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Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories about People Who Know How They Will Die Paperback – 13 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Bearstache Books (13 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982167121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982167120
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 296,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Product Description

Machine of Death "Machine of Death" tells 34 stories about people who know how they will die. The machine doesn't give the date or specifics; using only a blood sample, it just spits out a sliver of paper upon which are printed, in careful block letters, words such as "drowned, cancer, old age, " or "choked on a handful of popcorn." The realization that we could now know how we are going to die changes the world: Full description

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Rox on 25 Feb. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The simple but fascinating premise of all these stories is that a machine exists which can sample your blood and then predict how you are going to die: not in great detail, but just in an all-caps short sentence or even single word such as CANCER or DROWNING or SHOT BY SNIPER or VEGETABLES or IMPROPERLY PREPARED BLOWFISH or even TORN APART AND DEVOURED BY LIONS. All of those are story titles from this collection which ranges in tone from deeply satirical to the sweet and touching, via some full-blown dystopias and works of brilliantly funny black comedy.

How would life be different if you knew how you were going to die (or thought you did)? These stories look at every aspect of society: teenage cliques based on how cool your predicted death is; unemployed astrologers who no longer have a trade to peddle; dinner party games matching the prediction to the guest; fearless pilots who fly dangerously knowing that a crash is not how they are fated to go. The style of writing varies tremendously and some stories feel more professional than others but there's a fascinating range of responses here and overall this is a thought-provoking and entertaining collection. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Jacobs on 15 Feb. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm not generally a big fan of short story collections, but this one is different. They're all beautifully held together by the one absurd premise - that a machine can predict the manner of your death.
I do think the price here is a bit steep, however. After downloading the sample, I realised that there is a free pdf version available. The kindle isn't great at displaying pdfs, but I found it was less of a problem for short stories!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. N. Carter on 10 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The machine of death is a compilation of short works from a huge range of authors centred around the idea: "What if there was a machine that could predict how you die?" - The catch being that the machine only gives an often cryptic clue as to the cause with no time or specific circumstances but is always right. If you are comfortable with the grim subject matter then I would thoroughly recommend this.

The stories range from the macabre to the amusing and in some cases uplifting and show the broad range of imagination used by the various authors when interpreting the premise and how it would impact the lives of normal and not so normal people. It is difficult to further review the book due to the amount of different authors other than to say that I couldn't put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Perry on 20 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
Thoroughly enjoyed this from start to finish. Though there are some truly heartbreaking stories, you shouldn't be fooled by the morbid title; there are just as many uplifting, funny or dramatic tales too. The best thing I can say about a book is that it gets your mind buzzing, and every one of these stories had me gazing out beyond the story, into the world implied by the protagonits and extrapolated from the common thread. Tales concerning prophecy traditionally have a twist at the end ("from the womb untimely ripped") and this concept is played with again and again, but the different authors and outlooks prevent this from becoming stale. Very excited for the sequel!
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By SJSmith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 July 2014
Format: Paperback
I liked the story lengths in this collection; a nice size to read in a chunk. The concept is a fascinating idea and I liked the approach each author made with their story. In a collection it is often to difficult to love every single story and this was the case in this one for me; there were one or two I didn't enjoy as much as the others and one I ended up skipping through completely. Although they are separate stories I did feel like they linked well as there always seemed to be references made that I'd picked up before in someone else's story. I'd imagine in a physical book as opposed to the kindle that the illustrations would be excellent but even in the kindle they were good. All in all it is a book I'm pleased I came across.
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