Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

93%

19 Critic Reviews

Harkaway makes his novel great fun on every page
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

A Wall Street Journal and Booklist Best Mystery of 2012

From the acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World, blistering gangster noir meets howling absurdist comedy as the forces of good square off against the forces of evil, and only an unassuming clockwork repairman and an octogenarian former superspy can save the world from total destruction.
 
Joe Spork spends his days fixing antique clocks. The son of infamous London criminal Mathew “Tommy Gun” Spork, he has turned his back on his family’s mobster history and aims to live a quiet life. That orderly existence is suddenly upended when Joe activates a particularly unusual clockwork mechanism. His client, Edie Banister, is more than the kindly old lady she appears to be—she’s a retired international secret agent. And the device? It’s a 1950s doomsday machine. Having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the British government and a diabolical South Asian dictator who is also Edie’s old arch-nemesis. On the upside, Joe’s got a girl: a bold receptionist named Polly whose smarts, savvy and sex appeal may be just what he needs. With Joe’s once-quiet world suddenly overrun by mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe, he realizes that the only way to survive is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she abandoned years ago and pick up his father’s old gun . . .


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Nick Harkaway

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Nick Harkaway was born in Cornwall in 1972. He studied philosophy, sociology and politics at Clare College, Cambridge, and then worked in the film industry. His fiction debut was The Gone-Away World. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.   www.nickharkaway.com
 
Published March 20, 2012 by Vintage. 498 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Angelmaker
All: 19 | Positive: 18 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Feb 16 2012

...a funny surfeit, rich with good humor and neat twists

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by James Purdon on Feb 11 2012

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".

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Patrick Ness on Feb 08 2012

...it's brilliantly entertaining, and the last hundred pages are pure, unhinged delight. What a splendid ride.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Jan 23 2012

Harkaway makes his novel great fun on every page

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Ellen Wernecke on Apr 16 2012

Angelmaker constantly looks over Joe’s shoulder, but in spite of its loyalty to its protagonist, he’s too ordinary to root for.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Tim Martin on Mar 06 2012

...a fantasy espionage novel stuffed with energetic, elegant writing that bowls the reader along while reflecting profitably on the trends of the times.

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The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Roz Kaveney on Mar 07 2012

Harkaway has given us, for the second time, a box of delights.

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The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by David Barnett on Mar 04 2012

Angelmaker is an entertaining tour-de-force that demands to be adored.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Excellent
Reviewed by Paul De Filippo on Mar 23 2012

...it fills our mundane globe with such a raft of hidden marvels and oddities that it transforms the known, miracle-devoid terrain into a marvelous and dangerous wonderland.

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Open Letters Monthly

Excellent
Reviewed by Irma Heldman

...it’s marvelously old-fashioned in the best sense of that word. It’s a sprawling, irreverent, blockbuster of a novel, an apocalyptic roller coaster of a book. It’s by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, brilliantly provocative and endlessly inventive.

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Slate

Excellent
Reviewed by Glen Weldon on Mar 03 2012

Humor, used deftly, enriches prose, warms us to characters, and causes the tightest plot thread to loosen agreeably.

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The Millions

Excellent
Reviewed by Emily Mandel on Mar 20 2012

Angelmaker is a truly impressive achievement. It seems to me that most novelists working today aren’t taking as many risks as Harkaway does, and the novelists who are willing to take risks are the ones who drive and shape the form.

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The Sydney Morning Herald

Excellent
Reviewed by James Bradley on Mar 31 2012

Harkaway is a novelist whose fascination with ideas is coupled to a delightfully maximalist narrative sensibility, a combination that lends even his wilder flourishes... a giddy infectiousness.

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Wired

Excellent
Reviewed by Jonathan Liu on Mar 01 2012

Angelmaker will certainly make it on my short list of best adult fiction for the year... It’s the sort of book you want to let steep in your brain a bit before you take another taste.

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Book Geeks

Excellent
Reviewed by Simon Appleby on Feb 02 2012

...a tale beautifully and expansively told – readers who enjoyed The Gone-Away World should have no hesitation in picking up Angelmaker, but I hope it will reach out to a wider audience. It deserves one.

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The British Fantasy Society

Excellent
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins on Jan 09 2012

...the intrigue provides a need to read on and the characters are wonderfully rendered providing a richness that elevates Angelmaker from a good read to a great read.

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Readings

Good
Reviewed by Imogen Dewey on Mar 28 2012

It’s in no way ‘a serious book for adults’, and that’s what makes it so good. It’s dark, clever, funny and wonderful. Get it.

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Muse at Highway Speeds Blog

Good
Reviewed by Anna Perleberg on Mar 20 2012

...as the baroque plot clicks away towards clarity with the inexorable beauty of well-fitted gears... Many, many delights to discover.

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Follow the Thread Blog

Good
Reviewed by David Hebblethwaite on Mar 27 2012

If Angelmaker pits whimsy against seriousness, the outcome is a stalemate; but the real winners of the fight are Nick Harkaway and his readers.

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Reader Rating for Angelmaker
78%

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