The Great American Jackpot Author:Herbert Gold THE GREAT AMERICAN JACKPOT is about the price in rage and loneliness of the pursuit of success and individual personality in the new mass-cult America. Setting is California, San Francisco to be exact; the time is now, right now, and the people are Dr. Jarod Howe, successful, charming, clever and tormented black professor, and his student Al Do... more »oley, young white son of California affluence. Both of them are intelligent; both seem to have everything America can give; and both are in deep trouble. Al decides to embark on a career in crime. He will rob the Crocker-Anglo Bank. He does. What happens? Read and fine out. Jarod sheds his professor's robes to try the Black Muslim way. Does it work? We shall see.
And more-great people: Jarod's white wife, Ellen; Al's girls-Milly, turned-on drop-out from college ease, and Sue Cody, shrewd and lovely hippie; Black Muslim leader Wilbur X; nautical lawyer Stanford Mittance; flutter-brained Judge Harlow; small-time hood Paul "Poopie" Cola, and more; the friendly and unfriendly cops, loving and unloving parents, students, rock musicians, hangers-about, criminals, jail guards, and the puzzled population which does the normal work of the world.
Great scenes-the bank robbery; the filming of a TV special, "The Affluent Negro," on Jarod's Sausalito houseboat; prison scenes, courtroom scenes, even-classroom scenes.
The conflicts of university and city, of race and the middle class; the crisis of psychology, justice and morality, of patriotism and strange wars; a continuing American search for heroic individual action, all provide the social texture of the story.
THE GREAT AMERICAN JACKPOT is a depth-sounding of the new make-out people around the Bay of San Francisco. Fast, funny, virtuoso, the novel tells what the young are after and what the rest of America must learn to face from them.« less