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Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
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Angelmaker

by Nick Harkaway

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9755913,242 (3.93)86
Recently added byAlcohoptimist, rena75, niallh
  1. 10
    Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold (kitzyl)
    kitzyl: Commonalities include: nostalgia for the golden (criminal/stage magic) days gone by, details of an old and mysterious craft (horology/sleight of hand), flashbacks to character's childhood which explains their nowadays persona, mystery-thriller involving technological machines (truth-automata-bees/television).… (more)
  2. 11
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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» See also 86 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
Took about 200 pages to warm up but once it picked up steam, it flew. Chunkier than I had anticipated, but satisfyingly bonkers with great steampunk, London Underworld, gangster fraternity lunacy. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
Oh so funny, thought provoking. The characters, if a little too perfect, are so lovable that you slow your reading down not wanting it to end ( )
  RekhainBC | Feb 15, 2019 |
Big fat cheery entertaining lump of a book. All the time I was reading this I kept thinking "I could have read Primo Levi's _Periodic Table_ twice by now". Fun smartarse writing, fireworks, fisticuffs, plucky nerd hero meets gorgeous incredibly smart tough sexy love interest and defeats carefully non-country-specific utterly evil Hitler analogue hurrah. Examine even one bit of the technical background and it all falls apart. Bonkers, and one of the reviewers got it right: John Le Carre meets Jasper Fforde., It reminded me more of John Buchan's rubbish novels _Greenmantle_ or _The Thirty-Nine Steps_; pulp action tosh for the 21st century. ( )
  adzebill | Dec 21, 2018 |
Although the book started off okay in an off-kilter way, it ended up sinking below my original rather low expectations. It tries to be funny but mostly it falls flat. It's more sigh-worthy than silly. I wouldn't go so far as to say it was predictable but it was largely unsurprising.

An other way to summarize the book:
-Overly-romanticized gangsters? Check.
-Entirely ridiculous villain? Check. (He even has a moustache.)
-Characters as interesting as wooden planks? Check.
-Too much repetitive summarizing? Check.
-A plot that ultimately achieves nothing? Check. Oh wait, I guess he gets a girl. *rolls eyes* ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
Loved this book. Funny and full of action. A great heroes journey. The best thing of all is I never knew where it was going next. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
But the dead hand of patrimony is about to tap Joe on the shoulder. A commission to repair a rare automaton turns sour when he inadvertently activates a postwar superweapon, throwing him into the path of a 50-year struggle between an ageing female super-spy, an order of craftsman warrior-monks who follow the dictates of John Ruskin and a psychopathic South Asian princeling chasing an army of robot bees. And Harkaway is off, on 500 pages of chases, subterfuges and double-crosses that sometimes resemble Count of Monte Cristo-era Dumas seen through the prism of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. New twists and turns are produced with showmanlike relish: Submarines! Armoured steam trains! Faceless clockwork soldiers! Death-defying escapes from underground laboratories! There’s a girl to get as well, of course — one with a murky past to confront. Will Joe be able to grapple with his father’s legacy and save the world? Wild conceits aside, Harkaway’s story is a joyously old-fashioned one at heart. Of course he will.
added by kitzyl | editThe Telegraph, Tim Martin (Mar 6, 2012)
 
Nick Harkaway is a hyphen-novelist. A tragical-comical-historical-pastoral novelist, if you like; or – more precisely in the case of this second book – a fantasy-gangster-espionage-romance novelist. The Gone-Away World, Harkaway's well-received debut, was a slightly overfilled post-apocalyptic pick-and-mix of genres. Just as blithe in its disregard of verisimilitude and generic constraint, Angelmaker flits between old-fashioned villains in London's East End and covert action in 1940s south Asia, arranging its whistlestop plot around the modern-day discovery of a weapon of mass destruction in the unlikely form of a skepful of clockwork bees. It's an ambitious, crowded, restless caper, cleverly told and utterly immune to precis.
added by kitzyl | editThe Guardian, James Purdon (Feb 12, 2012)
 
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Epigraph
The gangster is the man of the city, with the city's language and knowledge, with its queer and dishonest skills and its terrible daring, carrying his life in his hands like a placard, like a club.
--Robert Warshow
Dedication
For Clare, like everything else.
First words
At seven fifteen a.m., his bedroom slightly colder than the vacuum of space, Joshua Joseph Spork wears a longish leather coat and a pair of his father's golfing socks.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307595951, Hardcover)

A Wall Street Journal and Booklist Best Mystery of 2012

From the acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World, blistering gangster noir meets howling absurdist comedy as the forces of good square off against the forces of evil, and only an unassuming clockwork repairman and an octogenarian former superspy can save the world from total destruction.
 
Joe Spork spends his days fixing antique clocks. The son of infamous London criminal Mathew “Tommy Gun” Spork, he has turned his back on his family’s mobster history and aims to live a quiet life. That orderly existence is suddenly upended when Joe activates a particularly unusual clockwork mechanism. His client, Edie Banister, is more than the kindly old lady she appears to be—she’s a retired international secret agent. And the device? It’s a 1950s doomsday machine. Having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the British government and a diabolical South Asian dictator who is also Edie’s old arch-nemesis. On the upside, Joe’s got a girl: a bold receptionist named Polly whose smarts, savvy and sex appeal may be just what he needs. With Joe’s once-quiet world suddenly overrun by mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe, he realizes that the only way to survive is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she abandoned years ago and pick up his father’s old gun . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:30 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Avoiding the lifestyle of his late gangster father by working as a clock repairman, Joe Spork fixes an unusual device that turns out to be a former secret agent's doomsday machine and incurs the wrath of the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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