Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A book and a blanket - part 3

Today is the last part of "A Book and a Blanket" although I really liked the series and I'm contemplating doing a book review per month. Anyone interested? Like last week, I'm participating in Marfi's challenge to write something about the books I read. Since today is my birthday (Go, party! ^^), I'm going to present my all time favourite book.

As I said last week, my taste in literature is pretty diverse. I'm naturally curious, so even if I think a book might not be exactly my case, I'm usually willing to try it out.  Although I'm not religious, I read the Bible front to back about 3 times. I like Shakespeare and Steven King, Cassandra Clare and Tolstoy, Science fiction and historical novels. My favourite book is a bit of all of these (and more):

The book I'm talking about is "Spares" by Michael Marshall Smith. A friend of mine lent it to me years ago and I devoured it within one night - remember that was during my days as a student, so allnighters were still possible! ;) I never heard of the author before and chose to fill my book boards with his other works soon after. Unfortunately he is not very productive - or at least he could write more in my eyes- because I love every single book of him!

Spares is a mixed genre book. It starts out as a kind of science fiction crime novel when the main character Jack Randall enters a flying mall which can't fly as it is defective. He is hunted by some criminals after he tried to escape with some fugitives from a clone farm. In this future vision, rich people are cloned right after birth and these "spares" are kept in tunnels in case the rich have accidents and need body parts to fully recover. At this point the book turns into an harsh ethical critique on science and questions what makes humans human.

With the escaped spares, Jack Randall tires to relive old relations ships in the (not) flying mall New Richmond, but looses his friends while having flashbacks of his old live where his wive and child were murdered. The book now takes a try on being a crime novel when he investigates what happened to his friends and family. There is also a huge part where the future society is criticised for their behaviour and the large gap between rich and poor is demonstrated (Critical novel).

While they are escaping there persecutors (in a very interesting fashion, now the book is highly technical), he also experiences flashbacks from his life as a soldier in another dimension. This part was emotionally really draining for me as the described scenes do not spare with brutality! The book takes yet another turn and is now between psycho drama and thriller.

I won't tell you the end, but if you ever see this book, go buy and read it, you will probably not be disappointed! I had several copies which I used to borrow out to friends, but they have a tendency to get lost because everyone wants to keep them for themselves... ;)


Claire said...

Happy birthday!

I would love to see book reviews! I also enjoyed Spares.

Ms Misantropia said...

Sounds a bit like it's using the same setup as the movie "The Island". Did one influence the other?

MindLess said...

@ Claire: Thank you! Did you also read One of Us?

@ Ms Misantropia: No, it is rather different from that. The only comparable part are the spares, the rest is vastly different... Since the movie is more current than the book, I would guess there is hardly any inspiration going. But the topic of "surrogate people" itself is not new.