Monday, September 20, 2010

The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway

I don't think I've ever posted before on this blog about any books that I've read... and since this may just be the first, it's only fitting that the book in question is one that I thoroughly enjoyed. "The Gone-Away World" by Nick Harkaway was a rollicking good read with a fantastic twist; and a brilliant new slant on the whole "apocalyptic post-war earth scenario". (It's also worth mentioning that this is his debut novel. And what a cracker it is. I'm afraid he may have set the bar very high for himself...)

As much as I'd like to try and describe what the book is actually about (the book jacket does NOT do it justice) it's just too difficult. I mean, look what the author himself says:

"It’s really, really hard to describe to someone who hasn’t read it. I have trouble. So do most booksellers. It’s an adventure story, in that the characters have adventures, but not everyone who loves it usually likes that kind of thing. It’s a war story, in that there’s a war in it which changes everything, but it’s not a guns-and-naked steel story. It’s a love story, because people love, and they do crazy, wonderful, awful things for love – but… it’s not a romance.

And yes, as you may have heard, there are ninjas. Very few serious books have ninjas. This is one of them. It’s also a comedy, of course, because serious things are funny.

Beyond that, though, despite the fact that four billion people die and very awful things happen to our heroes, it’s a book which makes people smile. A friend of mine said it was like watching a seal play with a ball.

See how that might be hard to describe?"

One thing is sure though, I'll be keeping an eye out for any other books by Mr Harkaway.
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