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Spares Hardcover – 7 Oct 1996


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Hardcover, 7 Oct 1996
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (7 Oct 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002246562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002246569
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.8 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,477,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘Comic, cruel, twisted and surreal’
EMPIRE

‘Some books stretch the imagination. This one mugs it’
DAVID BADDIEL

‘Tense, exciting and at times very, very funny… He’s worth every penny’
TIME OUT

‘Witty, hard-edged and coruscatingly imaginative… Compellingly off-kilter’
NEW SCIENTIST

‘Spares blurs imaginative surrealism and hard-bitten horror with a storytelling skill that can only be described as pure genius’
VENUE

‘A compulsively readable melding of hardboiled narrative and hardware invention’
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

--This text refers to the Digital Download edition.

From the Back Cover

' Spares ' – human clones, the ultimate health insurance. An eye for an eye – but some people are doing all the taking.

' Spares ' – the story of Jack Randall: burnt – out, dropped out, and way overdrawn at the luck bank. But as caretaker on a Spares farm, he still has a choice, and it might make a difference…if he can run fast enough.

' Spares ' – a breathless race through strange, disturbing territories in a world all too close on our own.

' Spares ' it’s fiction. But only just…

“ Comic, cruel, twisted and surreal.”
EMPIRE

“Some books stretch the imagination.This one mugs it.
DAVID BADDIEL

“Tense, exciting and at times very, very funny…He’s worth every penny.”
TIME OUT

“Witty, hard – edged and coruscatingly imaginative…Compellingly off – kilter.”
NEW SCIENTIST

“ ' Spares ' blurs imaginative surrealism and hard – bitten horror with a storytelling skill that can only be described as pure genius.”
VENUE

“A compulsively readable melding of hardboiled narrative and hardware invention.”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Grimes on 24 April 2003
Format: Paperback
Before I read this book I always assumed Sci-Fi books were stories about weird aliens – written by geeks, for geeks. My friend lent me this book and I wasn’t really expecting it to be any good.
I was hooked from the first page. The world the story is based in is very, very cool. I now understand the term, cyber-punk. Drug-dealing, gun-totting, nutters living in a high-tech world, populated with scum.
The book is a detective story set in a huge shopping centre. The shopping centre used to travel from continent to continent (it can fly) but broke down and never resumed its journey. It’s a massive self-contained city, 100’s of floors high. The scum live at the bottom and the rich at the top. The detective is the, rapt-addicted, janitor of the “spares” farm. He determines to set right the injustices that the spares have suffered. In doing this, he has to confront his, very dark, past.
I read the book in one sitting. I started reading it at about 11.00pm and was reading it for so long that I didn’t go to university the next day.
I concur with the other reviews on this page. This is one of the only books I’ve read that I didn’t want to end.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By N. Davies on 13 Nov 2002
Format: Paperback
...I'm not kidding - I picked up a copy of Spares in a second hand bookshop a few years ago, thinking (from the blurb on the back) that it sounded like a good way to waste a couple of hours.
After reading this book I immediately went out and ordered 'Only Forward' and 'One of Us' (this was before MMS's books were readily available)
'Spares' is about a man (Jack Randall) trying to give a scrap of humanity to the Spares (clones of humans that can be harvested for spare parts should something happen to their real life counterparts) he is in charge of by introducing them to the real world and releasing them from the farm where they were kept. Jack Randall is a man trying to escape from his past, but ultimately ends up falling face first back into it.
Michael Marshall Smith creates a future world that is bizarre, but also, somehow believable - it all makes sense in some weird pseudo-science way, everything has a half plausible explanation.
I love this book because you can savour every line, there is something interesting in each and every sentence. I love the future world it creates, the character of Jack Randall - the way he thinks and talks and especially New Richmond.
You will not regret buying this book, I have lent my (now very battered) copy to several people who have immediately begged to borrow my other Michael Marshall Smith books or gone out to buy their own.
If you enjoy this book can I also suggest 'Only Forward' and 'One of Us' along with the book of short (and somewhat disturbing) stories 'What You Make It' all by Michael Marshall Smith.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Brown on 6 Oct 2001
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the first few pages of Spares more than any other begining to a book I have ever read. It draws the reader into the pace of the narrative and is then maintained for the rest of the book. Other reviews will tell you how great the plot is, which is undoubtedly true. It could be made into a great film although some of the sureal locations the text visit would probably end up being cut out of the script;a shame as they are hugely interesting places to visit in ones own imagination. The book is brimming with ideas that I would guess Michael had been incubating for years. Humorus and perverse scenes that make you grin to yourself give the reader a needed rest from the deeply disturbing main theme of the story. I first read Spares about three years ago and every advance I learn about in genetic engineering brings the warnings within this book back to my mind.There is a great deal of the author in the hero of the story, so if you have read other novels by Michael then reading Spares will give a good insight into his character (I used to know MMS quite well and I recognise much of him in the main character).Spares is a wonderful read that I would recommended to anyone because it is both easy to read and imaginatively stimulating. .....Great Science Fiction Chewie!!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "burnt9" on 22 Aug 2005
Format: Paperback
'Spares' is without doubt one of my favourite novels, jostling for the top-spot only with William Gibson's seminal 'Neuromancer'. In three years I've read it twice and, once I get through all the 'perfect partners' I've picked up on Amazon, it's something I'll definitely read again. From the opening, one-word paragraph you can't help be hooked: a simple "Widescreen" and Smith has you. He won't let you go until the very end.
This is the story of Jack Randall, a man who has managed to destroy his life so completely that he's found himself stuck as the janitor of a Spare Farm. His wife and child have been murdered, girlfriend obliterated in a gang attack in the city of the New Richmond, his old home is a cesspool of people who want him dead. Or worse. But despite being a drug-idled, cheating, corrupt ex-cop and once an even more addicted soldier, Randall still has a heart: he lets the Spares out of their cages, starts teaching a group of them how to be 'human', as he sees it. Off the drugs, and with the help of Ratchet, a service droid and probably the most human character in this world, Randall decides to free the Spares... But someone has different ideas and Randall's road to salvation will take him deep into his own past, the past he's fought so long to avoid.
The structure and themes, Smith's insight and his wonderful sense of humour all bring to mind his debut 'Only Forwards', another great book. But it is still 'Spares' that strikes me as the better book: in 'Spares' Smith has allowed himself much greater scope to inflict his imagination on the world.
Smith's instinct for horror permeates greater than simple shocking scenes; he can invent concepts so frightening they can only be inevitable.
Read more ›
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