Books

Book Review: Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

I struggled with this one a bit (to put it mildly.) It was like reading Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco in my teens and not being able to follow it at all, but I’m an adult now and have read my fair share of books. So this should be a cakewalk. Nope, despite having finally understood Foucault’s Pendulum a few years ago after a reread (still didn’t care for it much, and not that difficult only tedious,) but Gnomon was… I’m at a loss with words. It is tedious too, yes; the plot is twisted, and you have to work hard to follow what is going on, yet, there is something strangely alluring about it. The utopian world, the encounter with the shark opening a new perspective, the death, the surveillance, immigration, and the list is endless, makes this book appealing. The characters are compelling. We get to spent time with them and their thoughts. Still, I would like to say, it tries too much; it is too pretentious; it is too full as there is beauty in the simple which can portray the complex idea in a few sentences.

But am I being too harsh? Does it lose the meaning when everything is crammed into a small pace? 700 pages are comparatively short for all the subjects handled in this book. As it is a detective story, it is a dystopian utopia of surveillance and governmental control; it is about transcending consciousness; it asks a question your memories or mine; questions the use of AIs; it gives us an opportunity to glance back into history, to Rome; it plays with the concept of fear and fame mixed with self-realization. That is a lot for a book. And there were times I was wondering is this a deliberate misdirection or mess left there for the readers to piece together what on earth is going on. But mysteries are fun, books that make you work hard are fun? Sometimes I think, oh yes. Other times, I appreciate the simplicity portraying the complexity still not missing anything.

If the previous sounds swell, then you might have a good time with Gnomon. I have this weird notion that I will return to this book when the time is right and see if my first thoughts were correct, or did I miss the point entirely. And definitely choose text version (physical over digital) as with listening to an audiobook, there is no keeping up.

Thank you for reading, have a utopian day!

0 comments on “Book Review: Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Alphabet Ravine

Lydia Rae Bush Poetry

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Learning to write

Just your average PhD student using the internet to enhance their CV

The Weatherwax Report

HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

unbolt me

the literary asylum

Life of Chaz

Exploring What Captivates, Inspires, and Intrigues Us.

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

the Little Red Reviewer

Book Reviews: Scifi, Fantasy, and the stuff in between

The Fantasy Inn

Fantasy book reviews, recs, raves and rants. Mostly.

Fantasy-Faction

Writing for peace of mind

Fantasy Book Critic

Writing for peace of mind

%d bloggers like this: