Here's what's wrong with architect Stanley Tigerman, in his own words: he's a bullheaded, egocentric demander of instant gratification with a short attention span, a big mouth, an unpredictable work product, and a permanent outsider's attitude. He's also, and most weirdly, a mystic seeker of "the ineffable," expressed in architecture as uninhabitable space.
In some respects, with Tigerman and to a lesser extent even his earlier novels, Harkaway reminds me of a softcore China Miéville. Mancreu is a mosaic of misfits, myth, and magic much in the way New Crobuzon is. The identities of Harkaway’s characters are fluid, always changing as the facts on the ground change, making for an interesting and dynamic story in which the protagonist is never sure he’s on solid ground.
"Astonishing ... Graham Greene would have treasured this book ... Nick Harkaway has all the writerly skills to pull it off. His Tigerman lives because of his wit and daring intelligence, and his empathy. Words quiver whenever he writes." Scotsman "Nick Harkaway's novels inhabit a remarkably imaginative territory. He is J.G. Ballard's geeky younger brother, pumped up on steam-punk and pop culture, interested in the effects of modern life on our psyches; he is J.G. Farrell's grandson, poking at the ruins of civilization and seeing what comes out ...Harkaway writes with a precision that belies the fantastical nature of his plots ...Nick Harkaway manipulates and subverts conventions and archetypes. He has created something with all the hallmarks of the craftsmanship that he extols, making Tigerman a sly commentary on authorship and genre; and perhaps more importantly, a fantasia both swashbuckling and glorious." Times Literary Supplement "Nick Harkaway's best novel yet, full of irrepressible adventure, practical vigilantism, an island murder mystery and some terrifyingly credible ideas including the seismic mash-up of chemical waste and unknown bacteria and the chilling no-man's land of the international of waters of the Fleet where anything goes. It's busting with heart and verve. I loved it utterly." -- Lauren Beukes "Harkaway occupies that enviable territory where books of a speculative nature intersect with the mainstream, as evidenced by his previous novels The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker. Tigerman, his third, is his best yet, a funny, moving and thought-provoking tale ... it's brilliant." Independent on Sunday "Extraordinary...The action sequences in Tigerman are some of Harkaway's best. As ever, the writing is economical but lively, revelling in modern idiom...[Has] the cinematic scope and dynamism one has come to expect from Harkaway...The ending of Tigerman is pitch-perfect, thrilling and dramatic." Literary Review