Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Best-Loved Books of 2008, #2: Favorite post-apocalyptic buddy picture with sociological subtext and Wodehouse-ian humor

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The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (Knopf)
(Bonus: favorite fun reading)

I am so glad Steve and Jenn insisted I would love this book -- as you may recall, I got a little obsessed. I think the pink-and-green fuzzy cover was a poor choice, and I wish this book had had better marketing. But I suspect these mistakes occurred because no one knows quite what to do with Harkaway's genre-bending opus -- it's hard to say whether it's the next Good Omens or the next For Whom The Bell Tolls. What you need to know is that it's about the end of the world, and the terrible danger of people who allow themselves to become cogs in the machines of governments or companies, and the difficulties of growing up into yourself. It also has pirates, ninjas, explosions, young love, longing, conspiracies, politics, monsters, heroes, and British humor at its finest since P.G. Wodehouse. Normal people (not just me) who read this book are getting obsessed with it. You want to be one of those people.