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Literature / Jack Rodman

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On a single day, Sven loses his job and his girlfriend, his appartment burns down, and finally, he gets run over by a car. After his close brush with death, Sven decides to focus on his single remaining passion: music.

He becomes Jack Rodman, Arizona-born singer-songwriter, and invents an entire career in the social media. And he is successful: Germany welcomes the star from the United States; a major record label offers him a contract, and Sven starts living his dream.

Until his ex-girlfriend discovers the truth about Jack.

Jack Rodman - Die ganze Wahrheit (The Whole Truth) is a 2012 novel by German author Arno Wilhelm. It's a funny and fast read about the possibilities of re-inventing yourself on the internet and about really attractive groupies. It is remarkable for the work invested into Sven's alternate identity: The book contains an EP by Jack Rodman and is published as a biography. A small alternate reality marketing game surrounds it, including websites, fictional interviews, concert videos and pictures.

The novel provides examples of:

  • Accidental MurderHow Sven's ex-girlfriend Lara, who was blackmailing him, dies.
  • All Just a Dream — everything after Sven wakes up in the hospital is a dream. It explains some of the more unlikely coincidences and Sven's lingering feeling of something not being right, like the total absence of nearly all of his former friends.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing — Sven's ex-girlfriend Lara. Seemingly a little wild, but nice, Sven soon finds out that she has an affair and dumps her. Lara's reaction? She pawns Sven's car while he is in the hospital, and when his career as Jack picks up speed, she blackmails him.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word — And to Lara, it's not blackmail, she thinks she deserves her share.
  • Break-Up Bonfire — Of the 'I left the oven on' variety, after Sven finds out that Lara is cheating on him.
  • Captain Oblivious — Sven in the beginning, whose girlfriend is having an affair and whose boss is stealing money from the company.
  • Conveniently an Orphan — Sven's lack of close family (and the inheritance his parents left him) helps him in establishing and maintaining the Jack Rodman identity.
  • Death by Falling OverLara's death.
  • Disposing of a BodySven, with the help of crazy groupie Andrea, dumps Lara's body into a lake.
  • Frame-UpSven frames Andrea's new boyfriend for her death. It works.
  • Friend in the Black Market — After his car accident, Sven recovers in the hospital next to small time crook Uwe. He comes in real handy when Sven needs new papers.
  • I Just Want to Be Special — Sven after his day in hell.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo — Averted. Sven/Jack actually plays with Damien Rice once.
  • Loser Protagonist — Sven, at least in the beginning. Of the perfectly boring variety.
  • Secret Identity — Sven Heller is Jack Rodman. Jack Rodman is a famous musician. At least according to the internet.
  • Stalker with a Crush — Andrea. Interestingly, Jack is not the first target of her obsessions.
  • Stalker Shrine — Andrea has one of Jack. Sven is not amused.
  • Tsundere — Lara. Sweet, energetic, beautiful... bitch.
  • Twist Endingof the All Just a Dream variety