Sunday, 8 June 2008

Book of the week - Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World

Nick Harkaway's first novel, The Gone-Away World is published in a conventional hardback (Heinemann) and as a limited edition, signed, slipcased edition of around 1000 copies by Waterstones in the UK. Harkaway was born in 1972 in Cornwall. He studied philosophy, sociology and politics at Clare College, Cambridge, and worked in the film industry before becoming an author. He happens to be the son of John le Carre, and consequently there were whispers of nepotism when this debut novel was bought for a reputed £300,000 last year. However, reviews have been very positive. To quote The Independent, "On reading this magnificent, sprawling, epic work, it's clear it was published on its own merits, and is probably worth considerably more than the amount Heinemann paid for it. With the right wind behind it, The Gone-Away World could easily become a modern classic."

The Jorgmund Pipe is the backbone of the world, and it's on fire. Gonzo Lubitsch, professional hero and troubleshooter, is hired to put it out - but there's more to the fire, and the Pipe itself, than meets the eye. The job will take Gonzo and his best friend, our narrator, back to their own beginnings and into the dark heart of the Jorgmund Company itself. From rural childhood in Cricklewood Cove to military service in a bewildering foreign war; from Jarndice University to the sawdust of the Nameless Bar; their story is the story of the Gone-Away World. It is the history of a friendship stretched beyond its limits; a tale of love and loss; of ninjas, pirates, politics and strange places.

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