Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tigerman” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Excerpt


3.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,423 ratings  ·  598 reviews
Lester Ferris, sergeant of the British Army, is a good man in need of a rest. He's spent a lot of his life being shot at, and Afghanistan was the last stop on his road to exhaustion. He has no family, he's nearly forty, burned out and about to be retired.

The island of Mancreu is the ideal place for Lester to serve out his time. It's a former British colony in legal limbo,
Paperback, 372 pages
Published May 22nd 2014 by William Heinemann
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tigerman, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Frank I think Gone Away World was one of the best books I've ever read. Angelmaker was OK, like you said. I think Tigerman is in between. I really liked it.…moreI think Gone Away World was one of the best books I've ever read. Angelmaker was OK, like you said. I think Tigerman is in between. I really liked it. The ending was completely unexpected.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tigerman is about a sergeant in The British Army, nearing retirement and charged with one last deployment, seeing the former British colony of Mancreu through to its destruction. This was following a combination of industrial waste and volcanic activity, rendering it a Biohazard Eco disaster. Mancreu also has its share of drug factories, dealers, money laundering, and torture centres. For me this book started off really slowly, almost lethargic, but I suppose given the fact that the sergeant in ...more
Ron Charles
If “Nick Harkaway” sounds like the made-up name of a superhero, you’re half right. He is a super writer, and that comic-book-inspired name is the pseudonym of Nicholas Cornwell, who’s the son of John le Carré, which is the pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell, who once worked for MI5 and MI6 — so who knows if any of this is actually true.

Trust me, though, when I say that Harkaway’s new novel, “Tigerman,” is an irresistible delight, something like “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” as played by Jam
I loved The Gone-Away World, really liked Angelmaker but was not as interested by this one.
It started well and I was really enjoying the characters of the Sergeant and the boy and the relationship between them. The island life style was well described too especially the way the potential disaster situation was affecting the inhabitants. Everything seemed to be going well and then about half way through things seemed to falter and I found myself losing interest. A lot of fighting ensued and some
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: british-sci-fi
This is a very different book than Harkaway's previous two works of fiction. It doesn't have the breakneck pace that The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker did, but the tradeoff seems to be a more emotionally resonant heart to the book. His books have a fascinating combination of different components-international skulduggery, loneliness, loyalty, and the quiet (well, not so quiet in this particular book!) heroism of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. So, to sum up, while there aren't a ...more
Ryan Dejonghe
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ahhhhhhhh! You ever read a book and think, “Meh, that was nice.” But then after you close it, it just builds on you. There was something between the lines that planted a seed in you and it grew and grew and grew. That’s what happened to me with Nick Harkaway’s TIGERMAN. I was ready to give it a four-star rating, walk away, and call it good. Nope.

First, Harkaway knows me. He’s one of my people. As soon as I saw him mention “gold farming”…I knew. In-game chat channels, leet speak, comic culture: a
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is great. Excellent reading by Matt Bates. Tigerman is full of win!
“Bad Jack is an end-of-level boss.”
“Superhero team-up issue.”
Ben Babcock
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I had no idea what to expect from Tigerman. All I knew is that Nick Harkaway has a new book out, and so I wanted to read it. At first it seemed like this was a pleasant, slightly uneven postcolonial story of an old soldier bonding with a boy on a doomed island. Gradually, I came to understand that there is much more happening beneath the surface. Tigerman lacks a lot of the flamboyant absurdity of Angelmaker , and it hews more closely to the recognizable tropes of literary realism. But the resu ...more
Giss Golabetoon
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tigerman, the hero novel with the funny beginning, hilarious middle and the ending you don’t see coming. Batman was there too, kinda, it was mostly full of win.
The passage on the wasteland was one of the best pieces I’ve read.
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)

British Sergeant Lester Ferris has been sent to the (fictional) island of Mancreu to ostensibly keep the peace at the end of his career (after a rather disastrous tour in Afghanistan), as the island slowly gives way to waste and chemical abuses resulting in toxic gases that are affecting the wildlife and fauna . This “Mancreu Cauldron” will eventually destroy the island, not to mention leeching toxins out into the ocean into farther reaches, and its denize
Got a signed copy for my birthday :-)

As per the comments below, Harkaway did not balls up the final act something chronic, and this steamrollered a 5-star rating.

