Synopses & Reviews
Sergeant Lester Ferris is a good man in need of a rest. After a long career of being shot at, he’s about to be retired. The mildly larcenous, backwater island of Mancreu is the ideal place to serve out his time, a former British colony in legal limbo, belching toxic clouds of waste and facing imminent destruction by an international community concerned for their own safety. The perfect place for Lester is also the perfect location for a multinational array of shady businesses. Hence the Black Fleet of illicit ships lurking in the bay: spy stations, arms dealers, offshore hospitals, money-laundering operations, drug factories and torture centers. None of which should be a problem, since Lester’s brief is to sit tight and turn a blind eye.
Meanwhile, he befriends a brilliant, Internet-addled street kid with a comic-book fixation who will need a new home when the island dies. When Mancreu’s fragile society erupts in violence, Lester must be more than just an observer: he has no choice but to rediscover the man of action he once was, and find out what kind of hero the island — and the boy — will need.
From the award-winning author of Angelmaker and The Gone-Away World, Tigerman is a novel at once deeply heartfelt and headlong thrilling — about parenthood, friendship and secret identities, about heroes of both the super and the everyday kind.
"All his tours of duty can't prepare British army Sgt. Lester Ferris, a veteran of the War in Afghanistan, for life on an island facing certain ecological destruction, in Harkaway's poignant morality tale, equally fueled by emotion and adrenaline. Though the fictional island of Mancreu, located somewhere in the Arabian sea, is no longer officially under the thumb of the British government the Brits ceded control to an international peacekeeping force Ferris is appointed brevet-consul, a largely ceremonial post that's supposedly a last stop for him before he can leave army life behind for good. Mancreu is anything but an island paradise. Long exposed to harsh mining involving the island's volcano, it's a ticking time bomb, with the residents waiting for the next in a string of toxic events, known as 'Clouds.' The sergeant's only real friend, and surrogate son, is a comic-book-loving, Internet-slang-spouting teenage boy he calls Robin (think Batman), who helps him navigate Mancreu's social and political intricacies. With a mishmash of countries all fighting for a piece of the island, either under the auspices of national pride or scientific experimentation, it's no surprise that Mancreu has a thriving black market, operating out of a flotilla of ships moored just outside the harbor. The murder of one of Ferris's acquaintances sets off a chain of increasingly violent events that coincide with an incoming Cloud, all of which threaten to destroy not only the bodies but the minds of Mancreu's inhabitants. Harkaway (Angelmaker) adroitly explores the lengths one man will go to save what he's come to love, even in the face of almost-certain failure. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"[Tigerman] is, in short, awesome. Read it immediately....Abundantly funny....And incredibly moving, too....All in all a much softer, sweeter and more surprising something than I had imagined....For all that Tigerman seems to be about a superhero on the surface, appearances are deceiving indeed: Harkaway is markedly more interested in the relationship between Lester and his friend....In Harkaway’s hands, this friendship is as gripping as any mystery." Niall Alexander, Tor.com
“Brilliantly imagined....A hoot and a half, and then some: hands down, the best island farce since Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Extraordinary....The action sequences in Tigerman are some of Harkaway’s best. As ever, the writing is economical but lively, revelling in modern idiom....[Has] the cinematic scope and dynamism one has come to expect from Harkaway....The ending of Tigerman is pitch-perfect, thrilling and dramatic.” Literary Review (UK)
About the Author
Nick Harkaway is the author of two previous novels, The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker, and a nonfiction work about digital culture, The Blind Giant: Being Human in a Digital World. He is also a regular blogger for The Bookseller’s FutureBook website. He lives in London with his wife, a human rights lawyer, and their two children.