From the acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World - a new riveting action spy thriller, blistering gangster noir, and howling absurdist comedy: a propulsively entertaining tale about a mobster's son and a retired secret agent who are forced to team up to save the world.
All Joe Spork wants is a quiet life. He repairs clockwork and lives above his shop in a wet, unknown bit of London. The bills don't always get paid and he's single and has no prospects of improving his lot, but at least he's not trying to compete with the reputation of Mathew "Tommy Gun" Spork, his infamous criminal dad.
Edie Banister lives quietly and wishes she didn't. She's nearly ninety and remembers when she wasn't. She's a former superspy and now she's... well... old. Worse yet, the things she fought to save don't seem to exist anymore, and she's beginning to wonder if they ever did.
When Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended.
The client is one Edie Banister. And the device? It's a 1950s doomsday machine. And having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator, Edie's old arch-nemesis. With Joe's once-quiet world now populated with mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe, he realises that the only way to survive is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she gave up years ago, and pick up his father's old gun....
©2012 Nick Harkaway (P)2012 Random House AudioGo
"Angelmaker is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in ages...a joyful display of reckless, delightful invention, on a par with the rocket-powered novels of Neal Stephenson.... Ideas come zinging in from all corners, and do so with linguistic verve and tremendous humour. ... It's brilliantly entertaining, and the last hundred pages are pure, unhinged delight. What a splendid ride." (Patrick Ness, Guardian)
"It hangs together so brilliantly...It's an ambitious, crowded, restless caper, cleverly told and utterly immune to precis...From its frantic oscillation between plausibility and fantasy emerges an odd, unique composite that deserves its own moniker. ...Angelmaker turns out to be a solid work of modern fantasy fiction, coupling credit-crunch anxiety with an understandable nostalgia for the mythical days of "good, wholesome, old-fashioned British crime." (James Purdon, Observer Guardian)
"Angelmaker is an intricate and brilliant piece of escapism, tipping its hat to the twisting plots of John Buchan and H Rider Haggard, the goggles-and-gauntlets Victoriana of the steampunk movement and the labyrinthine secret London's of Peter Ackroyd and Iain Sinclair, while maintaining an originality, humour and verve all its author's own... Angelmaker must have been huge fun to write, and it is huge fun to read." (Daily Telegraph, five stars)
"Angelmaker is an entertaining tour-de-force that demands to be adored." (Independent on Sunday)
"A big, gleefully absurd, huggable bear of a novel...Harkaway's prose is playful and beguiling, with a keen satiric edge, and that makes all the difference." (Slate)
"Sometimes I forget how transfixing it can be to read really great writing... A lot of books are fun to read for the plot; a smaller percentage displays this artful mastery of the language. And precious few manage to do both. Angelmaker falls into that last category. Harkaway plays the English language like a mad virtuoso: he hits all the right notes but isn't above throwing in a bit of ornamentation and jazzing things up... Angelmaker is like a Quentin Tarantino movie written by Neil Gaiman: larger-than-life characters, dry British humour, a heavy dose of the weird, and a bit macabre; horrendous things wrapped up in gorgeous language." (Wired)
"Harkaway's brilliance in this novel of adventure, love and intrigue is that he enjoys these stories and makes us remember how much we enjoy them... Harkaway has given us, for the second time, a box of delights." (Independent)
"Harkaway shares Dickens's eye for the ridiculous, as well as his ability to move from absurdity to pathos within the space of a sentence...Angelmaker is an adult version of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy..." (Literary Review)
"What kind of a mind dreams up Angelmaker, a nutty, sprawling sprint to save the world from a sinister cabal of veiled monks who want to unleash a clockwork book that could bring an end to conscious life in the universe...It could only be Nick Harkaway: bonkers, brilliant and hilarious... Effervescent, clever and entirely fantastic." (Sunday Times)
"A dazzling story..a witty and wonderfully sprawling fantastical thriller." (Irish Times - Summer Reads)
"By far the most fun I've had with fiction this year was Nick Harkaway's Angelmaker. Gorgeous prose and a rollicking steam-punk spy thriller. Brilliant." (Laurie Penny, New Statesman Books of the Year)
"a crowded carnivalesque masterpiece that is quite unlike other crowded carnivalesque novels you may have read in being both funnier and more estranging" (The Guardian)
"a high-octane pulpish spy thriller with more ideas per page than most novelists can dream up in a lifetime. It is highly recommended." (The Independent on Sunday)
"'bonkers, brilliant and hilarious. His science-fiction romp is effervescent, clever and entirely fantastic." (Alison Flood, The Sunday Times)
"this is a joyful display of reckless delightful invention, on a par with the rocket-powered novels of Neal Stephenson...Ideas come zinging in from all corners, and do so with linguistic verve and tremendous humour...brilliantly entertaining." (Patrick Ness, Guardian)
"In a gravelly yet gleeful voice, Weyman narrates this swashbuckling genre-blend of spies, gangsters, and a doomsday machine. The lavish and imaginative story of Joe Spork, a clockmaker out of his depth as he attempts to save the world, is brilliantly realized through Weyman's attention to inflection, characterization and pacing." (The Listen List for Outstanding Audiobook Narration 2013 - American Library Association Reference & User Services Association)
"A new riveting action spy thriller, blistering gangster noir, and howling absurdist comedy: a propulsively entertaining tale about a mobster's son and a retired secret agent who are forced to team up to save the world." (Nudgemenow.com)
"Angelmaker is another cracking book from Nick Harkaway. It's a mix of sci-fi, steampunk, adventure and romance and the mix of genres works really well together...Harkaway's Angelmaker is a brilliant piece of escapism. It's a wonderful example of how an irreverent approach to much loved genres can lead to a truly great story." (Nudge)
I do not ever remember enjoying a book more. The story is delightfully daft, but even if you hated the story, the prose is just glorious. Within minutes I was hooked and in love with this book. I have walked around London smiling, laughing and occasionally crying as I listened. I mourn its end.
