• Angelmaker

  • By: Nick Harkaway
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 17 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 02-08-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (35 ratings)

Regular price: $24.78

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Publisher's Summary

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
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Critic Reviews

"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. ... [I]t’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 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)
“A dazzling story..a witty and wonderfully sprawling fantastical thriller.” ( Irish Times - Summer Reads)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Maxime on 05-25-18


Great book and brilliant performance by the reader.

One of the greatest joys in life is discovering an author that paints masterpieces in your mind.

Not believable in the slightest, but that’s the point. A fun and adventurous story with the most delightful characters.

5 stars all around

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2 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 07-20-13

Just a bit too silly.

This is the first book I've listened to by Nick Harkaway and I didn't really know what to expect. The story is so ridiculous that I'm having trouble para-phrasing it. It's the story of a watch/clockwork maker (Joe) who gets embroiled in events that his crazy genius grandmother began when she embarked on a personal mission to make the world a better place through some kind of never really explained soundwaves (?) that mechanical bee's make when released into the world.

Joe gets thrown into a lot of different situations while being hunted down by various authorities and organisations and there is also a lot of background story about Joe's grandmother's lesbian lover (Edie) who happens to be a secret agent of some kind. This is to give the history of the mechanical devices and some background history of the characters. However the main problem I have with the story is that Joe is really hard to emphathise with. He's not an interesting character even though a lot of stuff happens to him. So I ended up not really caring whether he lived or died. And bizarrely his character changes with about a quarter to the book to go and he transforms into a gun waving gangster boss that his deceased father used to be. This shift doesn't endear him to me in any way nor did it's abruptness seem all that plausible.

I also found the writing style to be a bit awkward. It didn't seem to flow as well as some writers do. I am quite fond of Terry Pratchett books and I like fantasy and fiction. I think that Angelmaker could have been quite good if the way his characters reacted to events were a bit more believable and the listener could empathise with them more.

The performance of the book was really good and probably the main reason why I finished listening to it.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gavingks on 03-29-13

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

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Andrew on 04-07-13

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.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gregory Jackson on 02-05-15

Amazing book and narration!

Awesome book - loved it and the narration. Only bad point - It seemed a bit slow in a few parts and I just wanted to get onto the present because it was so exciting!!

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