Friday, August 29, 2014

Nick Harkaway Claws Out A Tigerman

"If Pippa Middleton and Megan Fox had announced their intention to marry during a live theatrical production of Fifty Shades of Grey starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and then taken off their clothes to reveal their bodies tattooed with the text of the eighth Harry Potter novel, they might just have approached this level of frenzy. But probably not, the boy said, because not everyone liked Benedict Cumberbatch." — Tigerman by Nick Harkaway.

Frenzy is precisely the right word to describe the atmosphere on the rapacious backwater island of Mancreu. On any other day, it might not be. But these days are different. The former British colony is sitting on a volcano poised to belch a mysterious and toxic elixir of chemicals into the atmosphere.

The international community, concerned for its own safety, is determined to do something. Their solution, expectantly enough, is to blow the entire island up. And while this idea might not work, everyone will feel satisfied that they at least did something.

It's the end of the world for Mancreu. And everyone feels fine. 

Except, not everyone. Sergeant Lester Ferris, who is acting British Brevet-Consul by default, has befriended a brilliant street kid with a comic-book fixation. He appropriately calls himself Robin.

Like many of the citizens of Mancreu, his fate is uncertain. Once the international community evacuates the island, the boy will need a new home. And the war-weary 39-year-old veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan sees himself as a candidate to become the boy's father — assuming he is an orphan.

Robin may need some additional help too. As the island's fragile society begins to break down in the face of a manmade doomsday, the multinational array of shady businesses that have parked themselves offshore are growing restless. Called the Black Fleet, this illicit collection of ships includes spy stations, arms dealers, offshore hospitals, money-laundering operations, drug factories, torture centers, and other nasty elements.

The societal breakdown and offshore urgency eventually collide when a gang bursts into a citizen's bar and shoots it up, killing Robin's friend Sholax. It is this event that kindles Robin's idea that what the island really needs is a superhero — one that he believes can be assumed by Sergeant Ferris.

While never intending to do much more than appease the boy he is beginning to love like a son, Ferris agrees to assume the identity of a superhero conjured up from the boy's imagination. At minimum, Ferris believes he can investigate the murder as Tigerman while following orders to do as little as possible and watch over the former consulate house. This passive plan fails outright and Tigerman not only captures the heart of Mancreu, but also the attention of the entire world.

A few graphs about author Nick Harkaway. 

Nick Harkaway
Nick Harkaway burst onto the literary scene when his first novel, The Gone-Away World, found itself in a seven-way auction between publishers. It was eventually won by Heinemann, which paid a £300,000 advance for the story about special operatives who are hired to perform a mission in an post-apoclypic world. He followed this novel up with Angelmaker.

He was originally born Nicholas Cornwell and educated at the University College School in Norht London. He studied hilosophy, sociology and politics and took up Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu. He doesn't talk about such as much, preferring to share more important information like enjoying Italian red wine, unlikely clothes, Chinese food, good-humoured anecdotes, Argentine tango, Swiss cheese, American burgers, carving skis, alpine snowboards, P G Wodehouse, Alexandre Dumas, and blonde human rights lawyers (especially the one he married). They have two children. He is full of win.

Tigerman By Nick Harkaway Punches 9.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

Tigerman has an authenticity that slowly sneaks up on its readers as Nick Harkaway tackles parenthood, friendship, and loyalty under the guise of secret identities, heroes, and what it really takes to be one. Although contemporary, the tone has an expressly human and vintage quality to it. It is one of those rare books that someone reads and feels like a better person for having read it.

Tigerman: A Novel by Nick Harkaway is available from Amazon or can be downloaded for iBooks. The audiobook is also available from iTunes, narrated by Matt Bates who brings the story to life by balancing the protagonist's pragmatism and boy's enthusiasm. You can also order Tigerman by Nick Harkaway from Barnes & Noble.
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