I find it interesting that a review on the cover of this Nick Harkaway novel states that it “reads like a surrealist smashup of Pynchon and Pratchett, Vonnegut and Heller…” Considering that I hate 3/4 of those authors and have never even heard of the fourth, I was startled to find that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK. It just goes to show that reviews mean nothing and I should probably stop writing.
There is nothing in this book to dislike. It’s got a brilliant plot and likeable characters, and it’s witty as hell. The nameless narrator extrapolates endlessly, but somehow it doesn’t annoy. It’s always fascinating backstory and hilarious anecdotes. Yet despite all the hilarity, this book is dark. And sad. It leaves you feeling a little bit hollow because it makes you realize, better than most, how quickly the world can change and take everything that makes sense with it.
I read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction, and as much as I like the concept, a lot of it has begun to read the same. This book completely broke the mold and gave me something entirely new to explore. An apocalypse that involves ninjas, literal dream-monsters, and the most terrifying bombs you’ve ever heard of. This novel can make you laugh out loud and the next moment be afraid to go to sleep. I plan on reading a lot more of this author’s work. He’s an excellent writer that deserves a lot of attention.
Because this is one of the best books I’ve ever read, I’m not giving away anything about the plot. Just please trust me when I say that you absolutely must read it.