The Machine

Author(s): James Smythe


Haunting memories defined him. The machine took them away. She vowed to rebuild him. From the author of The Testimony comes a Frankenstein for the twenty-first century. Beth lives alone on a desolate housing estate near the sea. She came here to rebuild her life following her husband's return from the war. His memories haunted him but a machine promised salvation. It could record memories, preserving a life that existed before the nightmares. Now the machines are gone. The government declared them too controversial, the side-effects too harmful. But within Beth's flat is an ever-whirring black box. She knows that memories can be put back, that she can rebuild her husband piece by piece. A Frankenstein tale for the 21st century, The Machine is a story of the indelibility of memory, the human cost of science and the horrors of love.


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'Reminiscent of Ian McEwan at his most macabre, it is fiction that demands to be taken seriously. The Machine uses violence and unshielded emotion to precise and devastating effect, reeling the reader towards a conclusion that feels both utterly shocking and grimly inevitable' Will Wiles, author of Care of Wooden Floors 'A book about memory, about the impossibility of making the future match the past, and the danger of following a desire too far' Matt Haig, author of The Radleys 'Like Ballard, Smythe understands, and ruthlessly demonstrates, the nightmare that results when our fantasies are realised. The result is at once terrifying and moving' Sam Byers, author of Idiopathy 'Part Twilight Zone, part Iain Banks, Smythe has confirmed he is a versatile and brilliant writer' Nikesh Shukla, author of Coconut Unlimited

James Smythe was born in London in 1980. Since completing a PhD at Cardiff University he has worked as a computer game writer and currently teaches creative writing. He also writes a fortnightly blog for the Guardian online. The Machine is his fourth novel. Previous novels include The Testimony and The Explorer (published by Voyager). He lives in West Sussex. He can be found on Twitter @jpsmythe

General Fields

  • : 9780007491476
  • : HarperCollins Publishers
  • : Blue Door
  • : April 2013
  • : 216mm X 135mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : May 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : James Smythe
  • : Paperback
  • : 328