The Gone-Away World, By Nick Harkaway

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The Independent Culture

Debut novelist Nick Harkaway, son of John Le Carré, shares none of his father's Cold War cool, though he has created his own alternative universe.

This post-apocalyptic kung-fu war epic is one of the noisiest novels around, populated by clamorous ninjas, mime-artists and geeks.

The world has survived catastrophe, but the Jorgmund Pipe – which bathes the earth in a protective mist – is on fire. One of the truckers sent to put out the flames is the narrator, keen to tell the story of professional hero Gonzo Lubitsch, in a genre-colliding work of impressive stamina, high invention and very low jokes.