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Gnomon por Nick Harkaway
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Gnomon (edição 2017)

por Nick Harkaway (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
5421833,073 (3.78)32
"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"--… (mais)
Membro:msbrownmouse
Título:Gnomon
Autores:Nick Harkaway (Autor)
Informação:William Heinemann Ltd (2017), Edition: 1st
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:novel, fiction, read2021

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Gnomon por Nick Harkaway

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Mostrando 1-5 de 18 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Multiple layers of meaning and symbol. I can't feel I understood it all, but I enjoyed what I did understand. Full of questions of reality, identity, art, loyalty, humanity. Too dense at points, but fun action at other points. Funny, and serious. ( )
  keithostertag | Apr 14, 2021 |
A rather great set of interwoven story-lines marred by being too long and digressive. The writing style is spectacular and Harkaway has a huge vocabulary, (that he gleefully and constantly shows off). But the seemingly endless cleverness conversely ended up working against my enjoyment. In fairness, real life has been extremely busy lately and that impacted my ability to spend adequate time with this book, (it took me 15 days to read!). I may have rated this higher had I been better able to focus. Whatever the reason, as I reached the denouement I was feeling a bit exhausted and was thankful to finally finish.

That's not to say that other readers won't find this book brilliant. In many ways it is absolutely staggeringly brilliant. I simply found the nearly 700-page length to be a bigger container than needed to tell the story. ( )
  ScoLgo | Dec 27, 2020 |
Pretentious, written for critics, heavily influenced by fleeting politics of the moment. This has some great ideas and it's a shame it squanders it on predictable and trite social commentary. ( )
  TeaTimeCoder | Dec 23, 2020 |
This is a massive piece of work and not to undertaken lightly. It has shades of so many other great books but I won't name them as I think that takes away from both them and this book.

It is kaleidoscopic in both its scope and telling. It is multi-levelled/multi-timed in a way that becomes familiar more as the book progresses and less jarring. I could probably sum it up as 3 or 4 books all related and all running concurrently. That was how I came to understand it and to appreciate it.

I gave it 4 stars just because of the author's sheer audacity in pulling it off. Is it a good story? In bits and places yes it is, is it coherent, in bit and places, yes it is. Did I enjoy it? I'm not sure but I gave myself a gold star just for finishing it.

Would I recommend it? Dunno really ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
I'll admit up front that Harkaway's debut, [b:The Gone-Away World|3007704|The Gone-Away World |Nick Harkaway|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1328322676s/3007704.jpg|3038235], is one of my favourite books and his subsequent novels aren't too shabby either, but his fourth is quite remarkable. It is set partially in a near-future Britain run by the System, a data network that both organises the citizenry into an active direct democracy and keeps their lives efficient and safe. Data privacy is a thing of the past; you can query someone's identity and life by direct access to the System and Harkaway skillfully shows how this affects social mores.




This set up, of course, immediately makes the hairs of discomfort prickle on the napes of our necks; whether liberal or conservative or whatever mix, such phrases as "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear", "Those who give up liberty for safety, deserve neither" and "Panopticon" cannot help but spring to mind, thought the author does an excellent job of being even-handed in his presentation of the view.




The book starts with a death of a subject in interrogation by the Witness, the security arm of the System. This is presented as a unique occurrence, and immediately taken seriously and handed to the talented and driven Inspector Mielikki Neith. The manner of the interrogation is disturbing and reinforces fears about the ubiquitously invasive arm of the state, but this is leavened over time by the seriousness with which this event is treated and, well, by the fact that the System seems to work, and seems to be benevolent and effective.




I had said the book is set partially here. We soon are introduced to narratives which seem entirely unrelated - centred around a brilliant Greek mathematician who, following personal tragedy, has turned his skills to the stock market; the former lover of the 4th/5th century Bishop Augustine of Hippo, herself a philosopher and alchemist; and a talented Ethiopian artist who (barely) escaped his country for England in the political chaos following the fall of Haile Selassie.




Each thread is superbly written, capturing the differing voices and setting and moods. The writing contains a density of allusion and meaning and texture - yet with a lightness of touch - that immediately brought to mind [a:Umberto Eco|1730|Umberto Eco|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1455915753p2/1730.jpg] or [a:Neal Stephenson|545|Neal Stephenson|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1430920344p2/545.jpg] at his more focused, and [a:Paul Auster|296961|Paul Auster|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1455603276p2/296961.jpg]. It seems clear that these stories cannot be divergent and Harkaway indeed begins to weaves threads between them, though some of the clues turn out to be fish that, at the least, seem to be scarlet in certain light.




In weaving the threads together we are treated to an exploration of liberty versus safety and convenience, public transparency and the dangers of the malicious hacking of the democratic process (I cannot possibly imagine where that last idea came from...) but, as well as the clues to the central mystery, the nested narratives also show real human stories of tragedy and love and loss and betrayal and reconciliation and hope. There are also some beautiful metaphors about books, and the power of good ideas and arguments to succeed by literally changing the person who hears them.




This novel is a tour-de-force, brilliant and important and a bloody fantastic read. It could be argued that, toward the end, Harkaway explains things a little too clearly and leaves less ambiguity than Eco or Auster would, but this is, I think, due to the wider audience for whom he is writing; frankly, this book already asks a great deal of the reader and such ambiguities on top of that are not to the taste of a lot of people. However, this book deserves plaudits and huge sales and awards scifi and literary alike. It will stay with me for a long time and I am sure that, when i re-read it, I will find layers I missed this time around.




A word on format. I read this on my Kindle, partly as the 700 page paperback appears to be printed in 8-point font (yes, the info page says 11.5-point, but I suspect that to be the System gaslighting me) and found this all the more useful as I could immediately check unfamiliar words and references. If you are reading a hard copy and don't have a thorough knowledge of Greek mythology, I suggest keeping close to wikipedia. ( )
  Pezski | Jun 21, 2020 |
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"The death of a suspect in custody," says Inspector Neith of the Witness, "is a very serious matter. There is no one at the Witness Programme who does not feel a sense of personal failure this morning."
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"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"--

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