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Publisher's Summary

A wildly entertaining debut novel, introducing a bold new voice that combines antic humor (think Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut) with a stunning futuristic vision (á la A Clockwork Orange and 1984, with a little Mad Max thrown in) to give us an electrifyingly original tale of love, friendship, and the apocalypse. There couldn't be a fire along the Jorgmund Pipe. It was the last thing the world needed. But there it was, burning bright on national television. The Pipe was what kept the Livable Zone safe from the bandits, monsters, and nightmares the Go-Away War had left in its wake. The fire was a very big problem.
Enter Gonzo Lubitsch and his friends, the Haulage & HazMat Emergency Civil Freebooting Company, a team of master troubleshooters who roll into action when things get particularly hot. They helped build the Pipe. Now they have to preserve it - and save humanity yet again. But this job is not all it seems. It will touch more closely on Gonzo's life - and that of his best friend - than either of them can imagine. And it will decide the fate of the Gone-Away World.
Equal parts raucous adventure, comic odyssey, geek nirvana, and ultra-cool epic, The Gone-Away World is a story of - among other things - love, pirates, mimes, greed, and ninjas. 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)2008 Random House, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Annette on 03-21-10

i am a worm genetiscist.

Just kidding. I have to agree that I enjoyed the book and it's action. The depth of theme isn't radical or stunning, but it's clearly about acceptance, tolerance and change. But forget that, there's mutants. Fire. Love. Betrayal. Bad guys. Good guys. The misunderstood. The changed. It's a grab a bowl of popcorn or hit the road trip audio book that explores our nasty corporate tendencies as well as our love for big loud trucks, shiny things and heroes. Fun. That's the ticket. And seriously, mutants make almost anything more interesting. Science fiction often makes me depressed with it's lack of originality - or flowing phrasology. Like I know?! This was just darn solid good fun. Grab your wheel and head for a tri-state road trip with it - you'll be there before you want.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By David on 05-08-10

Awesome style, kickin' story with many tangents

This is only vaguely science fiction -- the premise (a superweapon wipes out most of the world, leaving the heroes to pick up the pieces) is not terribly original and only acts as a framework for the real story, which is one of love and friendship, duty, and responsibility. But lest you think this is just an exercise in literary fiction masquerading as scifi, there are also lots of explosions and ninjas.

Harkaway's writing -- many, many tangents, asides, inventive phrases, and other authorial indulgences, are the real attraction. If you like this kind of writing, you'll like this book, though if you're one of those people who likes Stephen King but thinks he needs to chop his books in half, you'll probably find this one overly-long also.

The narration by Kirby Heyborne is nearly flawless. I'm not sure if I'd like his narration for another story, but he captures the tone of this book perfectly.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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