The bar has now been set - all other books read in 2015 will be measured against Tigerman.
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seekers after awesome
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
"Real life has no understanding of proper structure," the boy said, "which is why news stories are always made of little lies."

Nick Harkaway's third novel Tigerman begins slowly, but surely. A pelican eats a pigeon on the beach near the stone wall of the old mission house in Beauville, on the doomed island of Mancreu, as the Sergeant and the precociously perceptive boy who's quoted above look on.

The Sergeant, also known as Brevet-Consul Lester Ferris, is Britain's sole remaining official re
(2.5) In a postcolonial enclave on the verge of environmental collapse, a washed-up British soldier takes on one last assignment: being a hero for the young boy he intends to adopt. Like Joe Spork in Angelmaker, Lester Ferris (who could really do with a more interesting name) is an engaging antihero who gets caught up in some wonderfully ludicrous fight scenes. But Tigerman, if you’ll pardon my pun, is a whole different animal to Angelmaker. It’s a much more realist, melancholy and subtle (a wor ...more
Liz Barnsley
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Publication Date: Available now from Randomhouse UK Cornerstone.

Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy via netgalley.

Lester Ferris, sergeant of the British Army, is a good man in need of a rest. He’s spent a lot of his life being shot at, and Afghanistan was the last stop on his road to exhaustion. He has no family, he’s nearly forty, burned out and about to be retired.
The island of Mancreu is the ideal place for Lester to serve out his time. It’s a former British colony in le
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So action-packed and yet so easy to put down and forget for days at a time. I was into the first half, despite major reservation's about the author photo on the jacket. But some of the fight stuff was really hard to picture, and the main guy's motivations for becoming a superhero are not at all the motivations I wanted him to have. Not awful but not recommended, either.
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This could so easily have been an average novel - or even a bad one - but I can confirm that it isn't. A blurb I read somewhere described it as a superhero origin story which is always going to turn some people off, but they shouldn't let it. I can't think of a single niggle in this book at all - the perfect novel maybe? Nick Harkaway certainly goes on my 'pull list'...
First Second Books
I love Nick Harkaway's work, and his latest novel is great -- and full of comics, including a comics superhero (and a wonderful plot twist)!

Things I have learned from this book: Nick Harkaway has very good taste in comics!
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014, e-books
4 Stars

I will forever be a fan of Nick Harkaway
Oct 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Geek's Guide to the Galaxy
I liked bits of this a great deal. The idea of this island as a microcosm of life; transformed and transforming, beautiful and deadly always already at the edge of being (probably insufficiently) cleansed by fire – that I like. The British sergeant stolidly representing England better than he has to – that I like. The comic book patois of seemingly orphaned boy our hero wants to be a father too – that was full of win. Taking down assassins with a tin of Bird’s Custard Powder – so much win. The t ...more
Howard Brazier
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
I've read all of Nick Harkaway's previous books including the ebook short story and thoroughly enjoyed them. Unfortunately Tigerman is one of the few books that I couldn't finish. I got as far as page 160, mainly based on my fondness for Nick's earlier works, but unfortunately the pace was far too slow for my liking. The book is well written, (hence the two stars), but for me, the story was going nowhere fast. Judging by the overall rating for the book, I'm in the minority. I'm happy to be there ...more
Mitchell Thorson
Absolutely loved this book. After loving Angelmaker, I didn't know what to expect with this, but it absolutely did not disappoint. The writing is fluid, engaging and funny, and the story has a lot of heart.

Would highly recommend to people who have read other Harkaway novels and newcomers alike.
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-fiction
If I could read nothing but Nick Harkaway, I think I would. Certainly if I could make a career out of reviewing nothing but Nick Harkaway, I know I would. That said, I'll write this review tomorrow.
Mar 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Nick Harkaway is fast becoming a favourite author of mine; Angelmaker was his take on the espionage novel while The Gone-Away World (I hate to admit this but still haven’t read this one) saw him take on the post-apocalyptic. His third novel Tigerman is his take on the superhero genre. While you might be surprised to see me speaking so highly on genre fiction, it is Harkaway’s approach that needs to be admired. His novels have a real focus on the genre but still manage to blend a high amount of ...more
Caroline Mersey
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Angelmaker was a story about a man living in the shadow of his father, but with Tigerman Nick Harkaway has given us a story about what it means to be a father: the overwhelming urge to care and protect another, the awesome sense of responsibility and the pressure to never let someone down. This is Nick's most mature and thoughtful work to date, with only rare flashes of the ebullient inventiveness that characterises his earlier two books, but it's a deeply satisfying and meaningful read nonethel ...more
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caution: if terms such as Alderaan and Bruce Wayne mean little to you, you might not enjoy this at all. But if they do...

