- 2 of 2 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
- 2 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)
0 current holds with 2 total copies.
|Location||Call Number / Copy Notes||Barcode||Shelving Location||Status||Due Date|
|Crookston Public Library||HAR (Text)||33500012639258||Main||Available||-|
|Moorhead Public Library||HAR (Text)||33500012639241||Main||Available||-|
- ISBN: 9781524732080
- ISBN: 1524732087
- Physical Description: 661 pages ; 25 cm
- Edition: First American edition.
- Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2018.
|Summary, etc.:|| "From the widely acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World and Tigerman, a virtuosic new novel and his most ambitious book yet--equal parts dark comedy, gripping detective story, and mind-bending philosophical puzzle--set in a not-too-distant-future, high-tech surveillance state. 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. Gnomon is a dazzling, panoramic achievement from one of the most original voices in contemporary fiction"-- Provided by publisher.
- Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2018 January #1
*Starred Review* With every new novel, Harkaway manages to further explode the idea of boundaries as useful tools to contain our understanding of character, genre, and story. The notions of apocalypse and postapocalypse have been key ingredients in all of Harkaway's previous novels, but here he takes them in an altogether new direction, both thematically and narratively. The world of near-future Britain has become a total surveillance state, but this Big Brother isn't evil, or so we want to believe. Yes, our lives are controlled by the System, the outgrowth of a computer game expanded to the real world, and, yes, all our actions, emotions, and biological processes are monitored by an electronic police force called the Witness, which can detect when we are soon to experience a health crisis or commit a crime as well as how we feel about various public issues. But the System is theoretically driven by our needsâto be healthy, to avoid breaking the law, etc. The System and the Witness, that is, are designed to enhance freedom, not curtail it, to make possible a harmonious rather than an unruly democracy. Yes, but . . . this utopia has a few rough edges. There is a system beneath the System designed to make us feel the way a secret group called the Fire Judges wants us to feel, and, meanwhile, a counterculture of refuseniks has sprung up, determined to opt out of the System altogether.An intriguing premise, yes, but so far not all that unusual in the world of postapocalyptic fiction. That all changes when a refusenik named Diana Hunter dies during the brain probe that the System calls interrogation. A kind of Witness ombudsman, Mielikki Neith, is summoned to investigate, which means connecting her brain to Hunter's brain and experiencing what Hunter experienced during the interrogation. And so begins a narrative whirligig that spins the reader through the stories and characters in Hunter's (and Neith's) head: an Ethiopian painter who possesses magical abilities; his daughter, the computer genius who invented the game that spawned the System; a hedonistic Greek financier haunted by a mythic shark and by the number four; a first-century alchemist; and, most confoundingly, the titular Gnomon, a posthuman entity from the distant future who lives simultaneously across multiple bodies. These myth-laden stories all connect to Neith's investigation, but as Harkaway takes us deeper and deeper into the wormholes of his imagination, the fabric of those connections becomes less graspable: Is there a reality beyond Hunter's head? Is Neith our connection to that reality, or is she, too, a character in Hunter's head? "She knows so much," Harkaway says of Neith, "so why does she feel she still doesn't understand?" Readers will know very well what Neith is feeling. We don't understand, either; we don't even understand if our lack of understanding is a flaw in the novel or in ourselves. We recognize that Harkaway is delivering a ferociously powerful polemic about the subversive nature of deep-diving electronic surveillanceâits ability to rob individuals of their individualityâbut far, far beyond that, we also recognize the dazzling complexity and pyrotechnical brilliance of the world he has created here. Give Gnomon a galaxy of stars for its sheer audacity, and place it alongside such nearly as audacious novels as David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks (2014) and Iain Pears' Arcadia (2016). And recommend that brain-weary Harkaway readers follow up Gnomon with a little P. G. Wodehouse to decompress. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
NICK HARKAWAY is the author of three previous novels, The Gone-Away World, Angelmaker, and Tigerman, as well as a nonfiction work about digital culture, The Blind Giant: Being Human in a Digital World. He is also a regular blogger for The Bookseller's FutureBook website. He lives in London with his wife, a human rights lawyer, and their two children.
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