Claudia's Reviews > Angelmaker

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
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's review
Apr 05, 12

Read from March 31 to April 05, 2012

I'm pretty much bowled over; smitten, I'd say. Wow, this was great. Roaring, cracking good fun, beautifully written, cinematically visual, distinctly quotable, marvelously well-crafted...oh, yes. I want more. Much more.

It's an adventure story, at heart. I would bet serious cash that the author has read his Haggard, at least some Flashman, and probably some steampunk into the bargain. Harkaway's author page here on Goodreads lists Wodehouse and Alexandre Dumas (pere) as influences, and neither of those was a surprise--indeed, I think they'd both be proud to acknowledge the connection, if they could.

I can't wait for my husband to read it, so we can talk about it. I was trying to describe it to him (without giving too much away, of course), and the best comparison I could come up with for him was with Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, for the sense of a double story, rooted in recent history but well connected to the present, but with perhaps an even better balance of novelistic depth and plain old-fashioned fun.

I also told him the line describing a particular man as many things, among them "a Svengali, a Mesmerist, a blackmailer, an extortionist, and a kidnapper (all things one might expect... in a Cambridge man)."


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Quotes Claudia Liked

Nick Harkaway
“Photography is without mercy--though it's nonsense to say it does not lie. Rather, it lies in a particular, capricious way which makes beggars of ministers and gods of cat's meat men.”
Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker

Nick Harkaway
“Never mind, never mind, let's get to the part where we smite the unrighteous. I've brought my most alarming teeth!”
Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker

Nick Harkaway
“Mercer,” Polly says, “we are now going to hug. As a group. The experience will be very un-English. It will be good for you. Do not speak, at all, especially not in an attempt to diffuse the emotional intensity of the situation.”

They hug, somewhat awkwardly, but with great feeling.

“Well,” Mercer says, after a moment, “that was certainly—”

“I will hit you with a shovel,” Polly Cradle murmurs.”
Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker
tags: humour

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