Genre: Science Fiction

Notes: This book requires an almost complete suspension of disbelief, but is worth the effort.


In a world that has – in  a word –  gone to shit, there are two types of people.  The regular, everyday people of the time before, and the new. The new are bad.  They want to eat your children.  The file their teeth into points and have developed a taste for house cats, babies, and a splash of puppy blood with their eggs.  The regular people live their lives in fear of the new and Stuff.  Everyone lives on slivers of earth near the Jorgmund Pipe because the Pipe spits out FOX, a concoction that neutralizes the Stuff and lets people live ordinary lives.  Or, as ordinary as ordinary can get after the Go Away bomb.

Scientists hailed the Go Away bomb as the next great weapon.  It didn’t leave messy aftereffects like nuclear fallout or evidence of disaster.  It simply made them Go Away.  Completely wiped them from the face of the earth with not even a molecule left to show there had ever been anyone living in that location.  Except it didn’t exactly work out as planned.  The Go Away bomb created Stuff.  This Stuff had the power to change thoughts and ideas (things people dreamed at night, passing wishes and fantasies) into reality.  It sounds great in theory, but people don’t dream about nice things all the time.  People created Monsters with the power to withstand bullets, great fire breathing slugs that oozed acid, and people fused with horses to make sort of messed-up centaurs.  In short, the Go Away bomb was a disaster.

Enter Jorgmund and his brilliant invention of FOX.  FOX makes life livable and creates what people call The Livable Zone.  The Pipe runs across the world and where it goes, communities spring up in its wake, comforted by its presence.  Except the Pipe is on fire.  Enter our nameless hero and his other half, Gonzo.  They and their crew must put out the fire on the Jorgmund Pipe to save humanity.  But in the process, they learn more about the new, encounter mimes, battle ninjas, and tons of other fun adventures.

The Gone Away World was a great read, but be warned.  Like I said in the Notes at the top, it requires an almost complete suspension of disbelief.  There are random tangents that don’t seem to make sense and don’t come together until the very end.  And Nick Harkaway loves to hear himself talk, and it shows in the way her writes the novel.  He thinks he’s such a freaking genius (which, ok, he might be) which is kind of annoying.  Highly recommend.