A Novel

Book - 2018
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In the world of Gnomon, citizens are ceaselessly observed and democracy has reached a pinnacle of "transparency." When suspected dissident Diana Hunter dies in government custody during a routine interrogation, Mielikki Neith, a trusted state inspector, is assigned to the case. Immersing herself in neural recordings of the interrogation, she finds a panorama of characters and events that Hunter gave life to in order to forestall the investigation: a lovelorn financier in Athens who has a mystical experience with a shark; a brilliant alchemist in ancient Carthage confronting the unexpected outcome of her invention; an expat Ethiopian painter in London designing a controversial new video game. In the static between these mysterious visions, Neith begins to catch glimpses of the real Diana Hunter--and, alarmingly, of herself, the staggering consequences of which will reverberate throughout the world.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2018
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9781524732080
Characteristics: 661 pages ; 25 cm


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SPPL_KatySchulz Feb 07, 2018

Oh, my. I wanted to love this book, but it was a bit of a slog--almost 700 pages, multiple narrators, and some dense philosophical musing obscure an actual plot. This book is assuredly smarter than I am.

Jan 09, 2018

Once upon a time a children's bookseller told me that the mark of a really good book is that the moment you finish it, you want to read it again. This book is 700 pages, and there's a lot packed into that length -- it took me a couple weeks of BART commutes and late nights to get through it. But when I did, I flipped back to the first page and started up again. My partner got a week off between Christmas and New Year's Day, and I prodded and poked and eventually succeeded in getting someone else to read it so that I could talk about all of the amazing stuff Nick Harkaway packed into this tome. When my partner finished it last night I was already asleep, but we were both late out the door this morning because we had so much ground to cover. A book like Stoner, by John Williams, covers in great detail the life of an individual; when you read Gnomon, you'll meet several people and learn about their lives, what makes them tick, what could change their minds about a variety of topics, and what they fear most. By the end, you'll know them all pretty well. And you'll wonder, as I and my partner both did, how it is possible that Mr. Harkaway could hold all of this life, all of these perspectives, in his grasp. I reread the ending just before I left for work this morning and it is just as stunning and profound as on the first reading.


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