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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  4,998 ratings  ·  650 reviews
Sergeant Lester Ferris is a good man in need of a rest. After a long career of being shot at, he’s about to be retired. The mildly larcenous, backwater island of Mancreu is the ideal place to serve out his time, a former British colony in legal limbo, belching toxic clouds of waste and facing imminent destruction by an international community concerned for their own safety ...more
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published July 29th 2014 by Alfred A. Knopf (first published May 22nd 2014)
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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)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  4,998 ratings  ·  650 reviews

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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. Unfortunately 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 t
Ron Charles
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 14, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Gina W Fischer
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.”
Kara Babcock
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 re ...more
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.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tigerman has a more relaxed, deliberate pace than I've come to expect from Harkaway. Not slow, mind you, but less frenzied perhaps would be a more accurate description. And that's certainly not a bad thing. His enchanting style and charming humor are still very much evident, together with wonderfully lovable and odd characters and themes that touch on the bizarre and stretch your mind as it tries to wrap itself around them. Despite those themes - impending apocalyptic doom, a superhero vigilante ...more
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.
Jan 23, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This hardcover copy is signed by Nick Harkaway.
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
All the stars in the world - all the stars............................

that is what insanely idealistic heroes deserve and that is what I give.

The world of the superhero is a tough one, he is out there fighting the 'baddies' but at the same time it's a straightforward one, it is clear who the baddies are, lines are clearly marked. Our real world is very very murky in comparision we don't know who the baddies are, some hide under the clothes of leaders, heroes, palladins. Plus we have to fight our
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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, huma
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Matthew Lawrence
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 reservations 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. ...more
Liz Barnsley
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
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'... ...more
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!
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2014
4 Stars

I will forever be a fan of Nick Harkaway
Oct 26, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
Slow, strange and hopping all over like a rabbit. Not a fun read. 0 of 10 stars
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was ok
I found this semi-tortuous aside from the original Tigerman cave scene. That was semi-gripping. Too many undeveloped characters and annoying lingos throughout, and too many truncated sentences for the last 50 pages of the book. No. Jack. No. Please. So. Glad. I. Managed. To. Finish. This. Book.
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 ...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
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars for this strange, beautiful book. I don't have much time to write a review right at this moment, but let me just say that Harkaway's language is poetic, gorgeous, lush; I loved the geography, the population, the goings-on of his world. Lester's internal monologue, his relationship with the boy, his growing identity as a parent figure and as a comic-book-inspired-vigilante...I was hooked, touched, impressed.

But I hated the ending. I don't want to spoil anything, but once you read it, yo
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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Around the Year i...: Tigerman, by Nick Harkaway 1 7 Sep 11, 2019 10:54AM  

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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

Articles featuring this book

On a radioactive island a middle-aged British sergeant becomes a crime-fighting superhero in Tigerman, a genre-bending adventure from the author of...
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“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.” 8 likes
“The boy reported - after the Sergeant had slept for a few hours, which was not nearly enough - that YouTube had actually gone down for ten minutes under the weight of traffic. The story was truly global, truly immense: not Obama, not Justin Bieber, not Psy and not Bin Laden had ever touched this, he said. Not Khaled Saeed and not Mohamed Bouazizi, either. If Pippa Middleton and Megan Fox had announced their intention to marry during a live theatrical production of 50 Shades of Grey starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and then taken off their clothes to reveal their bodies tattooed with the text of the eighth Harry Potter novel, they might have approached this level of frenzy. But probably not, the boy said, because not everyone liked Benedict Cumberbatch.” 5 likes
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