11-year-old Mark is well aware – even at this tender age – of the fragility and insecurity of life. After his move from the bustle of London to the more bracing seaside air of Brighton in the winter, he finds he is not enjoying himself. His mother’s illness is distressing, and, worse, he cannot stand his new stepfather. The house he lives in is a strange place, with, what’s more, a strange elderly woman in the basement. The sands of reality are about to shift for the vulnerable Mark, and he may have to rely for help on some people who may not even be real.
Smith’s mastery of the fantasy genre is, thankfully, a skill he has not allowed to wither on the vine, and this is intelligent, allusive writing; both disturbing and evocative. Let’s hope MM/Michael/Marshall/Smith finds time to revisit the genre in between his flesh-creeping adult thrillers. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
‘Superb, offbeat contemporary fantasy … Smith portrays a child's irrational anger with devastating accuracy, and Mark's visits to the surreal and intensely symbolic world of the servants are powerfully depicted’ Publishers Weekly
‘A touchingly sweet book that refuses to give easy answers or cheap twists. A perfect rainy-day read that’ll leave you with a lump in your throat’ SFX
‘Damn good storytelling …beautifully conceived and utterly real’ Fortean Times
‘This moving parable delivers strong psychological insights into a child’s powerlessness and anger’ Entertainment Weekly
‘A charming and eerie fantasy’ Sun Herald (Australia)--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
I love M.M.Smith books and to have this on Phone is a delight. Er seven more Word required er dunno...Published 23 months ago by michael taylornew
This book had been on my TBR pile for what I'm sure was a number of years, but was always one of those put down to "maybe another time" when choosing a book to read. Read morePublished on 16 July 2013 by simon211175
The Servants is the story of an 11-year-old boy, his mum and stepdad. They've moved from London to Brighton into a house with an old lady living in a tiny flat in the basement. Read morePublished on 26 April 2013 by Amazon Customer
Amazing quality amazing price, perfect decription, made my fiance a very happy man, he read the book in 3 days after searching for this book since 2009.Published on 22 Feb. 2013 by nibbler
The Servants has long been a book I wanted to read. As with other reviewers here; my favourite books were from MMS' early years (Only Forward, Spares, One of Us, What You Make It)... Read morePublished on 14 Sept. 2011 by Belochka
This is a hard book to categorize. Part fantasy, part straightforward domestic drama, I found it straddled the two genres with slight unease. Read morePublished on 10 Mar. 2011 by Deborah Swift
Mark, his Mother and his Mother's new husband all move down to Brighton after his Mother becomes ill. Read morePublished on 1 Nov. 2010 by Miss Victoria Ramage
I was surprised to start reading this book to discover that most of it was set five minutes walk from where I live. Read morePublished on 21 May 2010 by Mr. C. J. Limb
Although the book adopts the genre of a trditional haunted house and the parallel universes of then and now this conceals a much deeper and richer seam of fiction rarely mined ~... Read morePublished on 28 Jan. 2010 by David Spanswick