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3.9 out of 5 stars9
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 2 January 2001
You see, reading 'Binary 2' is like making love to a beautiful woman. You've got to take your time, savour the atmosphere, go with the flow - and when you're finished, you can turn it over and start again...
But enough of the Swiss Tony impression. Being far more familiar with Michael Marshall Smith's work than with Kim Newman's, I picked up 'Binary 2' on the basis that it offered me a fresh fix of MMS while I'm waiting for 'Straw Men' to be published. 'The Vaccinator' reads like a cross between 'Men in Black' and 'Hawaii 5-0', and as one might expect from an MMS story, it's eventful, eminently readable and cooler than Frosty the Snowman in dark glasses.
'Andy Warhol's Dracula' is a slightly different kettle of fish, being darker in tone but matching the knowing humour of 'Vaccinator'. I've only read a few of Newman's short stories, but it's clear that his favourite pastime is remodelling the twentieth century around a fictional conceit, then mixing in a variety of real and fictional characters to suit the situation. 'Warhol' presents a late twentieth century in which vampirism is not only genuine, but romanticised and even fetishised in Europe. It follows Dracula's hippest son on an odyssey to the New World and through Andy Warhol's pop art world, intercut with mock academic critique to add a depth of background flavour not often found in a novella. 'Warhol' demands more of its reader than 'Vaccinator', requiring at least a passing familiarity with the 1970s world on which Newman hangs his sleight-of-reality references, but is just as entertaining as Michael Marshall Smith's more easy-going piece.
All in all, good light reading. Not so much a literary snack as a midnight feast.
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on 17 August 2003
Get it for Michael Marshall Smith, because if you're in any way a fan you'll want to read all of his work, no matter how short. Don't bother flipping it over and reading the other story, which should never have been combined with MMS anyway ;-)

As always, Michael's work is cutting satire, mystery and plain weirdness. Love it, can't get enough.
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on 4 June 2014
I felt compelled to write a review after reading a 2 star review by someone else who obviously doesn't get MMSmith and doesn't seem to understand what a short story is! I really enjoyed this book. If you liked One Of Us, it's kinda similar.
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on 27 December 2014
If you're a fan, then you'll enjoy the wit and wisdom and eloquence of this astounding writer, but it's probably not my favourite. A nice little pass of time. Thank you Mike!
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on 11 December 2012
This is another good story by Michael Marshall Smith, who is in a league of his own when it comes to unusual story lines.
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on 19 January 2014
Smith in top form. Love the humour with a dash of scifi and the usual action thrown in for good measure.
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A very quick read and quite entertaining, but I can't help feeling both could have been so much more if they've been novels rather than novellas. Worth a read, though - some great ideas in both stories.
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on 5 January 2001
Its easy to see where the comparisons lie between 'The Vaccinator' and Men in Black. Maybe Mr Smith cribbed the idea but he regurgitates it very well. I must admit I thought ths story, judging from its start, was going to be a far nastier animal. As ever Smith is hugely entertaining and seems to concentrate more on humour than horror here.
Its hard to tell with this man what he's really thinking but can we detect a parody on American culture here, presant most prominantly in the classic 'American Bozo' character? Mike loves to toy with us and probably made the heroes British just for the hell of it and to be objectionable.
This serves as a rather tasty appetizer for the main event later this year, 'The Straw Men', alledgedly his darkest novel yet. 'The Vaccinator' certainly isn't Smiths finest hour but then I'm a man who considers him beyond Genius.
All in all the novella flows along nicely with a cheeky wink, a sligh smile and its tonge firmly lodged to the interior of its face. A good nights read.
Having bought the thing I thought I might as well read Newman's offering. Having never read any of his stuff before I found it entertaining and an interesting take on the Vampyre myth.
The humour crackles away underneath saving the story from the absurdly pompouse and taking it into the realms of satisfactorily twisted.
Look I know I'm bias but if anyone goes 'twoes up' with Mike then they're going to come out a little bruised. All in all a good effort.
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on 26 December 2012
I bought this by mistake - looking for an author with a similar name.
Couldn't believe it when the kindle told me I had read such a high percentage of the book as nothing had happened!
Very disappointed - readable but lacking.
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