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One Of Us

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,098 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Hap Thompson - ex-barman, ex-hood and ex-husband - has fallen on his feet at last. He's finally found something he can do better than anyone else. And it's legal. Almost.

Hap's a REMtemp, working the night hours caretaking people's dreams and memories. One night, he takes on a bigger memory than usual and the client disappears. As Hap pursues her, he comes to realise that s
Paperback, 307 pages
Published 1999 by Harper Collins (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

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This book is loaded with more Awesome than many I have come across...How much Awesome you ask?...More units of Awesome than a Vulcan DJ or Robocop riding a Unicorn……
That is significant Awesome!!!

6.0 stars. This is the fourth book I have read by Michael Marshall Smith (MMS) and the lowest I have rated any of them is 5 stars (with this book and Only Forward being on my list of All Time Favorites. I guess you could call me a huge fan of his work.

One of Us is a "hardboiled" style science fiction
This is only the fourth MMS (including The Straw Men, by his alter ego, MM) that I've read.
The great thing about this guy is that he has such a rich imagination, it's exciting to start one of his novels because you have no idea where he is going to take you.

Having said that, I'd have to say that One of Us left me wanting just a little more. Indeed, he ultimately took me to a bizarre and original place, but it is the one novel of his that I've read that didn't have as much of the amusing and poig
Just on originality alone this book gets full four stars all fat and juicy -- I also had a rollicking good time reading it being that it's so goddamn funny in parts and running on high-octane adrenaline in others. It's such a mish-mash of genres it left my head spinning in places, but at its core, after you strip away all the fun bells and whistles, this is a "noire-ish" hard-boiled detective story. There's an anti-hero on the run, trying to solve a mystery before time runs out, there's a best f ...more
Few books have as pacey, engrossing and spectacular a start as this novel. The setting, premise and world are introduced with a deft hand, and a skilled walk on the tightrope between alienation and overexplanation. At heart of the novel is the first person narrator, Hap Thompson, who acts as storage bank for annoying dreams and memories. Except, then there is a memory that could cost him dearly if it's found in his possession...

One Of Us stays the course of a ripping sci-fi yarn for almost three
Man, Smith is nuts. I mean, I knew this and it's part of why I've always loved his books, but One of Us really rams the point home. I read it when it first came out in 1999, and just reread it as part of my rereading-MMS kick, and I still have no idea what it's about. God? Guns? Why alarm clocks really deserve to have the %^#@ kicked out of them? Who cares? I love MMS books for their atmosphere and skiffy insanity; I don't demand coherence. One of Us is pretty much an everything-jammed-in mess, ...more
Brilliant. Michael Marshall Smith's sci fi books are always full of the unexpected - which is very refreshing.
Mar 13, 2010 Clarice rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anybody who reads humouristic sci - fi
I do not have a clue how this book ended up on my shelf, I can only remember it appeared there about a year ago and was subsequently neglected until I picked it up last week.

Needless to say, this was my first novel by the author and I was, especially for someone who doesn't read sci - fi all too often, thoroughly impressed. Smith's writing style is so fluid, full of matter - of - fact British humour and throughout the book you have the impression he is sitting opposite you, while he is telling y
Michael Marshall Smith keeps exploring a certain "noir" feeling in a near future, almost close to current events and yet different from what we would call "normal" life.

In this case the premise is less wild than others, dealing with transferred memories and dreams. A not-very simpathetic criminal with good friends gets tangled up in a metaphysical chase, getting ahead by a mix of smartassness and bloodymindedness, supported by a healthy dose of luck.

What makes you read MMS is not the plot, or ev
Glen Engel-Cox
The spine of this book labels it as "suspense," and it certainly does share some aspects of that genre. It is also, however, a science fiction, mystery, fantasy, speculative religious thriller. This is both the joy of the book, and its curse. The joy is simply reading it for the excitement of not knowing what Smith is going to throw at you next. The curse is wanting it to coalesce into something besides the ephemeral pleasure of a roller coaster ride, and being disappointed when the coaster car ...more
It took me a really long time to read this, probably about as long as it took me to read A Feast for Crows. It has more to do with circumstances though, rather than the book itself. You may also want to blame Diablo II and Morrowind, but, well, it's Diablo II and Morrowind.

