really liked this book.
I just could not get into this book. A first for me since I really like Varley but he just skipped around to much or something.
A wonderful book! Almost Heinlein-esque (think Double Star) in conception. A great read and a mind-expanding concept. Heinlein himself is honored in the story by name. My highest recommendation.
An adventure-packet cross Solar-System journey.