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The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway

First time novelist Nick Harakaway knocks it out of the park with this intriguing blend of philosophy, martial arts and the apocalypse. Gonzo Lubitsch and his friends helped build the Pipe, supplying a modicum of safety and reality to a small remnant of the human race after the Go Away War and it’s weapons which bordered on the metaphysical and greatly disturbed the fabric of reality. Now the pipe is in danger and they are called up to save it, but is it worth saving? Nothing is what it seems in this rollicking adventure filled with secret organizations, love, greed, ninjas and mimes.

I cannot say enough good things about this book. Harkaway has a way with phrases that remind us of great authors. For example take this colorful description in a very seedy bar:

“There are ten or so of them, tall, short, thin, fat and all white-faced and black-clothed, and surely about to die. ┬áNot white-faced like skin pigment, but white-faced like wearing full stage make-up. They are clowns. Worse than that. They are mimes. As I approach the circle to say that maybe they should just leave quietly and of course this will be something they are quite good at, being what they are, the mime-in-chief spins to the bar and leans over it, and under the eyes of seventeen of the most dangerous men in Matchingham, he orders a glass of milk.

In sign language.

This involves miming milking a cow.

The whole bar is so stunned by this that he does not immediately die.”

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3 Responses to “The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway”

  1. That is absolutely one of my favourite bits. I read it and find myself wondering who on Earth wrote it, because it can’t possibly have been me. And then I realise that it was me and I worry that I won’t be able to find anything that funny for the next book…

    Usually it’s around that time that my wife comes along and tells me I’m being a lunatic.

    Really glad you enjoyed the book, and thanks for saying good things!


  2. I had a hard time finding a quote that was small enough and this was one of my favorites but I would have loved to have the whole next page after this as well because the descriptions are just amazing. I can honestly say this was one of the better books I have read this year and that is saying a lot when, as you can see in the reviews below I have read Pulitzer winner Oscar Wao. I think you will at least make the Locus Best of, if not be on the short list for Hugo or Nebula. Excellent work, look forward to your next novel. It is spreading quickly by word of mouth in my community, just glad I can help spread it around.

  3. Seriously – much appreciated! I’m going to try to get together a couple of out-take/edited bits (which were fun but had to come out) for my new website, which should happen fairly soon – drop by!



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