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Tigerman by Nick Harkaway
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Tigerman (original 2014; edition 2014)

by Nick Harkaway

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2852139,557 (4.16)27
Member:psutto
Title:Tigerman
Authors:Nick Harkaway
Info:William Heinemann (2014), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:2014 challenge

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Tigerman by Nick Harkaway (2014)

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The first book I read by Nick Harkaway was Angelmaker. Boy what a crazy ride that was, filled with mechanical bees, terrifying sub-human monk villains, a body-changing, immortal antagonist, espionage, a 90-year old heroine, and what-have-you. Brilliant as it was, I was exhausted by the last third of the story.

But here in Tigerman, (even with a title like that) Harkaway has shown us an altogether different side. Tigerman is detailed but not excruciatingly so, emotional but never maudlin, full of questions but never irritating, and ultimately, emotionally satisfying instead of leaving you with a sense of being socked in the eye with the author's own brilliance.

The story is set on the fictional island of Mancreu, doomed because it is set for destruction by the international community due to a series of continual environmental disasters. (But in fact, "for an island with no future, Mancreau had a great deal of present.") Our hero, Lester Ferris, is a British sergeant posted there as his country's somewhat token presence, mainly to show his face around town and maintain the peace. And there's the boy, a local with whom the Sergeant has struck up a tentative yet tender friendship. What Lester wants, and this he realizes as the island nears its own expiration date and people keep leaving as planned, is to adopt the boy since there is no real knowledge of other family. Still, the situation is vague and the best Lester can do is make discreet inquiries as to the boy's situation.
Full review http://devikamenon.blogspot.com/2016/06/readings-tigerman_3.html ( )
  dmenon90 | Jun 3, 2016 |
"After a while he found that he could forget the clock and even dismiss memory and awareness almost entirely, fade into the scenery, and let his senses be everything that there was of him." This is a dense, multi-layered novel about love and sacrifice. Friendship and what it entails also figures prominently. When our world starts to crumble, to whom can we turn? Heroes are not always the ones dressed up as comic book crusaders. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
A great book written with a unique voice. My first book by Harkaway but certainly not my last. The Sargeant is a new favorite character of mine. Just something about the book that pulled me in like the tide. ( )
  Charlie-Ravioli | Jan 18, 2016 |
Novel about a soon-to-retire British sergeant and the young boy he wants to adopt as his son, all set on an island scheduled for annihilation due to environmental hazards.

At times quite funny or thrilling; at times quite sad.

If you're into superheroes who disrupt the quiet of an island and who oppose the faceless corruption of the modern world, you will like this book quite a lot. It has a slow start but a bang-up middle and end. The budding romance that sweetens the dark ending is perfect. ( )
  barlow304 | Jan 8, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nick Harkawayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heshka, RyanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidd, ChipJacket art directorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
My father had formed one of those close English friendships with him (the first adjective is perhaps excessive) that begin by excluding confidences and soon eliminate conversation.

-Jorge Luis Borges
Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
Mein Vater hatte mit ihm eine dieser englischen Freundschaften geschlossen (ersteres Adjektiv ist vielleicht ein wenig exzessiv), die damit beginnen, alles Vertrauliche aussen vor zu lassen, und bald schon jede Unterhaltung auslöschen (Jorge Luis Borges: Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius)
Dedication
For Clemency

I knew I wanted to be a father. I didn't know how much until I was.
Für Clemency. Ich wusste, dass ich ein Vater sein wollte. Ich wusste nicht, wie sehr, bis ich einer war.
First words
On the steps of the old mission house, the sergeant sat with the boy who called himself Robin, and watched a pigeon being swallowed by a pelican.
Der Sergeant und der Junge, der sich selbst Robin nannte, sassen auf den Stufen des alten Missionshauses und beobachteten, wie eine Taube von einem Pelikan verschluckt wurde.
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Assigned to a ceremonial post in Mancreu, British consul and Afghanistan war veteran Lester Ferris is compelled to disregard widespread underworld activities while bonding with a comic-addicted youth who relies on him for help during a violent uprising.… (more)

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