Gnomon (Hardback)
  • Gnomon (Hardback)
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Gnomon (Hardback)

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£14.99
Hardback 704 Pages / Published: 02/11/2017
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Independent Near-future Britain is not just a nation under surveillance but one built on it: a radical experiment in personal transparency and ambient direct democracy.

Every action is seen, every word is recorded.

Diana Hunter is a refusenik, a has-been cult novelist who lives in a house with its own Faraday cage: no electronic signals can enter or leave. She runs a lending library and conducts business by barter. She is off the grid in a society where the grid is everything. Denounced, arrested and interrogated by a machine that reads your life history from your brain, she dies in custody. Mielikki Neith is the investigator charged with discovering how this tragedy occurred.

Neith is Hunter's opposite. She is a woman in her prime, a stalwart advocate of the System. It is the most democratic of governments, and Neith will protect it with her life. When Neith opens the record of the interrogation, she finds not Hunter's mind but four others, none of which can possibly be there: the banker Constantine Kyriakos, pursued by a ghostly shark that eats corporations; the alchemist Athenais Karthagonensis, jilted lover of St Augustine of Hippo and mother to his dead son, kidnapped and required to perform a miracle; Berihun Bekele, artist and grandfather, who must escape an arson fire by walking through walls - if only he can remember how; and Gnomon, a sociopathic human intelligence from a distant future, falling backwards in time to conduct four assassinations.

Aided - or perhaps opposed - by the pale and paradoxical Regno Lonnrot, Neith must work her way through the puzzles of her case and find the meaning of these impossible lives. Hunter has left her a message, but is it one she should heed, or a lie to lead her into catastrophe?

And as the stories combine and the secrets and encryptions of Gnomon are revealed, the question becomes the most fundamental of all: who will live, and who will die?

A writer of brave new worlds and endless possibility, British author Nick Harkaway is the author of novels The Gone-Away World, Tigerman and Angelmaker as well as the non-fiction work The Blind Giant. He is the son of the novelist John le Carré.

Publisher: Cornerstone
ISBN: 9781785151279
Number of pages: 704
Weight: 921 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 49 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Ludicrously complicated it may be, but it’s also wonderfully good." - The Times

"This huge sci-fi detective novel of ideas is so eccentric, so audaciously plotted and so completely labyrinthine and bizarre that I had to put it aside more than once to emit Keanu-like "Whoahs" of appreciation ... It's a technological shaggy-dog tale that threatens to out-Gibson William Gibson ... It is huge fun. And it will melt your brain ... 700 odd pages power relentlessly by, only to touch down with the delicacy of a SpaceX rocket on - ah yes - the only possible ending. Whoah indeed. I wanted to give it a round of applause." - Spectator

"Gnomon is an extraordinary novel, and one I can't stop thinking about some weeks after I read it. It is deeply troubling, magnificently strange, and an exhilarating read." - Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

"The best thing he's ever written ... It is an astonishing piece of construction, complex and witty ... It is a magnificent achievement ... He's never written a bad book, but this is the one that'll see him mentioned in the same breath as William Gibson and David Mitchell ... This book seriously just destroyed me with joy." - Warren Ellis

"This huge sci-fi detective novel of ideas is so eccentric, so audaciously plotted and so completely labyrinthine and bizarre that I had to put it aside more than once to emit Keanu-like "Whoahs" of appreciation ... It's a technological shaggy-dog tale that threatens to out-Gibson William Gibson ... It is huge fun. And it will melt your brain ... 700 odd pages power relentlessly by, only to touch down with the delicacy of a SpaceX rocket on - ah yes - the only possible ending. Whoah indeed. I wanted to give it a round of applause." - Spectator

"Trying to situate Gnomon in today's literary landscape indicates how odd a figure it cuts. It has something of the large, fine-grained restlessness of David Foster Wallace, the scale and ambition of Zadie Smith or Jonathan Franzen. But it's considerably more gonzo than any of them. It oughtn't to work. It does, though. Gnomon is that rare thing, a book that cannot be accurately summarised or described. It needs to be experienced. And the experience, though it sometimes threatens to overwhelm, is always readable, absorbing, thought-provoking and, in the final analysis, unlike anything else. This novel is its own thing, separated from the continent, not part of the main. Gnomon is an island. And an island you really should visit." -- Adam Roberts, Literary Review

"Opening a novel by Nick Harkaway feels like stepping into a theme park for the mind - every page you turn brings new delights for the mind and the senses. Gnomon is brilliant and terrifying, full of pleasures big and small. Basically, everything I want in a book." -- Charles Yu, author of 'How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe'

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“I'm not quite sure what happened here but I loved it...”

Gnomon is set, it seems, in an alternate reality where Britain operates under a benign but all-encompassing system of surveillance. Instead of politicians, fallible and corruptible human beings, the country is... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 44
Penelope Bullock at Lancaster

“Tread carefully there are sharks in the water.........or are there?”

Like all of Mr Harkaway's books, this more than any of them, requires you to trust that the author will carry you through, the at times, incomprehensible story, and reward your diligence and perseverance with a... More

Hardback edition
9 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 41

“MInd-altering and vocabulary-expanding”

Of all the novels I’ve read this year, Gnomon is by far the most ambitious, conceptually and stylistically. Nick Harkaway is surely the intellectual love-child of M.C.Escher and Umberto Eco.
I find it nearly... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 38

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