I had really high hopes for this book, and for the first hundred pages or so, I was sure they would be fulfilled and even exceeded. I absolutely loved Goneaway World, and Angelmaker has the same zany, edgy, creative humor. The writing in Angelmaker is much more mature than Goneaway World. The characters are great, the story is fun and funny, and I was having a great time.Until.... [mild spoiler alert for the rest of this paragraph] the middle of the book got really bogged down. The plot stalled for a while, and so did the sub-plots. The big idea behind the book also fell a little flat. The device that is supposed to bring about the end of the world does so by removing subjectivity from the world - the bees of doom somehow make everyone always know and tell the truth. The book never really explains how that will end the world, or explores the implications of truth. So the thing that drives the entire plot never entirely made sense to me. Then, there were several torture scenes. I'm not so prudish as to be offended by torture per se, but if I'm going to have to sit through many many pages of really horrific torture, I want it to be for a good reason. I never felt like the torture drove the plot or enhanced the story in any way - it was horrible and nightmarish, and didn't seem worth it to me. Ostensibly, the point of the torture is that it turns mild-mannered Joe Spork into Crazy Joe, but the transformation felt very false. Joe spends the whole book struggling with the tension between following in the footsteps of his gangster father, or his law-abiding clockmaker grandfather. This tension felt false, and it didn't seem genuine that choosing the gangster path was the right one. Clearly, Harkaway wants us to root for the gangster side of Crazy Joe, but it's never really clear why.The end of the book was lots of fun, and had a good, all-out, explosive climax. But I the character development didn't make much sense, and parts of the plot just didn't fit in very well.