Monday, October 6, 2008

Nick Harkaway

From a Q & A with Nick Harkaway about his debut novel, The Gone-Away World:

Gone-Away World has been compared to everything from Dickens to Rushdie to Terry Pratchett. Have you heard any parallels that you feel are really off the mark?

The Observer said it was "Thackeray on acid," and that caught me off balance. But the Vonnegut comparison makes me extremely happy.

But the authors you acknowledge yourself predate dystopian satire: Dumas, Doyle, and Wodehouse.

I would guess that if you could track down Vonnegut and his guys, they'd also point to those adventure-story writers. I think lots of boys sat down with The Three Musketeers and felt it was a really long book, but then discovered that it's a really gripping swashbuckling story. Pynchon's still around. You don't want to be doing something just like Pynchon. I want Pynchon to come up to me at a bar and say, "That book you wrote — it wasn't bad."
Read the complete Q & A.

About all these comparisons, January Magazine editor Linda L. Richards writes: "As the son of one of the top-selling authors in the world, one can imagine Harkaway has had it to here with comparisons. And, truly, The Gone-Away World demonstrates a clear voice and sharp vision. And, whatever else, with everyone scratching about for all these wonderful comparisons (Pynchon, Vonnegut, Rushdie and Dickens, for crying out loud!) it’s clear, boyfriend can write." [read on]

--Marshal Zeringue