Reading The Straw Men and its sequel, The Lonely Dead, Michael Smith stood out in the world of thriller writers. I had a phase where I read a lot of them, and despite the good times it's true what they say. These thrillers ten
Sam Reader
"Sorry. Ambient light projector."
- God

I should have known a book by Michael Marshall Smith wouldn't play straight with its own premise. Walking into this, I was ready to talk about a book that was just some kind of dark, twisted Noir story about a man who deals in memories and dreams for a living. I was ready to tell you that this was a slow, brutal burner about things going slowly wrong for Hap Thompson as he tried to dig himself further and further out of a slowly-tightening net. And I was a
I just this moment finished "One of Us" by Michael Marshall Smith. And I have almost no idea what to make of it.

In the near future, we have found a way to subcontract out dreams. We've also got the ability to shift memory to someone else. Want to pass a polygraph? Have someone else remember the crime for awhile. Hap Thompson dreams other peoples dreams and stores their memories, for awhile. Until one day he gets a memory that the sender won't take back. He's on the run trying to find a way to g
The oddest compliment I can give this fine almost-sci-fi novel is that I would read it again, if only because I can't remember how it ends. I found the writing compelling and the storyline interesting enough to keep me reading on a long flight. Didn't like the other Marshall Smith novels I read, so this one felt like a fluke, or a gift.
Melani Smith
it was nicely written but I don't think it was my cup of tea. Michael has a vivid imagination and I applaud him for it but I think this book was just a bit too out there for my tastes.
Trip Maus
I loved this book. I really enjoy a first-person tale, esp when as deftly written as this. It is an interesting SF mystery. Very evocative. Loved the clock. Just go read it.
Tom Czerwinski
Michael Marshall Smith delivers characteristic hard-driving, plot-driven prose which propels the story at a very quick clip. Like his other books, difficult to put down.

Sadly, the plot is overly complicated. Marshall Smith wastes a great premise (I world in which you can pay to dump your dreams and memories into someone else’s head) by mashing it up with a completely unrelated plot line about aliens and men in grey suits. Plot offshoots are numerous, and it just feels bloated and hard to follow
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Marshall Smith seems to have stopped writing science fiction after this novel, which is a sad loss to the genre as his books inject a welcome sense of an author not taking himself (or the genre) too seriously; something that SF could do with a bit more of. One Of Us is a near-future action thriller with cyberpunk themes. Hap is a small-time crook and a drifter, who earns money by temporarily storing the dreams and memories within his own mind that other people would rather forget for a w ...more
This has very strong Philip K Dick overtones. A great read and a typical Marshall-Smith novel written in the first person by the grumpy but funny old-skool crim. Not bad but seems to be a bit scattered and rushed at the end.

It's not what you've done that counts—it's what you remember....

If you could sell your conscience, could you get away with murder?

Hap Thompson works the gray area between truth and lies. He works for REMtemp, taking on other people's memories. It's illegal, but usually h
Ce livre raconte les aventures de Hap Thomson, looser à la petite semaine, porteur de rêves et de souvenirs récupérés chez des gens qui n'en ont plus envie.

Bien sûr, on est chez MM Smith, et d'après ce que j'ai pu comprendre (en lisant la quatrième de couverture), l'ambiance se retrouve aussi dans ses autres ouvrages. Et cette ambiance, fabuleux mélange de vrai roman noir et de cyberpunk étrange, avec un peu de fantastique sur les bords, est vraiment l'un des points forts du roman. Lorsque Hap,
Oct 31, 2007 Datsun added it
Recommends it for: A sci-fi geek I didn't like much
Shelves: wasted_paper
I don't know where to start complaining about this one. From the idea of renting out one's brain space (stolen from Johnny Mnemonic) through the notion of rogue appliances wandering the landscape (stolen from Transmetropolitan and Futurama), on to the one dimensional characters who all seemed cut from the auditions of almost every faux-Bladerunner film of the last 20 years, this book is a spirited attempt at plagiarism. Supporting characters are given one-syllable names like Deck, Quat, and Vent ...more
Phil Zimmerman
I read this book because I loved Spares. One of Us has been sitting on my shelf for 15 years and I finally picked it up and started. The book starts out well enough. It is a basic grimy future sci-fi action movie/book. The concept around REMtemps is interesting and the concept of talking clocks and appliances is fresh. If MMS had continued like this I would have given the book book 3 stars for being a decent sci romp.

