Book - 2012
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Avoiding the lifestyle of his late gangster father by working as a clock repairman, Joe Spork fixes an unusual device that turns out to be a former secret agent's doomsday machine and incurs the wrath of the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780307595959
Branch Call Number: FIC HARK
Characteristics: 481 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Angel maker


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SCL_Justin Jul 20, 2017

Angelmaker was my first Nick Harkaway book. It’s about superspies, the clockworking son of London’s criminal king (but the good kind of crimes that are all about sticking it to society’s betters), a corrupted cult of technologists against mass-production and a globe-spanning swarm of mechanical bees. It’s pretty amazing.

In a lot of ways it reminded me of a more pulpy-fun Thomas Pynchon novel, though Neal Stephenson might be a bit more apt a comparison. Joe Spork doesn’t fall into the Stephenson-ultracompetence trap though. He’s just a guy caught up in things too big for him to deal with on his own. There’s a murder and torture and with the support of his lawyer and some revelations about himself and his ancestry there’s a plot to save the friggin world. Very good book. Lots of fun.

May 09, 2017

I think that if someone had a lot of money this would make a good movie as long as they paid attention to the details of the story and also included a prologue statement on the screen(like they did in "Star Wars"(the first movie).

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 22, 2014

A richly constructed fantasy world of London gangsters, wildly improbably technology, apocalyptic threats, and an eerie cult of John Ruskin followers. Hugely entertaining, and a bit like reading a hybrid of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Jun 05, 2014

I loved this book. If it was possible to give it more than 5 stars I would have.

Joe Spork fixes antique clocks for a living. It is a quiet life and nothing like that of his fathers, the infamous Mathew “Tommy Gun” Spork, which is just how he wants it. When Joe comes across an unusual clockwork mechanism that he could only dream of being able to build, his orderly life is thrown into disarray. The British government, a South Asian dictator, monks, an ex-secret service agent, his father’s old cronies and a secret from the 1950’s, all join together to make this a memorable story.

This tale was complex, funny and spellbinding. It makes me wish I was a bit cleverer so I could do a review that does it justice. But seeing as I am not that kind of person I will just stick to saying that I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Dec 14, 2013

This is a complex and hilarious read. I really enjoyed it and now I am enjoying listening to my husband laugh out loud as he reads it.

JeremiahSutherland Jan 11, 2013

The author says it most succinctly close to the end of his book. "Windbag". Some great ideas, amusing wordplay and good narrative. Too bad there's so much padding with pointless prose that does nothing to advance the story. Very sad.

Nov 06, 2012

Like nothing else I've ever read, this book is a combination of modern/victorian England, steampunk, hilarious british wit & mayhem. I'll never look at bees the same way.

ChristchurchLib Sep 19, 2012

"Is it too early to be picking favourites? I hesitate to say this, but I think I may already have found my best read of 2012 ... Can it really be that everything else is downhill from this book?"

Read the Christchurch City Libraries blog post

Jul 16, 2012

Well, that was fun!

Jul 04, 2012

Loved it. Such fun! Spies, sexiness, philosophy, and redemption. Burp.

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Jul 16, 2012

'To wait up with the dead; to take what they have no use for and set it aside; that the corpse looks lively on the day; to see the dead from bed to dirt, and no indignity more than what fate inflicts; to serve the wailing widow and the lonely man with grace, and carry the Waiting Man's Quiet like a comforter, that is lent at need; to hear the Screaming, and let it have no voice; to preserve the silence of the dead, and keep their secrets; to take fair payment and seek no favours; and to move on, without regret.'
--The Waiting Man's Promise


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