The Machine and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The Machine has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: We dispatch over 6 million books worldwide on an annual basis to happy customers. Quality guaranteed. Expedited shipping available on this book.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Machine Paperback – 16 Jan 2014


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.99
£0.20 £0.01
£7.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Machine + Ancillary Justice: 1 (Imperial Radch)
Price For Both: £13.58

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Door (16 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000750750X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007507504
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Smythe is the award-winning author of THE TESTIMONY (2012); THE EXPLORER (2013); THE MACHINE (2013), THE ECHO (2014) and NO HARM CAN COME TO A GOOD MAN (2014). Over 2015/16, he will publish all three books in his series for Young Adult readers, THE AUSTRALIA TRILOGY - starting with WAY DOWN DARK.

He currently writes a continuing series of articles for The Guardian called Rereading Stephen King and teaches Creative Writing in London. He can be found on twitter @jpsmythe.

Product Description

Review

‘Savage, intimate, inexorable’ Nick Harkaway

‘The Machine is the work of a young writer with a preternaturally powerful and distinctive voice’ Guardian

‘Phenomenal … simply unmissable’ Tor.com

‘Extraordinary’ Dazed & Confused

‘Reminiscent of Ian McEwan at his most macabre’
Will Wiles, author of Care of Wooden Floors

About the Author

James Smythe was born in London in 1980. He has worked as a computer game writer and currently teaches creative writing. He also writes a blog for the Guardian. The Machine is his fourth novel and is shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2014. Previous novels include The Testimony and a science fiction series including The Explorer and The Echo. The Testimony was awarded Wales Fiction Book of the Year, 2013. He lives in London. He can be found on Twitter @jpsmythe


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 25 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I don't want to say anything about the plot since anything beyond the publisher's blurb would be a spoiler - but, for once, the publisher has got it spot on: this really is a Frankenstein for now... but Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein with its epigraph from Milton's Paradise Lost, not the trashy film versions.

This is an eerie and menacing story that is written with a light but very assured touch. The claustrophobic setting suits the grim plot perfectly, and the narrative itself is beautifully controlled - small things that we notice but don't dwell on come back to haunt us, and it's not until the shocking ending that everything falls perfectly into place.

It's not often that I'm surprised by a plot but this one really did creep up on me. Not that this is just an `all-about-the-twist' book - it's far denser than that. The intellectual probings about the relationships between man-machine, mind-body-soul, about the nature of love and how far it should go, give this an intellectual weight but one which never takes over from the understated emotions at play or the pure grip of the story.

This is a book which I finished in the small hours of the morning because I couldn't think about sleep until I'd finished it - and once I did, despite the satisfaction of a perfectly-tied-up story, I still wanted to re-read it immediately.

So this works beautifully on all levels: intellectual, emotional, literary. Read it - this is brilliant!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ben VINE VOICE on 12 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
'The Machine' was my first James Smythe novel, and I was drawn to it as I have been following his excellent blog on The Guardian website where he has been re-reading Stephen King's novels in chronological order.

I thought 'The Machine' was a fantastic read. Extremely claustrophobic and atmospheric, it tells the story of Kim and her husband Vic, who has been physically and, more importantly, mentally damaged whilst serving with the Army during a war in Iran. To say any more would, in my view, spoil this well crafted story. What is so enjoyable about 'The Machine' is the skilful way Smythe reveals only tiny details of the narrative (and, more crucially, the back-story) chapter by chapter. It serves to heighten the tension and generally uneasiness that you feel as you read the book - and whilst I would not classify it as either "science fiction" or "horror" writing, it certainly has been inspirited by those styles and I was left constantly feeling something bad or uncomfortable was going to happen on the next page. To sustain such tension over the course of a whole book is very skilful indeed.

Overall, I thought 'The Machine' marks Smythe out as a very clever and imaginative writer, and I will now certainly be going back read his previous two novels.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gill's reviews on 24 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
Beth wants her marriage and husband back. Returned from war mentally damaged, she agrees to let the Machine heal him by purging his memory of the horrors of his experience in the war. Complicit in the treatment he now remains in a home for those left in a ‘vacant’ state following the treatment. Machines were scrapped following the controversy of the side effects after use. Beth has a plan and buys an Machine illegally to restore Vic her husband.

I like how Smythe has set this story on the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth because it brings a realism to the tale as I know both areas well.

This is a complex book written in simple layers using language that makes you think about its meaning. It questions the mind and memory, it brings a fear of the future and how in creating ‘healthy’ minds danger of what could be created instead.

At first I was eager to read and absorb the story, but Beth draws you into her world and then I wanted to explore the narrative more thoroughly.

The environment, society and personalities are depicted in such a plausible manner that I could almost feel the tiredness of such heat.
The school trip with reluctant teachers and pupils to “the Barrage Exhibition Centre, built in what used to be an art museum above a McDonald’s” is such a brilliant line. (There is a real Museum of Communism which is next door to a casino and above a McDonald’s in Prague that I have visited!)

I can completely identify with Smythe’s vision of the future and his irony.

The final chapter of the book is a surprise.

I would recommend this book as an excellent read, one which will leave questions in your mind after you put it down.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Woodward TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had a curious relationship with this book. Whenever I picked it up, I was hooked - but I struggled to pick it up. Ironically this was because of its biggest strength - the creepy, downbeat atmosphere which Smythe skilfully weaves with his believable portrayal of a world suffering the effects of rampant global warming. His descriptions of the titular machine are equally unsettling. As wonderful as it is to experience a book so well crafted, it engendered feelings which I wasn't in a hurry to re-create by picking it back up.

I hope I'm not giving the wrong impression because it's well worth the time to read. I also had the same issue with Atwood's masterfully crafted Year Of The Flood which is no doubt because the dystopias that both books outline can be seen on the horizon, whereas the familial devastated nuclear landscapes or zombie hordes which are rife within the genre of dystopic sci-fi seem further away & more OTT by comparison.

Fusing elements of sci-fi, horror & noir, The Machine coldly oozes oppression in a manner reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft. As is often the case with noir-esque fiction, the main character is, arguably, not particularly well developed as she has tragically become a slave to her desire & subsequent obsession with seeing it realised. So while I generally prefer to have well-rounded characters, her inaccessibility is, arguably, kind of the point.

It feels strange to say it but despite its suffocating gloom, I would thoroughly recommend this book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback