( Hey folks - long time, no talk. Hope all of you are doing well. ) I read a book recently that I thought this group might really enjoy - and if any of you have the opportunity to read it, I'd love to know what you think. It's a mystery/detective story with an extraordinarily complex plot (or plots), multiple layers of potential meaning, rich with puzzles, imagery, and questions. The sort of thing I think the heretic community might get a lot of discussion mileage out of. Plus, it's very current - in terms of the relevance of cultural and political issues.
The book is Gnomon, by Nick Harkaway. It's brand new - not officially released yet in the US, so I ordered it from a UK website.
Anyway. I recommend it. And I'd be interested in your impressions if you read it (though any open discussion would need a spoiler warning, I think). I finished the book sometime last week, and I'm still puzzling over some things - thumbing back through, and turning the story over in my mind.
The cost via Amazon UK is roughly $25. Was the place you ordered from cheaper?
Interesting. The price I see at Amazon UK is £10.49 ... which is about $15. I probably paid another 6 or 7 bucks for shipping — so yeah, it was about $25 total. (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gnomon-Nick-Harkaway/dp/1785151274)
Actually, if you read e-books, this would be a good one to have in that format. At it looks like the U.S. release date is January 9th, on Kindle. (Many times, I found myself wishing I could search the text for recurring images, phrases, and topics... the weaving of themes, ideas, and storylines is hard to keep track of on first read.)
Full Disclosure: A few years ago, I read Tigerman... and it was very good. Not great. But good enough that I remained interested in the author. Then, last January or February, I saw this blog post by Harkway about Gnomon - a post worth reading, IMO - and I decided I had to read this book. (That blog post left me wondering if GRRM wrote his books in similar fashion. And I thought GRRM should take a lesson from Harkaway on how to finally let go and publish.)
At the time, Gnomon's release date was October 2017. So I calendared it. Then it got pushed to November. And come November... when I was ready to read the book, it turned out the UK and US publication dates were different! And the US release was January. So I said "screw it," and just ordered from Amazon UK.
So. No reason not to wait another month, and save a few bucks... unless, like me, you just have to have it right away.
I am intrigued, just wondering if I want to spend $25 to order now from UK.
Yeah, no rush - maybe wait for a deal. And I don't mean to overhype the book, either. I do have some critiques - it's not the easiest read, in some ways. And I'm pretty sure that, even now, I don't completely get it. But it's a book that invites the sort of picking-apart you find in I'M SCRATCHING MY CROTCH ASOIAF communities. I think it's intentionally designed for that treatment, and it may not be possible to fully understand the story without digging in that way. In fact, the whole thing can get rather "meta" at times:
...This raises a tangential point: the modern period's obsession with art that comments upon its own artificiality and undermines its inherited gravitas by commentary is itself undermined by that inheritance. Also implicit is an early form of the Deep Blue Question: if one seeks with sufficient ingenuity in any sample, one can create a cryptographic rationale for any output text — therefore in any investigation the key problem is not how to begin, but where to stop...
So anyway. Again: let me know if you do pick up a copy! I'd be interested in talking this one over.