1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A superb piece of Science Fiction,
This review is from: The Machine (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'The Machine' is surely one of the best books published this year. It's certainly one of, if not THE best, novel I've personally read in 2013. Sadly though it doesn't seem to have garnered the attention, or plaudits, it so richly deserves.
It's a very superior work of science fiction (or SF). Written in the present tense, it's set in a future Britain ravaged by the effects of global warming, and it concerns Beth who lives on a desolate housing estate near the sea. Her husband returns from a war and a machine appears to be his only hope of escaping from the memories that haunt him. Until the government decides the machines are too controversial and removes them...
The bleak and unsettling world created by Smythe in this novel feels real, and the characterisation is excellent for a work of SF - where grand themes tend to dominate the narrative and often stifle character development. However, to its afficionados that's acceptable: most tend to read SF because it's a genre that generates some fabulous ideas.
This book is SO good, I don't want to give anything more away - just read it, please, and you will be deeply rewarded.
Oh, and by the way, if you insist on calling the genre 'Sci-fi', please don't do it within my hearing!