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The Gone-Away World Hardcover – 5 Jun 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann; First Edition edition (5 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434018422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434018420
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1.4 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 351,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

`A big new book by a big new writer. Well done! 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

`A genuine panoramic, 3D, surround-sound, total-immersion, thrill-factor ten miracle - it is the kind of book that you just don't want to end! ... Engrossing, action-packed ... Very highly recommended' -- SFRevu

`A sprawling odyssey of a novel, half swashbuckling adventure, half science-fiction, but with such engaging characters that neither genre threatens to overpower the barnstorming narrative ... Comparisons are mostly futile, but it recalls Joseph Heller - Harkaway is a deft comic writer - and parts of it can best be described as what Thackeray might produce if he were on acid' -- Observer

`A stunning debut ... By turns thrilling, silly, gripping, crazy, daring and outrageous. I loved every minute ... The Gone-Away World is brakes-off fiction' -- Scotland on Sunday

`Breathtakingly ambitious ... A bubbling cosmic stew of a book, written with such exuberant imagination that you are left breathless by its sheer ingenuity' -- Observer

`Exuberant ... Wildly inventive' -- Michael Gove, The Times

`Nick Harkaway is hot stuff. You'll need asbestos gloves for this one.'
-- Len Deighton

`There are delightful moments aplenty ... Any author who has come up with the beautifully silly plan of melding a kung-fu epic with an Iraq-war satire and a Mad Max adventure has to be worth keeping an eye on' -- Guardian

`With his debut The Gone-Away World, Nick Harkaway has created a fictional universe that is out of this world.' -- Tatler

`[A] post-apocalyptic triumph ... Immensely rewarding ... Genuinely terrifying' -- The Times

Book Description

A wildly entertaining novel, introducing a bold new voice that combines antic humor (think Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut) with a stunning futuristic vision (a la A Clockwork Orange and 1984) to give us an electrifyingly original tale of love, friendship and the apocalypse.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
excellent and different read - well written
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book. Harkaway blends effortlessly tension and humour. Even when the world is in the process of being destroyed, he has the ability to slip in a line that will literally have you laughing out loud. Even reading the lines out of context brings a smile to your face. Although it is a book about the end of the world, it doesn’t read that way due to the enjoyment slipped into each page.

His characters are rounded and well developed. All of them are likeable. Even the ones the main characters do not like are presented with charm and wit. The narrator is a complex and real individual, with failures, hopes and dreams like the rest of us. His development is the most profound in the book, which only leads to the twists and turns on the way being more powerful. Harkaway knows how to write his characters – and our engagement with those characters is what turns a potentially confusing book into a brilliant story.

The majority of the book is written in the past with events finally catching up with themselves before the last quarter moves things on. It works. There is no jumping around in the timeline; it goes back to the beginning and it progresses forward. The writing style is fluent though. When events start moving forward rather than catching up, there is no sudden change or jolt to distract you from your reading. The tense subtly shifts and takes you with it.

The plot itself is genius. Trying to describe it is hard – it makes no sense. While reading, it is clear in your mind. You know where you are and what is happening at all times, despite the absurdity of the situation. The characters reactions mirror your own.
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By E. A. Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Imagine a future world where a chemical solution is the only thing that keeps us from the ghastly mutated barbarism of the Gone Away World.

Now imagine the wacky, quirky upbringing that led to such a future, and an absurdist autobiography filled with ninjas, cowardly revolutionaries, apocalyptic monsters and the Go Away Bomb. Nick Harkaway's "The Gone Away World" plants him firmly in the center of clever, forward-thinking fiction, as a sort of postapocalyptic Robertson Davies.

One night in the Nameless Bar, there's a blackout. Nothing new -- except the TV shows that the Pipe -- a vast network of hoses and lines that keeps the Livable Zone that way -- has caught fire.

Along with his pal Gonzo Lubitsch and a bunch of random bar weirdos, the narrator sets out to save the day. But this takes him back to his earlier life -- a strange childhood mentored by the quirky ancient martial-artist Master Wu, mutating into Angry-Young-Manhood complete with dissatisfaction and lots of sex. He's arrested as a revolutionary ringleader, and joins up with the cake-esque named Zaher Bey.

And then came the War that transformed the world into a place of monsters, darkness and utter weird. And in the present day, his road trip takes a sudden and bizarre turn when Gonzo shoots him. And as the narrator struggles to find what is going on at the heart of the mysterious Jorgamund Company, he learns of who has masterminded all the most horrific events of this twisted world...

Nick Harkaway is one of those rare authors who can capture the surreal in a single observation -- a woman's hair, a phone call, a big mean dog. So in a book with "shark things with legs," people melded with horses, and ninja assassins, one can expect that things are going to get pretty strange.
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By E. A. Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Imagine a future world where a chemical solution is the only thing that keeps us from the ghastly mutated barbarism of the Gone Away World.

Now imagine the wacky, quirky upbringing that led to such a future, and an absurdist autobiography filled with ninjas, cowardly revolutionaries, apocalyptic monsters and the Go Away Bomb. Nick Harkaway's "The Gone Away World" plants him firmly in the center of clever, forward-thinking fiction, as a sort of postapocalyptic Robertson Davies.

One night in the Nameless Bar, there's a blackout. Nothing new -- except the TV shows that the Pipe -- a vast network of hoses and lines that keeps the Livable Zone that way -- has caught fire.

Along with his pal Gonzo Lubitsch and a bunch of random bar weirdos, the narrator sets out to save the day. But this takes him back to his earlier life -- a strange childhood mentored by the quirky ancient martial-artist Master Wu, mutating into Angry-Young-Manhood complete with dissatisfaction and lots of sex. He's arrested as a revolutionary ringleader, and joins up with the cake-esque named Zaher Bey.

And then came the War that transformed the world into a place of monsters, darkness and utter weird. And in the present day, his road trip takes a sudden and bizarre turn when Gonzo shoots him. And as the narrator struggles to find what is going on at the heart of the mysterious Jorgamund Company, he learns of who has masterminded all the most horrific events of this twisted world...

Nick Harkaway is one of those rare authors who can capture the surreal in a single observation -- a woman's hair, a phone call, a big mean dog. So in a book with "shark things with legs," people melded with horses, and ninja assassins, one can expect that things are going to get pretty strange.
Read more ›
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