Review: Nick Harkaway’s “Angelmaker”

by writereaderly

nick harkaway angelmakerRecommended by JH on the strength of the 89yo dyke assassin/spy (nice choice), this was a rollicking, gripping and I was delighted to ingest it. Joshua Joseph, clockmaker, is the son of famous London gangster Mathew ‘Tommy Gun’ Spork, and determined to never be like his ole paw… until… A steam-punk, crime, espionage, conspiracy, apocalypse thriller, would be the best description I could muster of this one. The mad scientist and the dyke assassin were great, nuanced characters, the hero pretty well done, the plotting solid, the narrative absorbing. Shame the love-interest lady wasn’t much more than an oversexed bit of totty who was occasionally allowed to demonstrate brains, but I really enjoyed this one and it did weird things to the world for the next couple of days. Recommended as a great escape.

Where it came from: Library
Time and manner of reading:
One armchair sampling, then an all-in, “I’m not going to bed until I’ve finished” read
Where it went: Home
Best line of the book: “Joshua Joseph has no great hatred of modern technology – he just mistrusts the effortless, textureless surfaces and the ease with which it trains you to do things in the way most convenient to the machine. Above all, he mistrusts duplication. A rare thing becomes a commonplace thing. A skill becomes a feature. The end is more important than the means. The child of the soul gives place to a product of the system.” (p.67)
Who I’d recommend it to:
Readers after some old-fashioned dynamism
Also reading: Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton