In a world where the horror of nuclear war has been superseded by a bomb that literally makes the physical world disappear, Gonzo Lubitsch and his namIn a world where the horror of nuclear war has been superseded by a bomb that literally makes the physical world disappear, Gonzo Lubitsch and his nameless best friend head up the Haulage & HazMat Emergency Freebooting Company, a ragged band of troubleshooters who quell problems in the aftermath of the Gone Away War. Through their lives pass ninjas, mimes, pirates, parents and specters surpassing the most active imagination, leading to revelations that shock the reader and stun the soul -- but permeating all is the unmistakable stamp of love in its many and varied forms. The Gone-Away World is a literary masterpiece, and Nick Harkaway is a genius practitioner.
(This review was selected as a Powell's Daily Dose on 2/20/09)...more
Since reading my first Dick Francis novel in 1982, he’s been at the top of my favorites list, and I took it badly when his wife, Mary, died in 2000. HSince reading my first Dick Francis novel in 1982, he’s been at the top of my favorites list, and I took it badly when his wife, Mary, died in 2000. He’d never hidden how essential she was to his work – she was his primary editor and researcher – and declared that, without her, his writing days were over. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case – he returned with a fourth Sid Halley tale in 2006’s Under Orders – and now son Felix is helping him turn out his classic tales. The latest entry is Silks, where barrister (and amateur jump jockey) Geoffrey Mason finds himself entangled not only as a defense attorney, but in a struggle for his life. The plot follow well-established Francis territory, but what draws me – and fans worldwide – to each novel is the freshness with which this former jockey (and the only three-time winner of the Edgar Award) covers ground that would, in the hands of a lesser writer, prove sterile....more