Took me a little while to work out the tone of this book - comic supernatural thriller, spy story, gritty crime drama? (It's all of these). However, I very quickly got hooked and thoroughly enjoyed this, particularly the adventures of Edie Bannister. The author writes very well, with a light touch that made me laugh out loud at times, but also describing some pretty gruesome episodes unflinchingly. The narrator is excellent at capturing the voices of the different characters and getting the right tone. The fights are really exciting! I shall be looking out for more from this writer in the future.
"Bizarre and brilliant - I loved every second."
I started off by buying the actual book, partly because I was intrigued by the steampunk aesthetic and golden mechanical bees on the cover. However, as it's the sort of book that takes a while to get into and as my typical reading pattern is 3 pages and then fall asleep, I decided to download the Audible version which meant I could listen to it when out walking the dogs and therefore less likely to nod off.
From the outset, I was hugging myself with the sheer delight at the visual imagery generated inside my head by this book. Our hero, Joshua Joseph Spork with his shady underworld background in the subterranean depths of London, and the arcane skills and knowledge shared with him by his grandfather; the feisty octogenarian super-spy, Edie Banninster, still trying to save the world, and then the bizarre device which brings them together in a fight against a diabolical dictator who controls an army of devilish/monkish automatons.
Nick Harkaway has managed to produce a novel which reinvigorates your imagination. It challenges you to try and keep up with the convolutions of the plot and delights at every kaleidoscopic turn.
I read the book and liked it a lot, but the reading really makes this sparkle. Enjoyed every second!
"Astonishingly Good Book"
This is a brilliant book, beautifully delivered by Daniel Weyman whose ability to switch between voices if quite extraordinary. A cleverly constructed book, it was a little bit too gruesome in a couple of places - the repeated torture of the bishop was too much for me - but it was a very enjoyable "read". Some of the detailed explorations of topics /themes are gorgeous.
Nick Harkaway is an author I will be keeping my eye on for the future and I am anxiously waiting for another of his books to be available on Audible. This was one of the first Audible books I downloaded and it certainly got me hooked. My drives to and from school are now considerably more bearable.
"An excellent story very well read"
This is a hugely imaginative story populated by unusual and eccentric characters and conferred around a doomesday machine powered by bees and clockwork. The story takes the hero on a journey of self discovery during which he suffers many trials and uncovers many old family secrets finally realising that there comes a time to turn nasty to win through.
The narrator is superb giving each character their own distinct personality, even the semi-blind one toothed pug
Overall an excellent listen masse all the more enjoyable by the skill of the narrator.
"Now that is a great book. just so clever. you will"
want more. This is what I hoped Rivers of London would have been like. It is a world war drama mixed with fantasy and mad ideas. a perfect mix and great characters. Witty, nasty and all round good. It is a book I will listen to again. Thank you for this one. well written very well read
"Clock work mahem."
An exciting romp in the steem punk stile with gangsters mad scientists and extream clock work.
One of the best books I have ever read - clever and witty with a great story that keeps you hooked. More from this author on Audible please!!
I bought this as a wild card listen on the basis of the reviews and how glad I am that I did! This is a glorious, funny, exciting story with twists and turNs aplenty, lots of mad characters, intrigue, adventure and so much more. If you like Gaiman, Pratchett, and even Iain Banks, then you'll really enjoy this story which rattles along at a spanking pace, yet is filled with terrific observance of human nature.
The narrator is very good, catching the characters beautifully. Life is enriched by writing of this quality. Heartily recommended
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