Review round-up of Gnomon by Nick Harkaway
Near-future Britain is not just a nation under surveillance but one built on it: a radical experiment in personal transparency and ambient direct democracy. Every action is seen, every word is recorded.
Diana Hunter is a refusenik, a has-been cult novelist who lives in a house with its own Faraday cage: no electronic signals can enter or leave. She runs a lending library and conducts business by barter. She is off the grid in a society where the grid is everything. Denounced, arrested and interrogated by a machine that reads your life history from your brain, she dies in custody.
Mielikki Neith is the investigator charged with discovering how this tragedy occurred. Neith is Hunter’s opposite. She is a woman in her prime, a stalwart advocate of the System. It is the most democratic of governments, and Neith will protect it with her life.
What reviewers and bloggers are saying.....
Gnomon is masterful. Winter is falling upon us. The nights are drawn in. Please, treat yourself, pick up a copy of Gnomon, cuddle into your favourite chair, pour yourself something nice and turn to the first page. The journey will be worth it.
Beguiling, multilayered, sprawling novel that blends elements of Philip K. Dick–tinged sci-fi, mystery, politics, and literary fiction in a most satisfying brew.
This is a great wriggling plot, full of red herrings, techie sidetracks, political invective and dead ends, but it turns out to be startlingly elegant in motion. Whoah, indeed. I wanted to give it a round of applause.
Intelligent, driven, for me summed up in that blurb sentence that reads “a solution that steps sideways as you approach it” Gnomon is challenging, wonderful, descriptively fascinating, unrelentingly clever and in the end worth every moment of your time. A grand sprawling epic of indescribable proportions.