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The Gone-Away World
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on 8 April 2012
There an awful lot of reasons to love Gone Away World, and to cite the presence of ninjas, mimes, monsters and apocalypse in the same sentence without any sort of cynicism or horror at all is only the beginning.

It's a mad ride, defined by its unashamedly expressive language and many-layered exploration of big, important ideas about the nature of mankind. Nick explores the best and the absolute worst of what we are capable of, unflinchingly and without judgement yet subtly reframing the reader's world.

Highly recommended for readers seeking an innovative read of high adventure.
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on 10 April 2015
Highly recommended. Definitely worth a read. It's exquisite in so many parts -- it's funny, charming, amazingly intelligent, extraordinarily inventive, and definitely enjoyable. My one criticism is that there are thick patches where (to my taste) the first person narrative gets heavily clogged down and skimming becomes less of a guilty pleasure and more of a necessity (for me; low attention span).

But it's marvellous. So, so close to five stars, and a definite recommendation. You won't regret reading this.
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on 31 December 2017
Takes a bit to get your head round but once you sort the pattern out it rolls on to a cracking tale. Cheers
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on 14 December 2012
By the time I was about a third of the way through this amazing book, I was entirely split into two. One half couldn't wait to get to the end and find out what happens, and the other half never wanted it to end.
I'm sure that some people won't like it, but, for me, it's the best book I've ever read. It is totally engrossing and I gave up trying to guess what was going to happen next as the plot twisted and turned.
I'll be reading more by this man ASAP!
PS - I'm missing it already. What a film this would make!
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on 2 July 2014
A stunning debut novel in a unique combination of science fiction, fantasy and humour (think PG Wodehouse). It took me two readings (years apart) to appreciate all Harkaway's intricacies. His next novel, Angelmaker, was even better and I've just started re-reading that too. His latest, Tigerman, is on the shelf as a delight to be savoured in due course.
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on 17 September 2013
I read Angelmaker before reading Gone Away World - so I was familiar with Mr Harkaway's style. This was a help.
Gone Away World deals with a post (and pre) Apocalyptic world and the path a few people take through it. The book is, without a doubt, wordy. Nick Harkaway goes into great - some would say unnecessary - detail; almost Gormenghast like, in my view. Despite the verbosity Gone Away World is a delight to read and the plot twists are great. I found myself laughing and at one point genuinely puzzled as to how something worked. Needless to say matters resolve themselves nicely though perhaps the end of the book is weaker than the beginning.
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on 3 February 2013
I don't know why I had never heard of this novel - it's been out for a while. I have to say that now I've found it, it's shot straight up there with my all time favourite novels (which include "Use Of Weapons", "Ender's Game", "Where late the sweet birds sang" and "A Scanner, Darkly", if you're interested)
The novel combines the highest-quality prose with a staggeringly imaginative plot and perfectly realised characters to deliver one of the most well written books of any genre that I have ever read.
I won't attempt to tell you what it's about, I'll simply say that It's an outstanding work which will doubtless stand as a classic, and everyone with even a passing interest in sci-fi should read it.
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on 1 October 2013
I read 'Angelmaker' first (which I really enjoyed), then 'Gone Away World'- so my impression has been tempered by comparison. I know that Gone Away World was Nick Harkaway's first book but I found the over-descriptiveness hard going at times. He has some brilliant observations but labours them.

The plot took me along through its twists and tangles but had shades of other novels woven into it -so wasn't as original as I had hoped for.

Characters were well developed and detail seemed well researched. However, I am glad I read Angelmaker first.
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on 1 February 2017
As described, thanks
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on 19 February 2018
The gone away world is surreal and terrifying. I want to live in it. Incredible characters, story, depth and dark comedy.
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