Tag Archives: Nick Harkaway


Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
Publisher: Windmill Books
Publication Date: 03 Jan 2013
IBSN: 978-0099538097

It has not taken me this long to read a book since, well, sliced bread came into function. I lie. But still, it took an awfully long time to whittle away on my daily train journeys.

This book is utterly charming, but it is also bloody weird and I had no idea, for the life of me, what was going on in the entire first third. His use of language is bloomin’ creative, I can tell you that. I don’t quite know how to define its genre either, have to stab at fantasy…or sheer madness.

Introducing Joe Spork, an honest clock maker, son of a crook, friend to a Dell boy character  and tangled up in the most horrific of webs.

And his counter-narrator, Edie Banister, ex-spy extraordinaire, living a much duller life with her trusty pup, Bastion. Pushing 90, she’s beginning to wonder if her past adventures even happened.

When Joe receives a mysterious job (and I mean mysterious…I.E…no client…and the device is …well, who knows?) Oh, wait. The device is a weapon of mass destruction, with lots of mechanical bees. Well why not set it off, Joe, I’m sure there won’t be any consequences. Or, you’ll be chased by crazy ruskinites, interrogated by obscure departments of the government and hailed as a terrorist. Throw in Edie’s old enemy, a man who has about four different names throughout the novel, and you’ve got a riot. Hard to follow? I think you get my point.

On the flip-side, the narrative style of this novel is actual gold. And several of the minor characters shine through in an abundance of hilarity (Mercer Cradle, you are my hero). So I don’t think this book is bad, but I think it’s certainly challenging. I would advise to read it when you actually have some time, rather than attempting to pick it up for 20 minutes everyday.