Think sci-fi but only about ~20-30 years out. It takes place in NYC and has a huge emphasis on the media, entertainment, and cultural conflict in America.

One of the protagonists hosts a radio show and has significant influence. Another protagonist is a performer with some superhuman ability to connect with people emotionally. The final protag is a soldier of some kind that turns out to be an AI housed in a man's body

For some reason, South Africa is a huge political influence on what happens in the states. Other major players are the mental health institution and an overarching defense contractor that sells arms like hot cakes.

I really have no idea how popular this book was/is and when it was published. There was a common pattern of Dr. Seuss naming where common things became "widgets" and "gidgets" that made it a more difficult read than it had to be. Overall it was quite enjoyable and I'd recommend it if you guys happen to find out the title.

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Found it: the book is The Jagged Orbit by John Brunner. Surprising that it was written in the 60's

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    Definitely ahead of its time (along with Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, The Sheep Look Up, The Shockwave Rider and probably others).
    – Peter Shor
    Mar 27, 2019 at 16:25

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