A Man of Shadows
Below the neon skies of Dayzone – where the lights never go out, and night has been banished – lowly private eye John Nyquist takes on a teenage runaway case. His quest takes him from Dayzone into the permanent dark of Nocturna.
As the vicious, seemingly invisible serial killer kno ...more
It is like Dark City, a potboiler Noir with a very timey-wimey worldbuilding twist.
For the early part of the novel, it's all hardboiled detective stuff and it's familiar and fun, but I for one was clicking my teeth for the moment it started showing me the good stuff. And it did... in time zones.
A city all in man-made darkness, stars that never moved, where time is a relative thing, where industry collapses when certain pieces o ...more
A former professor of mine was fond of saying that great art is not merely engaged with, but surrendered to. That particular quality of experience – the willing submission of the viewer to the mastery of the art object itself – is hard to nail down in words; so then, is the absence of that quality. This, in a nutshell, is the ambition of the critic – to find the words to relate that experience, or lack thereof (or the gray in between) to other potential consumers of said object.
Jeff No ...more
In the first case what I expected to read and what the book actually contained were rather different. Based on the description I expected a detective/noir story set in a city with one part in permanent light and the other in permanent darkness. I thought this was a cool idea and would play well into the idea of a literal dark side of a city that is metaphorically prevalent in the noir genre. There is lot ...more
Ostensibly, a science-fictional/fantasy noir detective story, it falls down on all accounts. The main character, the detective, is a sad sack. A rather pathetic failure who gets beat up a lot and only succeeds by accident. At times, ...more
What a strange and weird rollercoaster ride. This blend of detecitve street noir with new weird scifi world buidling creates a completely new type of experience for the reader. Its not as quirky as Vurt but very close. Two cities each different in their own way but the distinguishing feature is the daylight and perpetual darkness of them both. Time is a currency of sorts, and this has a huge influence on the themes and ...more
Sometimes a book comes along that just ticks every box in the “things I love about reading” stakes – A Man of Shadows is such a novel, so incredibly immersive, such brilliantly incisive descriptive prose and a set of fascinating, beautifully imagined characters – that you just dive into it with abandon and leave the real world behind.
A Man of Shadows has a decisively built world, a world of literal light dark and shade, where time is ...more
Fact: I generally like character driven stories. This is completely world driven. The characters are merely a conduit for which to experience this vivid, original, amazing and very strange world. Usually I can hate characters and that's as good as liking them. By the end I did embrace the two main characters but only because the world drew me into them.
Fact: This is the most original world and story s ...more
The action takes place in a city comprised ...more
The story takes place in a city made up of three distinct parts - Dayzone, which is permanently bright thanks to the billions of neon lights covering the area, Nocturna, which is permanently dark and Dusk, which seperetaes the two areas, a type of no mans land which is avoided at all costs, neither light nor dark and covere ...more
It starts out as a hard-boiled detective story set in a world that feels like a futuristic version of the 1950's. The city is split into three different zones, Nocturna that is eternal night, Dusk, a place of fog and monsters where it is always twilight and no-one dare go, and Dayzone, a world of bright neon lights where it never ...more
While reading A Man of Shadows I found myself becoming wary of every timepiece in my house. Why does the microwave clock read 11:45 when the oven clock reads 10:32 and the wall clock reads 2:55?
Which is th correct time? If I call the speaking clock number will anyone answer? Can anyone tell me "at the tone the time will be..." or am I on my own? Who decides what time it is for me?
In short this book has caused me a great deal of anxiety. With a major bir ...more
I don’t know how to describe this book because I feel there are two potential stories here and the way they were blended together left me confused and a little underwhelmed.
My main issue with this book stems from the feeling that there were two different worlds, or, I don’t know, major story elements maybe, that belonged in two different books. There is one world with the cities of Dayzone, Nocturna and Dusk (that apparently reside in a seemingly n ...more
I've started worse books, but given up... but this one I stuck with to the bitter, meandering, pointless end.
It is bad on so many levels.
Awkward punctuation, sentences spliced together with straining commas.
Bale pleaded with her. "Please..."!
No subtle demonstration of characters feelings and motivations. Nope. Just statements that don't fit the scene/character.
Inconsistent characters. All are normal one minute and crazy the n ...more
The story itself in theory should have worked, I loved the idea of Dayzone, the Dusk and Noct ...more
But the book seems more about style than substance, ...more
Nyquist is a detective (rather by the numbers sadly, drunk, pursuing a case no matter what even though we don't know why, a total mess) who lives in a strange city of three parts. One, the Dayzone, forever cast in artificial light, another Nocturna, where it is permanently dark and fake constellations show people the way home, and another the mysterious Dusk, where people can hardly take one footstep after another without going ...more
Most notably, the novel's structure works firmly within noir tropes, but somehow never devolves into cliche, rather utilizing the fantasy elements to make them seem somehow new again. And as with all the best noir, the central protagonist, while deepl ...more
I think it's a perfectly fine book but it didn't grip me and after I set it down I just couldn't be bothered to pick it back up again. I kept telling myself I'd be back but, life is short and the library well stocked.
I liked the world and was quite interested in finding out more about all these different timelines, but it didn't come or I lost interest before it did.
He studied fine art and drama at Manchester University and was subsequently appointed writer in residence at the city's Royal Exchange theatre. But Noon did not stay too long in the theatrical world, possibly because the realism associated with the theatre was not conducive to the fant...more