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Gnomon by Nick Harkaway
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Gnomon (edition 2018)

by Nick Harkaway (Autor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7743028,706 (3.72)46
"From the widely acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World and Tigerman, a virtuosic new novel and his most ambitious book yet--equal parts dark comedy, gripping detective story, and mind-bending philosophical puzzle--set in a not-too-distant-future, high-tech surveillance state. In the world of Gnomon, citizens are ceaselessly observed and democracy has reached a pinnacle of "transparency." When suspected dissident Diana Hunter dies in government custody during a routine interrogation, Mielikki Neith, a trusted state inspector, is assigned to the case. Immersing herself in neural recordings of the interrogation, she finds a panorama of characters and events that Hunter gave life to in order to forestall the investigation: a lovelorn financier in Athens who has a mystical experience with a shark; a brilliant alchemist in ancient Carthage confronting the unexpected outcome of her invention; an expat Ethiopian painter in London designing a controversial new video game. In the static between these mysterious visions, Neith begins to catch glimpses of the real Diana Hunter--and, alarmingly, of herself, the staggering consequences of which will reverberate throughout the world. Gnomon is a dazzling, panoramic achievement from one of the most original voices in contemporary fiction"--… (more)
Member:lucymdickinson
Title:Gnomon
Authors:Nick Harkaway (Autor)
Info:Windmill Books (2018), 704 pages
Collections:Your library
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Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

  1. 00
    The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch (sturlington)
  2. 00
    The City & The City by China Miéville (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Sfnal police procedurals with an epistemological/metaphysical edge.
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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Too smart for his own good.
( )
  postsign | Dec 28, 2023 |
2023 book #39. 2017. When a suspected dissident dies while being questioned in a future 100% surveillance Britian, the woman investigating her death finds info that is a danger to the state. Long and boring in parts, the ending did not justify the 600+ page length. ( )
  capewood | Aug 8, 2023 |
This is a very weird and overly-complicated book that still manages to be quite compelling, despite it's length.

It is set in a near future dystopian UK, where a centralized government has been abolished in place of a decentralized surveillance state, where everyone is constantly being watched, everyone plays a role in making laws and prosecuting criminals, and there is technology that can read and record people's memories. The book follows an Investigator who is looking into the death of a woman who died during interrogation: in this case, interrogation means that her memories were being accessed and recorded. The investigator immerses herself in the recordings of the dead woman's memories, and finds that there are several different lifetimes' worth of memories there, from several different people.

The book is very weird, pretty hard to describe, and at times difficult to follow. However, Harkaway is an engaging writer, and I found the book enjoyable. ( )
  Gwendydd | Aug 6, 2023 |
This book lost me a few times and I'm still not sure how I feel about it but I'm glad I kept reading ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
When the first question was asked in a direction opposite to the customary one, it was a signal that the revolution had begun.
--Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Emperor
Dedication
For Tom, my son.

Wow.
First words
"The death of a suspect in custody," says Inspector Neith of the Witness, "is a very serious matter. There is no one at the Witness Programme who does not feel a sense of personal failure this morning."
Quotations
Even in death, as the saying goes, her head sings upon the waters.
There's only one fundamental human right, and that is the right to security of person, be it physical or mental. Everything else is contingent on the level of society in which you exist—food, shelter, broadband digital access: all these come later. The only right that cannot be debated—if you acknowledge any kind of right at all—is the one that asserts a boundary at the skin, and says that anything within its boundary is the business of that person and no one else. The right to avoid self-incrimination, the right to die, the right to live, the right to freedom from slavery, freedom of conscience and religion, of opinion, and the right not to be tortured—all these exist as subheadings of that one, simple statement: I am me and I am not yours. No one who believes in rights at all can deny this right. It is the first. Without it, there are no others.
Poetry is a shotgun aimed at our shared experience, hoping to hit enough of the target that we all infer a great bulk of information conveyed as implication and metaphor in an approximately similar way. Making a unity between poet and reader.
The devil in the detail is that Smart Crowds are fragile. With a very little adulteration, they cease to be smart at all, and become remarkably stupid, or indeed self-harming. They are susceptible to stampeding by demagogues, poisoning by bad information. They can be made afraid, and when they do they become mobs. They can be divided by scapegoating and prejudice, bought off in fragments, even just romanced by pretty faces.
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"From the widely acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World and Tigerman, a virtuosic new novel and his most ambitious book yet--equal parts dark comedy, gripping detective story, and mind-bending philosophical puzzle--set in a not-too-distant-future, high-tech surveillance state. In the world of Gnomon, citizens are ceaselessly observed and democracy has reached a pinnacle of "transparency." When suspected dissident Diana Hunter dies in government custody during a routine interrogation, Mielikki Neith, a trusted state inspector, is assigned to the case. Immersing herself in neural recordings of the interrogation, she finds a panorama of characters and events that Hunter gave life to in order to forestall the investigation: a lovelorn financier in Athens who has a mystical experience with a shark; a brilliant alchemist in ancient Carthage confronting the unexpected outcome of her invention; an expat Ethiopian painter in London designing a controversial new video game. In the static between these mysterious visions, Neith begins to catch glimpses of the real Diana Hunter--and, alarmingly, of herself, the staggering consequences of which will reverberate throughout the world. Gnomon is a dazzling, panoramic achievement from one of the most original voices in contemporary fiction"--

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