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One of Us [Paperback]

Michael Marshall Smith
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
Price: 8.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 July 2009

A mesmerising SF thriller from a master of the genre. Hap Thompson is a REMtemp, working the night hours, having people’s anxiety dreams for them. For the first time in his life, Hap’s making big money – and that should have been enough…

Hap Thompson has finally found something he can do better than anyone else. And it’s legal. Almost. Hap’s a REMtemp, working the night hours, having people’s anxiety dreams for them. For the first time in his life, Hap’s making big money – and that should have been enough.

But then Hap is made an offer he just can’t refuse: proxying memories instead of dreams. This is not almost illegal – this is illegal in bold with flashing lights. The last thing the cops want are criminals who can pass lie detector tests and Hap knows it, but he’s relying on the promise that he won’t have to carry anything that relates to a criminal offence. Big mistake. Before he knows what’s happening, Hap is locked in a vicious nightmare that threatens to tear his mind and his life apart…

And, as in all Michael Marshall Smith novels, that is just the start.

Frequently Bought Together

One of Us + Spares + Only Forward
Price For All Three: 24.40

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  • Spares 5.99
  • Only Forward 9.99

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (1 July 2009)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0007335156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007335152
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 334,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

If you like the brain-stretching work of William Gibson (author of Neuromancer) and Philip K. Dick (author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep?, which was the basis for Blade Runner), you'll feel right at home with this latest futuristic thriller from the author of the well-received Spares (available in paperback). It's 2017, and the first time we meet Hap Thompson he's being hassled in a bar in Ensenada by his alarm clock, which not only talks but walks and has a bad attitude. Hap, a prodigious computer hacker with a pretty bad attitude himself, works for an outfit called REMtemps, which offers a unique service--removing clients' bad dreams by sucking them into the heads of paid professionals. (Could Smith have been influenced at all by the title of one of Dick's best stories, "I Can Dream It for You Wholesale"?) Unfortunately, one of the bad dreams Hap is called on to swallow involves a real murder, and the search for the woman who dreamed it in the first place takes him--and us--on a literally mind-bending journey of scientific and philosophic discovery. But there's plenty of action, gadgetry, and snappy noir dialogue to make it all go down easily. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Praise for Michael Marshall Smith:

‘Some books stretch the imagination; this one mugs it’

‘A storytelling skill that can only be described as pure genius’

‘Comic, cruel, twisted and surreal’

‘Tense exciting and very, very funny… He’s worth every penny’

‘Smith is a genuine talent to follow’

‘Marks him out as a name to watch’

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Some writers (like Marshall Smith) deserve praise for the way they produce works that openly refuse to be easily categorised.
Here, for instance, is a story with an exciting sci-fi premise that in the future people can get paid to temporarily "download" nightmares (or if they want to break the law, they can also download memories). It's a concept just open to abuse, and sure enough our anti-hero has been stung with a memory that he has to return to its owner - memory of a murder. It's a concept good enough to be played straight but Marshall Smith refuses the easy way out. He peppers this book with strange, surreal humour (for instance household appliances that were a little too independent for their own good, like the alarm clock with whom he seems to have a running feud). He fills it out with many refreshingly original details, quirky and strange. It's hard to adequately describe what genre you're really reading. Sci-fi? Suspense? Humour? All of the above?
It's important too not to miss out on Marshall Smith's engaging moments of genuine emotional honesty. It's rare (especially in some science fiction which can be quite dry and stollid) to find someone who can make you stop, hold your breath and take stock of a passage that has just revealled something engagingly truthful about what it is to be a real flesh-and-blood human being. Remarkable and heady stuff.
My only trouble with Marshall Smith is that sometimes the action and suspense are underplayed (the ending seems particularly rushed) but this work is worth every penny of the asking price and more for the sum of its parts and for Marshall Smith's skill in weaving them together. This was my first taste of Michael Marshall Smith's writing and it has led me to buy all the work he has released so far. You won't find many writers like this, and it's well worth coming along for the ride. Trust me. You won't regret it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
First, a little of my MMS-reading history for you.
I like this author. Alot. I read a paragraph from Spares (his second novel) once in a magazine, and eventually hunted the book down. It was a fantastic litterary experience. Read its reviews and you'll see that other people agree with me.
So then I read his first book, Only Forward. Which was nice. And then I decided to read this.
Now, I really thought I had a handle on Michael Marshall Smith - his books are so surreal it's almost unnerving. Yet again, he got the better of me...
How often have you been speeding away from something at breakneck speed, and have nearly killed yourself because you needed to swerve to avoid a group of toasters who were crossing the road? And how often have you been in the middle of a hopeless gun battle, when the fridge, washing machine and dishwasher come to your aid? Well, they're all normal occurrances in the Los Angeles of Michael Marshall Smith's future. Just don't drink the coffee (read it and you'll know why).
MMS is a master of the first-person storytelling style - so much so you'll think the events are happening to you. If you're like me, and you just love to immerse yourself in a book, get to know your characters, the places, the appliances, you'll love this book.
It'll probably leave you thinking the same as me. I just wish I lived in one of his worlds - though I would just like to sit down occasionally and have a rest. Something you don't often get to do with MMS.
Buy it. Read it. Love it. Then read it again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of memory? More like out of this world... 6 May 2002
By A Customer
I enjoyed this book immensely. It is astounding, absurd, hilarious, extremely inventive and, at times, completely stupefying. I can honestly say that I have never read anything quite like it before.
What makes this book such a compelling read is the intricate plotting. As each new part of the puzzle is revealed, it's like you are in a maze that keeps restructuring itself. It soon becomes clear that the best thing to do is just hold on and expect absolutely anything.
I feel that Michael Marshall Smith tends to take accepted concepts and ideas, turns them on their heads and then adds liberal doses of the surreal for good measure. This makes for a truly exciting and invigorating reading experience.
There are also some deeply astute observations about the world and human nature in this book. So, as well as everything else, it is also very thought provoking. I really cannot recommend this book highly enough!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deus Ex Machina ...............Literally. 11 April 2002
"Spares" is an excellent Sci-Fi book - and this looked to be going the same way until about 3/4 of the way through. The plot was good. The typical MMS imagination was in full flow, and even Raymond Chandler was giving a helping hand with the dark imagery and existential one-person monologue of the Hap/Marlowe character....And then the writer must have got bored....or stuck.....because he used the ancient Deus Ex Machina plot trick to explain everything away. Although, this time it was worse because he literally did pull a "God from the Machine". My enjoyment of the excellent characterisation and plot had completely dissipated by the time I had read the final page, and I felt really let down. Why bother building this diverse cantilevered plotline and imagination-scape if you can't bring it together at the end without inventing a magic character to tie all your loose ends up for you - a bit like Zeberdee in the Magic Roundabout.
MMS is a talent, but try Spares or Only Forward instead.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars One Of His Books.
This was OK......... Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to damn "One Of Us" with faint praise; it wasn't a poor read: the concept was interestingly quirky, the writing... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Quentin Howarth
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for MMS & Sci-Fi fan's ....
MMS is a hugely gifted storyteller and a pleasure to read. His imagination & dark sense of humour take you on an amazing ride which is so eloquently written and so richly realised... Read more
Published 12 months ago by JoParky56
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in a futuristic sense.
M.M.Smith doesn't disappoint. Painting a complex, advanced futuristic thriller without patronising you and highly amusing to boot. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Craig Shaw
3.0 out of 5 stars good up to a point.....
....and that point came about 3/4 of the way through , whereupon it became rather monotonous and a bit of a let down.
Published on 14 Jan 2011
4.0 out of 5 stars Hacking, dreams, angels and aliens...
Every time I thought I was getting to grips with the story, something changed to make it even more bizarre. Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2010 by simon211175
3.0 out of 5 stars Fluid writing, well paced and a fusion of genres
I do not have a clue how this book ended up on my shelf, I can only remember it appeared there about a year ago and was subsequently neglected until I picked it up last week. Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2008 by Christine Knew
3.0 out of 5 stars Fluid writing, well paced and a fusion of genres
I do not have a clue how this book ended up on my shelf, I can only remember it appeared there about a year ago and was subsequently neglected until I picked it up last week. Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2008 by Christine Knew
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent read
I am not normally a big fan of sci-fi and so approached a book featuring sentient machines with some scepticism. Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2008 by the scribbler
3.0 out of 5 stars One Of Us Is Wrong
Although this book gets 10 out of 10 for originality, I can only award it 3 out of 5 for the final package. Read more
Published on 19 Mar 2008 by Mr. John Frank Herbert
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely great!
The first thing you should know: DO NOT read the first review after this one, it contains A HUGE spoiler. Read more
Published on 17 May 2007 by N. Meerfeld
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