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The Gone-Away Worldby Nick Harkaway
This literary debut features the pre- and post-apocalyptic, plenty of kung fu, anti-corporate subplots, and its fair share of mimes. It's an epic that stuns and delights with its absurdities and profundities. Part cautionary tale of apocalyptic war (featuring a new type of bomb that makes things literally "go away") and part buddy adventure, The Gone-Away World is for anyone who enjoys a good romp. It has a tendency to wander a bit, and the author is not afraid to use his words, but it never fails to amuse. Also, ninjas are involved.
Synopses & Reviews
About the "neon fuzz": a note on the book jacket from designer Jason Booher...
"When you read Harkaway's novel, a gigantic sense of weirdness and cool and doom surround the characters. To capture all that plus the absurd humor that pervades this amazing book, the jacket obviously had to be something special. So the otherworldliness that perhaps only neon fuzz can bring hopes to evoke these feelings and add to the strength of and interplay between the words in the title and author's name."
A wildly entertaining debut novel, introducing a bold new voice that combines antic humor with a stunning futuristic vision to give us an electrifyingly original tale of love, friendship and the apocalypse.
There couldn't be a fire along the Jorgmund Pipe. It was the last thing the world needed. But there it was, burning bright on national television. The Pipe was what kept the Livable Zone safe from the bandits, monsters and nightmares the Go Away War had left in its wake. The fire was a very big problem.
Enter Gonzo Lubitsch and his friends, the Haulage & HazMat Emergency Civil Freebooting Company, a team of master troubleshooters who roll into action when things get particularly hot. They helped build the Pipe. Now they have to preserve it — and save humanity yet again. But this job is not all it seems. It will touch more closely on Gonzo's life, and that of his best friend, than either of them can imagine. And it will decide the fate of the Gone-Away World.
Equal parts raucous adventure, comic odyssey, geek nirvana and ultracool epic, The Gone-Away World is a story of — among other things — pirates, war, mimes, greed and ninjas. But it is also the story of a world, not unlike our own, in desperate need of heroes — however unlikely they may seem.
"This unclassifiable debut from the son of legendary thriller author John le Carr is simultaneously a cautionary tale about the absurdity of war; a sardonic science fiction romp through Armageddon; a conspiracy-fueled mystery replete with ninjas, mimes and cannibal dogs; and a horrifying glimpse of a Lovecraftian near-future. 'Go Away' bombs have erased entire sections of reality from the face of the Earth. A nameless soldier and his heroic best friend witness firsthand the unimaginable aftermath outside the Livable Zone, finding that the world has 'unraveled' and is home to an assortment of nightmarish mutations. With the fate of humankind in the balance, the pair become involved in an unlikely and potentially catastrophic love triangle. Readers who prefer linear, conventional plotlines may find Harkaway overly verbose and frustratingly tangential, but those intrigued by works that blur genre boundaries will find this wildly original hybrid a challenging and entertaining entry in the post-apocalyptic canon. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A brilliant, stunning novel, The Gone-Away World is smart and funny and capacious of heart; the writing is fluid, the storytelling utterly fearless. It's the best book I've read in quite some time." Scott Smith, author of The Ruins
"Nick Harkaway is hot stuff. You'll need asbestos gloves for this one." Len Deighton, author of The IPCRESS File
"The Gone-Away World grows richer, smarter, and more entertaining with every page. In the weeks after I finished reading it, my mind kept roaming free of other books and dreaming about this one instead." Kevin Brockmeier, author of The View from the Seventh Layer
"A big new book by a big new writer. Harkaway describes The Gone-Away World in words that whiz and ping like bullets ricocheting off the walls of the reader's mind. He's the real thing." Russell Hoban, author of Riddley Walker
"[A] fast-paced and intelligent work from a writer one needs to watch out for." Chicago Sun-Times
"The Gone-Away World is well spiced with side attractions — ninjas, mimes, monster trucks and crawling oil rigs, warrior geese and an outlaw circus — and riffs on Tupperware, martial arts, Middle Eastern village markets and a host of other topics I didn't know were interesting until I read this book." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"[A] multifaceted ride, a mixture of Apocalypse Now and Fight Club." Library Journal
"Funny, digressive, dark, and possibly optimistic, Harkaways debut displays ingredients of Catch-22, Dr. Strangelove, and The Road Warrior with maybe a pinch of Pynchon and a sprinkling of Vonnegut." Booklist
About the Author
Nick Harkaway was born in Cornwall in 1972. He lives in London with his wife.
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