Well then came the (view spoiler)
Ci ho messo una vita a finirlo perch� � talmente denso che mi rigirava nell'anima con tutti i suoi quesiti..... Certamente, un argomento fuori dal comune, che tratta meravigliosamente il "concetto" dei sogni, e dei ricordi, sottolineando la loro importanza. Paghereste, perch� qualcuno al vostro posto sognasse i vostri sogni? eppure, loro ci parlano, continuando a ignorarli, � come ignorare una spina che vaga nella carne.... E paghereste, per affidare i vostri ricordi a un volontario, per essere ...more
Joanne Parkington
MMS is a hugely gifted storyteller and a pleasure to read. His imagination & dark sense of humour take you on an amazing ride which is so eloquently written and so richly realised that you are transported into the story to walk alongside the characters & suffer their fate. Hap and Deck are two great lead's ...Laura's back story culminates in a great finish & fiesty Helena leaves you pining for that elusive happy ending. There are twists and turn's galore, the page's drip with future ...more
Hap Thompson deals in illegal memory storage. Then lots of bad stuff starts happening. Illegal memory storage mean that clients temporarily place memories in his head, and then later retrieve them. (Yes, the concept is as ridiculous as it sounds.)

But no Hap has a memory of a murder being committed that he cannot get rid of. The story veers into Philip Dick-style futuristic crime noir. It is too complicated to try to say more.

However, after this somewhat bad start to the book, Hap starts thinki
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Harris
I liked it, the alarm clock was hilarious. The changing buddy detective style worked well and even though we jump the shark at the end (it could have fit better with a modified memory?) it was an enjoyable read.
I loved the first two thirds of this book, brilliantly inventive, interesting characters and a truly engaging story. I think it's a shame the last third was overshadowed by the heavenly element, the conversation with the clock by the beach was where the story lost me. I honestly didn't see the point of the taking and returning of people, I think the human characters and sentient appliances could have found some way to prevail without celestial help. I was almost tempted to give the book 4 stars ...more
Interesting concept. The story takes place in the near future with plenty of imaginative changes happening, such as cigarettes becoming illegal. The idea of being able to have people's dreams for them and moving memories from one person's head to another was cool.
The weird stuff was all the talking appliances (especially near the end) and the identities of the mysterious men in suits. I've noticed he likes to create alternate explanations to things people accept as either unknowable or unsolv
I feel its such a shame I didnt like this book more than I do..
it started off so well, the taking somebody's dream for them, talking appliances (loved the alarm clock) storing memories.... all good.
I thought the relationship between main character and Deck was really good.... gave the book some warmth...
However, for me, it took a dip when the word alien was introduced, followed shortly after by God....

I would have preferred it without, but since I didnt write the book, this is how it goes.

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Michael Marshall (Smith) is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. His first novel, ONLY FORWARD, won the August Derleth and Philip K. Dick awards. SPARES and ONE OF US were optioned for film by DreamWorks and Warner Brothers, and the Straw Men trilogy - THE STRAW MEN, THE LONELY DEAD and BLOOD OF ANGELS - were international bestsellers. His most recent novels are THE INTRUDERS, BAD THINGS and K ...more
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“If people knew that I really am what I say I am,' he said, 'you know they'd never forgive me.'
'Don't worry,' I said, 'Your lack of a secret is safe with us.”
“There are times when life seems like a struggle where the only reward you get for hanging on is the chance to struggle some more.” 3 likes
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