I want to write a book like this. I think I'll gather my nerdy book club friends, and my nieces and nephews, and my own kids, and have each make up a quirky character description and toss them into a hat. We'll pull out a few until we think we have a good mix. Same with a strange setting for a story. Oh, and some weird, almost feasible manmade disasters. Then I'll have to tie
Lou Robinson
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-book-club
Book club book for September and along with everyone else who read it, absolutely loved it. Very difficult to describe it in genre terms. But a unique story that stayed gripping throughout. No question about what star rating to give this one.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Slow, strange and hopping all over like a rabbit. Not a fun read. 0 of 10 stars
Megan Baxter
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Nick Harkaway's first book, The Gone-Away World, and really, really loved his second book, Angelmaker. Now I am caught up on all the novels he has written, having picked up Tigerman a while ago, and finally gotten around to reading it. (When I die in a book avalanche, no one will really be surprised.)

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the enti
May 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the ARC of this book.

I have been meaning to read a Nick Harkaway book for years, since I heard his first book ‘The Gone Away World’ featured on Simon Mayo’s radio programme, but somehow I have never quite got around to getting a copy. The covers are always so enticing and his latest novel ‘Tigerman’ is no exception. So I was really pleased to receive an advance reading copy via NetGalley, particularly as I was going to see Harkaway talk about this book at
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Original, immersive, amusing, poignant, profound, compelling, charming, and more than a little askew. An absolute delight.

I read "Tigerman" for my book group and it has rocketed straight into the list of my favourite books ever.

I came to this book having never heard of Nick Harkaway and I finish it resolved to read the rest of his books.

Hats off Nick Harkaway. A stunning achievement. A book that boasts a compelling plot, humour, originality, prescient observations on the modern world, love, hu
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
love Harkaway's writing style, his use of language, his characters and this story.

really enjoying it so far.

up until the 2/3 mark, my enjoyment of Tigerman continues ... then at about that point -or a little later- it spins out of control on me. i am totally willing to concede that this could be 100% personal and not an actual inherent element of Harkaway's writing. this is a very subjective interpretation ..... this.... my perception that, what was a tight and well-constructed, controlled stor
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Machine God (The Drifting Isle Chronicles #3)
  • The Burning Dark (Spider Wars, #1)
  • L.O.S.T. (L.O.S.T., #1)
  • Afterparty
  • Three Moments of an Explosion
  • Strange Bodies
  • Twenty-First Century Science Fiction
  • Lovecraft Country
  • The Clown Service
  • The Machine
  • Transcender: First-Timer (Transcender, #1)
  • Blueprints of the Afterlife
  • Synthetic: Dark Beginning
  • The Peripheral
  • Faster, Faster, Faster (The Black Book: Diary of a Teenage Stud, #4)
  • Feed
  • The Islanders
  • Hell is the Absence of God
Nick Harkaway was born in Cornwall, UK in 1972. He is possessed of two explosively exciting eyebrows, which exert an almost hypnotic attraction over small children, dogs, and - thankfully - one ludicrously attractive human rights lawyer, to whom he is married.

He likes: oceans, mountains, lakes, valleys, and those little pigs made of marzipan they have in Switzerland at new year.

He does not like: b
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Then he explained in a whisper that the plan was composed entirely of awesome. It was made and designed by the House of Awesome, from materials found in the deep awesome mines of Awesometania and it would be recorded in the Annals of Awesome - and nowhere else, because any other book would catch fire and explode from the awesome - and by its awesomeness it would be known from now until the crack of doom.” 9 likes
“In a lot of places, of course, the '80s had never really come to an end.” 4 likes
More quotes…