paula's Reviews > The Gone-Away World

The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
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's review
Sep 30, 08

bookshelves: adult-fiction, favorites
Read in September, 2008

DAG. Nick Harkaway is well into his third pint and his eleventh story when he looks around and realizes he's got half the bar hanging on his every word, and THAT's when he leans back a little, stretches his legs, and gives you a three-page backstory on a minor idiot whose chief role in the book is getting punched in the head. Because, and this is a rule, so pay attention: punching an idiot in the head is funny, not to mention satisfying, but the road that an idiot travels on his way to getting punched is Pure Comic Gold.

If The Gone-Away World were "merely" funny, it would be worth reading. But, oh, it's not. There is good stuff here about humanity, identity, and friendship. Jiminy Cricket is invoked. And there's a vividly imagined world, two, really, a Before and an After. There are characters that will put you in mind of Heinlein, Terry Pratchett, and various (good) comic books.

I read this book so hard that my arm cramped up, and it is still sore.
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