Nick Harkaway is one of those writers you may never hear about. Yet every few years he produces a book so nicely written you sometimes wonder why you can’t find any of his works on the book shops Top 100 list. Tigerman might have enough ammunition to make it onto that list. Let’s hope so. It is a brilliant read.
The light bulb moment for the story came when Harkaway was driving. “Island. Boy. Sergeant. Tiger. Black Fleet. Murder. Fatherhood. Leetspeak. Sorrow. Friendship. Crime. Heroism. Villainy. Love. Resolve. Resolution.” All the thoughts came through at once and thus the beginnings of the book were born.
Lester Ferris is an army sergeant, serving time on the fictional former British colony of Mancreu. He has befriended a young boy who is addicted to reading and collecting all types of comic books. Ferris warms up to the book, acting as a father figure for him for a large part of the story.
While this is happening, much of Mancreu as a nation has problems of its own. Soon to be destroyed due to the pollution, many rather seedy cartels are operating within the island, with activities ranging everywhere from money laundering to drug factories.
Unwilling to see the young boy discover trouble, Ferris is prepared to help him no matter what. This valiant act reminds me a lot of the tremendous risk soldiers often place themselves in for their comrades and for those who they are there to serve.
A moderately long 372 pages, it passes through pretty quickly. You will not be disappointed.