FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 1 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
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
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

4.2 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£8.99
£0.16 £0.01
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£8.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • The Machine
  • +
  • The Echo
  • +
  • The Explorer
Total price: £25.97
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




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 (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It’s been described as a modern day Frankenstein tale, and that aptly describes the story of The Machine. Beth is a schoolteacher, living on a small island, while her husband, a former soldier called Vic, is being cared for on the mainland after his brain was almost completely destroyed by a machine that can add and take away memories. He was a violent man after returning from war, by the things he had seen, and so the machine was used to quell the violence that those memories had evoked within his personality. The only trouble is that something went wrong with the machine, they had pushed him too far with it, and his brain ended up as good as fried.

And so the story starts with Beth taking the delivery of all the different parts that make up the machine, for she wants to use the machine to try and return her husband to the way he was. She has the original hard drives to make this possible, but first she must get her husband back and wait till the end of term in order to be able to have the time to look after him until she can make him better. While at school however, she befriends a supply teacher working at her school, who is only on the island to cover a shortage, but it is this friend, Laura, who turns out to be a Christian, and very against the ungodly process of the machine. She only finds out about Beth’s true intentions when they both get drunk one night, and Beth spills a little too much to Laura about her husband and her plans for him.

Once the end of term arrives, and Beth has her husband, she is battling against the incessant ranting and visits from Laura, who is telling her not to go ahead with it, for the Machine is evil and will not put the soul back into her husband.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been on a run of reading fiction involving dystopian futures, whether as background setting or as main story and it led me to The Machine. Having never heard of the author I had no real expectations. Based on the synopsis and reviews it looked worth a punt and the low kindle price decided it for me.

I made the right decision as it turned out to be a cracking read. Set in a totally believable future of post global warming Britain it tells the story of a woman who is trying to get her old life back by reversing the devastating consequences of a past desperate decision. I don't want to write any more about the plot as it'll be much more rewarding for you to just read it without knowing it all in advance.

Suffice to say it ticked all my boxes. The story dragged me back in every time I put it down. I was genuinely interested to see what the next development would be and rooting for things to go to plan even knowing that they inevitably wouldn't.

On the basis of this and having started The Explorer since, Smythe could be the best new author I've come across in a very long time.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 7 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I thought this was a brilliant book. It is intelligent, thoughtful and completely gripping.

I cannot really describe the plot without giving away too much, so I won't. The publishers' synopsis is right - this is a Frankenstein for the twenty-first century (it is set in the near future). It is a fantastic piece of storytelling: the rather deadpan prose is excellent, the narrative extremely well paced, the characters utterly convincing and the plot developments fascinating and unpredictable. James Smythe generates a brilliant air of menace both in the plot and setting, which builds slowly and gripped me completely. The book, as well as being a page-turning story, is a thoughtful look at the nature of memory, at what makes us the people we are and at what might happen if the fundamentals of our characters and memories are altered.

It is hard to give more of flavour of this book because I am wary of spoilers, but I warmly recommend it to anyone who likes a dark, unsettling but very intelligent and thought-provoking read which will keep you up late to finish it. It is one of the best things I have read for some time.
2 Comments 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback