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Tigerman Hardcover – 22 May 2014
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"Astonishing … Graham Greene would have treasured this book … Nick Harkaway has all the writerly skills to pull it off. His Tigerman lives because of his wit and daring intelligence, and his empathy. Words quiver whenever he writes." (Scotsman)
"Nick Harkaway’s novels inhabit a remarkably imaginative territory. He is J.G. Ballard’s geeky younger brother, pumped up on steam-punk and pop culture, interested in the effects of modern life on our psyches; he is J.G. Farrell’s grandson, poking at the ruins of civilization and seeing what comes out …Harkaway writes with a precision that belies the fantastical nature of his plots …Nick Harkaway manipulates and subverts conventions and archetypes. He has created something with all the hallmarks of the craftsmanship that he extols, making Tigerman a sly commentary on authorship and genre; and perhaps more importantly, a fantasia both swashbuckling and glorious." (Times Literary Supplement)
"Nick Harkaway's best novel yet, full of irrepressible adventure, practical vigilantism, an island murder mystery and some terrifyingly credible ideas including the seismic mash-up of chemical waste and unknown bacteria and the chilling no-man's land of the international of waters of the Fleet where anything goes. It's busting with heart and verve. I loved it utterly." (Lauren Beukes)
"Harkaway occupies that enviable territory where books of a speculative nature intersect with the mainstream, as evidenced by his previous novels The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker. Tigerman, his third, is his best yet, a funny, moving and thought-provoking tale … it’s brilliant." (Independent on Sunday)
"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)
"Tigerman is equal parts eco-fable, comic-book caper, thriller and buddy novel. Gripping stuff." (Financial Times)
"This mission will move you as powerfully as it will enthral you." (Daily Express, 5 star reivew)
"Harkaway has crafted an engaging story that examines the nature of heroes and the tropes of old-school pulp fiction, mixing sharp characterisation with an energetic portrait of a society heading for apocalypse … Often hilarious but with an undercurrent of dark violence, this is an impressive novel that conceals provocative questions inside an old-school tale of ripping adventure." (SFX magazine)
"original, rewarding … unexpectedly tender" (Daily Mail)
"An effortless surety of touch" (Metro)
From the highly acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker comes Nick Harkaway's brilliant new novel about ex-colonies, superheroes and paternal love.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
I came to this book having never heard of Nick Harkaway and I finish it resolved to read the rest of his books.
Hats off Nick Harkaway. A stunning achievement. A book that boasts a compelling plot, humour, originality, prescient observations on the modern world, love, humanity, politics, duty, and more.
"Tigerman" takes place on the island of Mancreu, in the Arabian sea, an ethnic melting pot, during the end of days, where the protagonist Sergeant, Lester Ferris, has a watching brief. What could possibly go right? Not much. The less you know the better, suffice it to say...
...Nick Harkaway has created an alternate universe - immersive, amusing, poignant, profound, compelling, charming, and more than a little askew - both very familiar and somewhat strange, which reminded me of both China Miéville and Magnus Mills which, you probably don’t need me to tell you, is a very good thing.
Trust me, "Tigerman” is very special indeed, and an absolute delight.
The Sergeant himself is on his way to become a local Batman, who as one would have guessed from the title, will be called Tigerman. The boy will remain the boy, though the Sergeant will find a name for him closer to the end of the novel. As a pair, the Sergeant and the boy fight evil of a undefined type, since the source of evil is often uncleared, as it often is if it’s a matter of global politics where good and evil not easily recognizable. As just local people, and on the island of Mancreu everyone is local and alien from somewhere else, the Sergeant and the boy are hardly in need of names. They remain symbols, of a wanderer, wounded and faithful to the Crown, being an army vet, semi-retired, and of a child in need of a proper parent, or so it seems.
The heroes are introduced at the beginning, and the place also plays a significant role in the book. Mancreu has no proper government, being a former colony in post-colonial time when it already doesn’t matter who governs whom. “In theory, of course, the British presence here had been withdrawn three years ago, claims of sovereignty having been yielded to the NATO and Allied Protection Force on Mancreu, NatProMan.” The Sergeant serves here a role of an observer, and there is nothing really to observe, except to keep your routine, eat, talk with the boy. The Sergeant is in position when he just needs to do nothing until the island is liquidated, and the rumors going from the start of the novel have it that the island will be eventually destroyed. There will come Leaving time, and one just ups and goes home.Read more ›
Against this background, the book follows the relationship between Lester and the Boy. Having seen what happens to refugees displaced from their homes, Lester wishes to adopt the Boy and give him a better life. But first he needs to be sure that the Boy has no-one else. Of course he can't ask outright, for fear of the damage to their friendship, so Lester starts investigating.
At around the same time, a group of men come through the door of a bar one day with guns and kill another man, changing Mancreu for ever. It seems that as the island enters its last days, law and decency is breaking down ("Everyone on the island walked within bounds out of sheer habit, respected property and persons and decency because they knew those things were important. But there was no compulsion any more...") and the values of the Fleet are coming ashore. Will Lester, as the sole police presence, be able to stop the disorder, find out the truth about the Boy and solve the murder?
This is a funny, touching and endearing novel with many twists.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A retired sergeant, and Brevet-Consul, dances back and forth across the edge of reality, in the ashes of the British Empire, tracing steps of obligation, honour, and expectation.Published 5 months ago by Simon
And I mean I seriously loved this. I'd give more stars if I could.
The writing is what takes the book to another level. Read more
I'm a huge fan of Nick Harkaway. The Goneaway World was a fine book and Angelmaker cemented things for me. I found it an utter delight. Tigerman I'm afraid to say, less so. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
Fantastic, heartbreaking, superhero wish fulfilment slash climate change parable near future sci fi mashup. If you're a dad add an extra star.Published 18 months ago by Elliot Smith
Just finished Tigerman, Nick Harkaway's latest slice of strangeness. It's a great meditation on childless fortysomethings, international politics and superheroes that mixes up the... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Ian Hutton
Wonderfully off beat novel about an expat pseudo governor trying to be a surrogate father to a local boy. Not what I expected. Hugely enjoyable.Published 21 months ago by Beefy
Not sure this review can do justice to a novel that always had *such a lot* going on beneath the surface. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Wobbly Wellies