The Jorgmund Pipe is the backbone of the world, and it's on fire. Gonzo Lubitsch, professional hero and troubleshooter, is hired to put it out - but there's more to the fire than meets the eye. A story of love and loss; of ninjas and pirates; and of a friendship stretched beyond its limits. But it is also the story of a world, not unlike our own, in desperate need of heroes - however unlikely they may seem.
©2008 Nick Harkaway (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd
"Breathtakingly ambitious... A bubbling cosmic stew of a book, written with such exuberant imagination that you are left breathless by its sheer ingenuity." (Observer)
"A post-apocalyptic triumph... Immensely rewarding... Genuinely terrifying." (The Times)
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Somewhere around the bottom of the top ten?
The moment I started to twig that there is something crucial I didn't know about the main character. Yes, it took me a while.
Anything with Master Wu
It gave me an actual nightmare, and I dont really get nightmares. It got under my skin that much. But it was still so good I would recommend it to everyone (so you can all suffer as I did).
The author is clearly a slightly mad creative genius. It's almost impossible to describe this book. It's a dystopian sci-fi horror comedy romance psychological fantasy thriller.
The book is soo brilliant, if you are hesitating to pick it up because you think think it might not be your thing don't worry, it's nobody's thing because the author has invented a whole new thing. It's a book that has stuck with me. Every one of the characters is wonderfully unique and multifaceted, just as everyone really is. At points you will hate each one, love each one, cry for them, laugh with them and be surprised by them.
"Take a walk on the... well... almost every side"
In some books it's like walking into a room that the author has furnished for you and the story. In this case it's like the author has created a whole village for you, complete with fitness studio, public library, and schools at every level. The author takes you on a tour of the village, sometimes doubling back on his tracks to show you something you would have missed the first time. Absolutely delightful.
If I were to reveal what I liked best then I would be revealing too much about the story and spoil some of it for later readers.
The narator's characterisations were wonderful and so several characters spring to mind as a possible favourite. I would plump for Ronnie Chung.
The impossible film about a possible world with impossible bombs.
A book to tickle your brain parts, waking them up and making them giggle with delight. Read by a splendidly versatile Matt Bates much better than a film and with the large array of characters much easier to follow than reading it yourself.
"For the men"
Only the narrator kept me at this book to see if it improved. This for me is a men's comic book style story. The storyline was interesting but the further it went the weaker it seemed to get and only at the end does it make sense.
"A fascinating tale"
So many twists and great characters. Just as you think you know where it's going, the story changes direction. A brilliant tale that I will do again.
This book (all 22hrs of it) went faster than most of my 10 hr reads. A pleasure of an adventure, and such beautiful language!
"Fast-paced, frenetic and fantastic"
I loved how one was kept guessing at what was going on almost the entire way through the novel. This is not a negative! The imagination of the writer is beyond wonderful and I was reminded of David Mitchell, but Harkaway is much more of a wordsmith. He loves language and seems to be to twist and shape it any way he likes.
The writing, the imagery and the world-building.
Any scene with Ronnie Chung. He was...perfect.
Well, it is a fast read, and while it was all plot and action, it was good to have a bit of breather between scenes!
Nick Harkaway is fast becoming one of my favourite writers. He can insert you into the action and make it so you never want to leave.
"Can't get enough Harkaway"
I came to this with some trepidation, having absolutely loved Angelmaker (which although written later, was the first available as an audiobook) a couple of years before. Harkaway has a real talent for creating compelling characters for whom the best adjective seems to be "quirky", but somehow that doesn't do them justice. He's also adept at weaving these characters into an essentially high concept novel, without them feeling like mechanisms, but also without making you wish you could ignore all the high concept stuff and just spend time with them. The plot and world-building are similarly excellent.
"Lost the plot"
Sorry, Nick, I loved Angelmaker but was disappointed by this book. It did not grip me enough to make me carry on listening regularly and consequently I never really got into it. Also, although I usually love long books, this one just seemed to be a steep hill to climb. Early on I decided that it seemed to be one big sidetrack which I'm sure would eventually all join up and make sense but I just lost the will to carry on with it. Maybe I'll try again but probably not.
"Unusual and entertaining"
Yes, I enjoyed the book, although in parts I had to persevere with it, in the end it was worth doing so. It twists and turns, it has some strange concepts which are interesting and original; it is worth a read/listen.
Satisfying ending which was worth some confusion in earlier parts of the book!
I think MB does very well with the narration.
"my second favourite book ever !"
I'm now on the third listen through. Top marks for the reader getting the rhythm of the narration in tune with both the characters and the pace.
The ice fountain was built so elegantly
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