Monday, June 10, 2013

Blaine's Top 10 Books - Day 6

Spares, Michael Marshall Smith

One day about 15 years ago I picked up a battered paperback copy of this book at a branch library in Seminole County, FL.  Then I put it back down since it didn’t look very promising.  It was, however, pretty slim pickings at the library that day so I picked it back up again and checked it out.  Now it’s in my top 10.

It starts out, as you might be able to guess, as a story about clones used for spare parts, but that storyline, while continuing throughout the rest of the novel, really takes a backseat to a host of other plotlines and a really weird & nasty parallel world that’s spilling over into the real one.  It gets confusing, and you may need to read it twice to catch everything and sort it all out.  I’ve read it three times.  So far.

Be warned, it is weird.  It’s sublimely hilarious at one turn and brutally violent in the next.  Crime, distorted reality, flying shopping malls, side-slipping, cats, a drug called Rapt, and a main character intent on avenging the past make for a really wild ride.  Even so, I probably wouldn’t be such a fan except for the fact that I just really like how the author writes.  There’s a cleverness to his writing that I can’t help but appreciate.

A few years ago I found a limited edition hardback copy of Spares signed by the author (#106 of 500) at our Friends of the Library book store here in little old Liberty, KY.  I got it for $1.  Giddiness ensued.

(also: One of Us;  Only Forward both also by MMS, both also very weird)

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