The Gone-Away World

Narrated by: Matt Bates
Length: 22 hrs and 7 mins
4 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andrew
  • Andrew
  • 01-08-15

Take a walk on the... well... almost every side

What made the experience of listening to The Gone-Away World the most enjoyable?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Which character – as performed by Matt Bates – was your favourite?

The narator's characterisations were wonderful and so several characters spring to mind as a possible favourite. I would plump for Ronnie Chung.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The impossible film about a possible world with impossible bombs.

Any additional comments?

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.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alathia
  • Alathia
  • 02-14-15

Weird

Where does The Gone-Away World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Somewhere around the bottom of the top ten?

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gone-Away World?

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.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Anything with Master Wu

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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).

Any additional comments?

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.

Loved it.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Miko
  • Miko
  • 08-28-18

Ridiculous

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with all the rave reviews that encourage even those who are unsure to try this book. From an over apparent fixation on sex to onomatopoeic sound effects, to me this book seemed juvenile, like it was written by a teenage boy for teenage boys. I gave it a couple of chapters before becoming so annoyed that I had to stop and utilise Audible’s wonderful return policy.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CFye
  • CFye
  • 05-14-16

Brilliant

This book (all 22hrs of it) went faster than most of my 10 hr reads. A pleasure of an adventure, and such beautiful language!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brakeinews
  • Brakeinews
  • 11-23-14

Unusual and entertaining

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

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.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Satisfying ending which was worth some confusion in earlier parts of the book!

What does Matt Bates bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I think MB does very well with the narration.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for robert
  • robert
  • 05-27-20

inner monologue of an intellectual blowhard

this was meant to be a sci-fi tale about battle hardened warriors protecting a Life sustaining pipe line, sounded great,but I'm half way through and at least 75% of the story so far has had nothing to do with sci-fi in anyway what so ever, but contains mostly an inner monologue of an intellectual blowhard, I've paid for it and was determined to get through it,but life is too short and The tale too nauseatingly smug I can't go on. maybe other's would like This type of work,but at the very least you should be aware of what it actually contains, starship troopers it ain't.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert
  • Robert
  • 04-30-19

Writing is irritatingly smug.

This is an extremely frustrating book. At the heart of it is a very interesting story that I want to follow, to get involved in and live through but to do that you have to endure so much mind-numbing garbage.

The garbage I am talking about is the tangents the narrative goes on. It strikes me that the author thinks he is so f'ing smart. He cannot just get to the point and delivery the goods, instead goes of this diatribe of 'hey listen to me, I know so much and I am so flipping funny'... but it is not funny and smart. It is painful. I've had to skip whole chapters because I cannot bear the inane and irrelevant ramblings that he so loves. An example would be meeting a random old couple and spending pages and pages on the (all too cute) dialogue between this old couple, dialogue that has zero to do with the story or the character progressions.

The main character is written in a way that he knows just that much more than the average guy... well actually a hell of a lot more and he knows it and lets you know it. There are also observations by the main character of people acting the part but clearly not being the part. Ironically this is exactly what I think the author is doing - it just comes across as someone writing how they think these situations would go down and how these people would act without actually knowing it.

All this said I absolutely love the central idea and cannot get enough of that. So some times I am glued to the story, others I am screaming (literally screaming aloud) "Oh shut the f' up and get on with it, you £$%*&^ $%^&!!!"

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peter smith
  • Peter smith
  • 08-01-17

Very unusual twist in the tale

Good performance. Unusual story . Enjoyed it very much though a bit side tracking at times

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-24-16

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jenny
  • Jenny
  • 10-27-15

Fast-paced, frenetic and fantastic

What did you like most about The Gone-Away World?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

The writing, the imagery and the world-building.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Any scene with Ronnie Chung. He was...perfect.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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!

Any additional comments?

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.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-04-20

relax and go with the flow

harkaway delivers yet again, a dark nightmarish tale with laugh-out-loud funny bits. things stop making sense for a bit halfway through, but just relax with it and enjoy the circus 🤹🏻‍♀️🎪🎭 things will fall into place again later towards the end

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rachael
  • Rachael
  • 10-26-18

Overtold and garrulous

It had an unusual style but it was hard to get through because of all the superfluous showy language and ideas stretched too far. Tried too hard to be funny, and didn't create depth of character, particularly in the females.