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Summary

The Jorgmund Pipe is the backbone of the world, and it's on fire. Gonzo Lubitsch, professional hero and troubleshooter, is hired to put it out - but there's more to the fire than meets the eye. A story of love and loss; of ninjas and pirates; and of a friendship stretched beyond its limits. But it is also the story of a world, not unlike our own, in desperate need of heroes - however unlikely they may seem.

©2008 Nick Harkaway (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Breathtakingly ambitious... A bubbling cosmic stew of a book, written with such exuberant imagination that you are left breathless by its sheer ingenuity." ( Observer)
"A post-apocalyptic triumph... Immensely rewarding... Genuinely terrifying." ( The Times)

What listeners say about The Gone-Away World

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Take a walk on the... well... almost every side

What made the experience of listening to The Gone-Away World the most enjoyable?

In some books it's like walking into a room that the author has furnished for you and the story. In this case it's like the author has created a whole village for you, complete with fitness studio, public library, and schools at every level. The author takes you on a tour of the village, sometimes doubling back on his tracks to show you something you would have missed the first time. Absolutely delightful.

What did you like best about this story?

If I were to reveal what I liked best then I would be revealing too much about the story and spoil some of it for later readers.

Which character – as performed by Matt Bates – was your favourite?

The narator's characterisations were wonderful and so several characters spring to mind as a possible favourite. I would plump for Ronnie Chung.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The impossible film about a possible world with impossible bombs.

Any additional comments?

A book to tickle your brain parts, waking them up and making them giggle with delight. Read by a splendidly versatile Matt Bates much better than a film and with the large array of characters much easier to follow than reading it yourself.

15 people found this helpful

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Weird

Where does The Gone-Away World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Somewhere around the bottom of the top ten?

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gone-Away World?

The moment I started to twig that there is something crucial I didn't know about the main character. Yes, it took me a while.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Anything with Master Wu

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It gave me an actual nightmare, and I dont really get nightmares. It got under my skin that much. But it was still so good I would recommend it to everyone (so you can all suffer as I did).

Any additional comments?

The author is clearly a slightly mad creative genius. It's almost impossible to describe this book. It's a dystopian sci-fi horror comedy romance psychological fantasy thriller.

The book is soo brilliant, if you are hesitating to pick it up because you think think it might not be your thing don't worry, it's nobody's thing because the author has invented a whole new thing. It's a book that has stuck with me. Every one of the characters is wonderfully unique and multifaceted, just as everyone really is. At points you will hate each one, love each one, cry for them, laugh with them and be surprised by them.

Loved it.

15 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

This book (all 22hrs of it) went faster than most of my 10 hr reads. A pleasure of an adventure, and such beautiful language!

5 people found this helpful

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Ridiculous

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with all the rave reviews that encourage even those who are unsure to try this book. From an over apparent fixation on sex to onomatopoeic sound effects, to me this book seemed juvenile, like it was written by a teenage boy for teenage boys. I gave it a couple of chapters before becoming so annoyed that I had to stop and utilise Audible’s wonderful return policy.

4 people found this helpful

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Rambling

I loved Angelmaker by the same author and was really looking forward to diving into this book. I can see from the reviews many people loved it but it didn't quite work for me.

There are endless circuitous stories around the main plot. Tiring loops that have a slightly teenage rambling quality about them. There's a strong and interesting mind at work here - but for me it felt like it needed a lot more editing. There's a brilliant story here, but this felt like a messy first draft from which you'd halve the text, simplify the whole thing and explain to the author - keep to the point, put the other stuff in a different book.

For those that love it, I think it's the very thing that I found tiring. Harkaway takes a long time to get to the point. He does get there... and if you enjoy the journey it's marvellous.

for me, I feel bruised and worn out by this book. I'm considering returning it. The narration is excellent though. And if it's a style you like, you'll probably enjoy this hugely.

3 people found this helpful

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Unusual and entertaining

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, I enjoyed the book, although in parts I had to persevere with it, in the end it was worth doing so. It twists and turns, it has some strange concepts which are interesting and original; it is worth a read/listen.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Satisfying ending which was worth some confusion in earlier parts of the book!

What does Matt Bates bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I think MB does very well with the narration.

3 people found this helpful

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inner monologue of an intellectual blowhard

this was meant to be a sci-fi tale about battle hardened warriors protecting a Life sustaining pipe line, sounded great,but I'm half way through and at least 75% of the story so far has had nothing to do with sci-fi in anyway what so ever, but contains mostly an inner monologue of an intellectual blowhard, I've paid for it and was determined to get through it,but life is too short and The tale too nauseatingly smug I can't go on. maybe other's would like This type of work,but at the very least you should be aware of what it actually contains, starship troopers it ain't.

2 people found this helpful

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Lost the plot

Sorry, Nick, I loved Angelmaker but was disappointed by this book. It did not grip me enough to make me carry on listening regularly and consequently I never really got into it. Also, although I usually love long books, this one just seemed to be a steep hill to climb. Early on I decided that it seemed to be one big sidetrack which I'm sure would eventually all join up and make sense but I just lost the will to carry on with it. Maybe I'll try again but probably not.

4 people found this helpful

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Great story telling, really enjoyed it

I'm not a sci-fi fan in general but after this perhaps I'll explore more of this genre. I expected it to be space missions or zombies and, although other-worldly, it's almost dystopian in a way. The world has been destroyed as we know it because of human greed and agression. in this new world we follow 2 men, friends from childhood, as they try to make sense of it.

I really warmed to the characters. there wasn't too much sentimentality and they weren't complicated, but I liked the simplicity and it endeared me. I can't exloaj more without throwing spoilers, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story telling and how the writes leads the reader through a past, present and how it all comes together.

Really excellent and thoroughly entertaining.

1 person found this helpful

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Very unusual twist in the tale

Good performance. Unusual story . Enjoyed it very much though a bit side tracking at times

1 person found this helpful