Gnomon

Gnomon

A Novel

Book - 2018
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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"--
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2018.
Edition: First American edition.
ISBN: 9781524732080
1524732087
Branch Call Number: FIC HARK
Characteristics: 661 pages ; 25 cm

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m
mogollon
Mar 03, 2018

I’ve never read another book like this one. It infects the brain and unfolds in the mind uniquely.

The easy way to describe it is a science fiction thriller. But like the plot and theme of the book illustrate, peel off that top onion skin of labels, and you find so many more layers beneath.

The science fiction side was fully realized. Lots of tech and math, but nothing too overwhelming. At times I only caught the spirit, not the letter of the math, but it was enough. Yes, it’s dystopian, but it rises far above most dystopian worlds.

I figured out the “twist” pretty early on — I’m not a reader of thrillers, but all the big ones now have twists, so I assume that’s what it is — and the foreknowledge didn’t mitigate the horror and complexity once it was finally revealed.

I’m now listening to JS Bach, which is something I never do. I’m trying to get my untrained ears to examine the counterpoint, which I’d never thought I’d ever do. This book won’t just stick with me, it has changed me. As the author intended.

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