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Angelmaker by [Harkaway, Nick]
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Angelmaker Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Length: 498 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description


"Angelmaker is another cracking book from Nick Harkaway. It’s a mix of sci-fi, steampunk, adventure and romance and the mix of genres work really well together … Harkaway’s Angelmaker is a brilliant piece of escapism. It’s a wonderful example of how an irreverent approach to much loved genres can lead to a truly great story." (Nudge)

"Nick Harkaway's joyfully reckless invention is as intricate as clockwork ... Edie has a tangled history, the uncovering of which is one of the chief pleasures of Nick Harkaway's novel ... is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in ages ... brilliantly entertaining, and the last hundred pages are pure, unhinged delight. What a splendid ride." (Patrick Ness Guardian)

"What kind of a mind dreams up Angelmaker … It could only be Nick Harkaway: bonkers, brilliant and hilariousclever and entirely fantastic." (Sunday Times)

"An entertaining tour-de-force that demands to be adored." (Independent on Sunday)

"A puzzle box of a novel as fascinating as the clockwork bees it contains." (Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus)

Book Description

From the acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World - an adventure story, a war story, and a love story, all wound into one brilliant narrative that runs like clockwork.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1385 KB
  • Print Length: 498 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (2 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006VTPC16
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,415 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Joshua Joseph Spork is a name that will be with me for a long time, if not the rest of my life. He is an antique dealer, expert repairer of things clockwork, son of a submachine toting crook, and the main character in Nick Harkaway's spy adventure novel, "Angelmaker".

When I reviewed Nick's previous novel, "The Gone-Away World", I described it as "a fast paced tale that covers a lot of ground and doesn't let you rest for a minute". Well, he's done it again. The same pace; subtle, and not so subtle humour; intricate plot, and breadth of scope are all present. "The Gone-Away World" convinced me I should read anything Nick writes. "Angelmaker" reinforced this conviction.

Without being specific I can tell you that Joe Spork, like any central character in a spy novel, finds himself in a troublesome situation with different elements of his life falling asunder. For someone who just wants a quiet life this is rather troubling. In addition, he is surrounded by characters who may be on his side, or possibly the other. For that matter, he doesn't know what or who the other side is.

We also meet Edie Banister and her pet dog. Don't be fooled by Edie Banister's outward appearance. She may be a little old lady in her eighties, but in her heart she is something very different.

Nick's characters are impeccably drawn, his language artful, and his plot intriguing. This was one of those books that I was sorry to finish and that, I have to admit, had me with a lump in my throat at the end.

"Angelmaker" is much more than a spy novel. It is a tale of struggle and loyalty; a story of family and righteousness; and a narrative of how a legacy of former years can visit havoc on the present day world. It also poses the questions, "Who is really in control?", "What are they really trying to do?" and "Do they have a clue what they're doing?"
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Format: Paperback
There are some wonderful, inventive ideas in here. The Ruskinites are a great creation, and rather touching with it; the effect of the Doomsday machine is frightening and original.

On the other hand, there's also a lot of annoying whimsy and juvenilia. It's trying far too hard to be cool.The main characters are cyphers, spouting identikit 'snappy' Tarantino-style dialogue, and it's very difficult to feel anything for any of them, or care about their fates. The silly names don't help. The female characters are particularly one-dimensional and unconvincing, consisting almost entirely of lithe bisexual women who get turned on by absolutely everything (in one section, one of them is turned on by the sight of her own forearm. Sigh.) As a female reader it can feel quite alienating - these are women created by male fantasy. The sheer amount of over-the-top, cringeworthy sex scenes is exasperating. It reads, at times, like something written by a hyperventilating teenage boy. You wish he'd pull himself together and focus on the plot, which can be gripping, but you'll be lucky if the action's not interrupted by pages of interminable stuff about the nature of causality or a long description of something that isn't as interesting as the author thinks it is. When you do get the action, it's often over-egged with hyper-violence and gratuitous nastiness which in the end becomes more tiresome than shocking. As others have said, also, it needs a really good edit. I've found myself skipping whole sections of superfluous stuff. You would have thought the issue might have been resolved post-Gone Away World, but Angelmaker is almost as verbose.

But then, I'm still reading it. It's gripping. Just prepare to be frustrated.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The two main characters in this book formed one of the best pairing I've ever come across: a once sexy and lethal WW2 lesbian spy coming to terms with being an octogenarian and regretting some of the choices she's made and the son of a notorious Reggie Kray-esque gangster trying to escape his father's shadow and make a living as an honest clockmaker. And the central plot, focussed on their adventures with a WW2 doomsday device, a sinister cult and a South-East Asian dictator was brilliant.

If the book had managed to stay focussed on these two main characters and this central plot it could have been an amazing read. Frustratingly, however, it got incredibly bogged down in sideplots, minor characters, overly long descriptions and pointless anecdotes. This was a very long read and could easily have list a hundred - perhaps even two hundred - pages without much detriment. The other strange thing was the tone. It felt as though the author couldn't decide quite how serous or otherwise this was meant to be, and as a result, scenes of brutal torture sat uneasily alongside whimsical meanderings and gentle surrealism. As a result of these two issues, I nearly abandoned the book about a third of the way in. I persevered and I'm glad I did, but I found it hardwork to get through, with the good ultimately only just outweighing the bad.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did change my mind very slightly by the end but this is still a very long-winded, loosely edited book that could have been a third of the length and much tighter. The story meanders around like an engineered culvert built by a millionare madman, it just feels laboured. The violence (even the torture) has no reality and no humanity - it just seems like Violence Lite. I keep thinking.. Phillip Pullman on a very bad day when he kept writing despite the fact that he couldn't think of anything to write about.
I you like this you'll probably like Lord of the Rings, and maybe Wild Wild West (film).
If you like your atmospheric London fiction a little better crafted you'll prefer Rivers of London (Ben Aaronovitch).
Nice cover though.
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