Homer's Travels: Book: Nick Harkaway's "The Gone-Away World"

Friday, April 09, 2010

Book: Nick Harkaway's "The Gone-Away World"

I often say that I like the weird and unusual.  Nick Harkaway's "The Gone-Away World" fits the bill nicely.

The book tells the story of a future war and it's aftermath.  A new weapon that makes thing 'go away' is used and the world is torn asunder and the lives of our protagonist are turned upside done ... or perhaps it's inside out.  The story is told by an unusual character, one I cannot elaborate about without ruining the experience for a potential reader.  As I read the book and learned more about the narrator I suspected something was up.  Something didn't feel right.

About two thirds through the book the secret is revealed and then the book, already wandering around the odd side of life, transcends into the surrealistic.  What do I mean by this?  One word: Ninjas.  Freakin' Ninjas.

The book is a fascinating, unconventional romp that dares to take a hard left turn way too early.  The last third or so is too long and mind blowing.  Moving the great revelation later in the book might have helped but it might not have worked either.

I struggled with my feeling when I put this review together.  Did I like it or not? [I did.]  Did the revelation come too early? [Probably ... probably not.]   Did Harkaway go too far?  [What is too far?  More questions]  In the end I would have to say that I liked it and would recommend it for anyone with an off beat sense of reality.


  1. I've never wanted to read a book so much after reading a review that told me so little about the book!

    I like the new blog design. I usually read your posts as RSS so this was the first time I noticed it. Nice!

  2. MH: It was an interesting book. Different from what I usually read. If I said too much it would take away from the book somewhat.

    Thanks. I've made it a habit of actually going to the blog while commenting so I won't miss any changes to their blogs.

  3. Thanks for the review. You being cryptic pushed me to look it up on Wikipedia and I think I'll pass. Too weird for me.

  4. Miss McC: It's a weird one but entertaining.

    Godefroy: I totally understand. It's not for everyone.