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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
5 Stars
22 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
8 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
2 reviews have 3 stars
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2 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
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All Book Reviews

  • Mind-altering and vocabulary-expanding

    Of all the novels I’ve read this year, Gnomon is by far the most ambitious, conceptually and stylistically. Nick Harkaway is surely the intellectual love-child of M.C.Escher and Umberto Eco. I find it nearly impossible to describe Gnomon. It’s a thriller, a mystery, dystopian (or utopian?), literary, verging in moments on academic. The story unfolds through various interweaving narratives (think David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas). Narration shifts through various third person and first person voices, and yet each voice is so distinct that you never have to wonder whose story you’re reading now. Tension ebbs and flows, and the pace is relatively sedate, with long explorations of mythology, politics, catabasis, and steganography. Gnomon makes you work hard but the payoff is beyond worth it. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Thank you to Nick Harkaway and William Heinemann via NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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    4 person found this review helpful

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  • A great story lost.

    There is a cracking tale hidden within this book that if it were told simply would be thrilling. Unfortunately, there are so many layers of cleverness overlain with obscurantist words and classical references that it beomes just too much work to follow it.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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  • For the love of novelty

    Gnomon is brillent a puzzle in a book and like nothing else i've read.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • Difficult but intriguing and satisfying

    In retrospect, there is something of Phillip K Dick in this story. I found it a hard read, in terms of keeping track of the multiple threads and trying to spot the links but it is a really good story with a couple of really good plot twists and is ultimately a very satisfying read. It is quite contemporaryand relevant, Which I enjoyed.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • Big book, big ideas

    This is a big book: big in number of pages, big in ideas. It’s about the zeitgeisty ideas of our digital century: surveillance and identity and security and privacy. It takes in the global financial crisis, ancient witchcraft, modern cults, art, and software development. It’s entirely unpredictable. I’ve only read one of Nick Harkaway’s books before, and I enjoyed large parts of it but found some of it to be too much like Douglas Adams (an author I’ve never really got on with). Gnomon is nothing like that; it’s smart and serious and wry, never forced. I probably need to read this again as I only read a little each night before I slept, and there’s so much in here that I’m sure I missed a lot because I was tired. But it was very, very good.

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