25 May 2010

Day 59: The Gone-Away World

The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway.  ISBN: 9780307268860.

This is a most hideous cover.  I apologize, but I'm not the author, and what was he thinking?  Because of this I will make an exception of including the book cover for every post I write about this particular horrendously bedecked book.  So you only have to see it once, but I get to keep blathering about it.  You're welcome.

Since I'm already on the topic of book covers, let's go with that.  This book has actually been almost painful to read.  It feels like the cover itself is telling me to go away and play outside.  Even with the book open, the colors almost scream at me.  I am rather familiar with the whole not judging a book crap.  I am rather familiar about the whole not judging a book crap.  But you know what, it often does say a lot, if not about the book, then at least about the author.  Or at the very least,  whoever had control of selecting the cover.

What is this book about?  This book is about a world that was created after a terrible, terrible "Go Away" bomb was dropped.  This bomb has done something to change the world so that mutant-y things roam the earth...I think.  In this case the blaring cover causes about as much confusion as the writing.  We're introduced to a mass of characters in a bar, and as we're just getting to know them the power goes out, and Oh look! End of the world!  Do we get to see a handy resolution to this, with a lovely climactic build-up and a hero-saves-the-day ending?  Well...I don't know yet.  Because Harkaway went from end of the world to OMG BACKSTORY INSERT HERE!!!  And I haven't gotten past it yet.  I try not to post before I finish the book in case there are some big hooj themes that reach up and slap my head around with thoughty goodness.  But technically, the cover is both the start and the end of the book, so um, yeah.

Anyway, what I was saying about the cover...  This guy is smart.  There's a lot of smart in the book.  Maybe a little too much smart.  Those studies in philosophy and sociology and politics may have helped Harkaway write this book, but they did not give him marketing smarts.  What says end of the world like make-me-puke-after-three-hours-of-color-induced-migraine?  Well, yeah, not this actually.  The colors are just a little too cheery and jarring to really put me in the mood for a wild ride through...hundreds of pages of backstory.

1 comment:

  1. I love the phrase "don't judge a book by it's cover," because, as a coworker recently pointed out, that is exactly what I get paid to do. It makes me chuckle.


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