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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  2,865 Ratings  ·  199 Reviews
Spares - human clones, the ultimate health insurance. An eye for an eye, but some people are doing all the taking.

Spares - the story of Jack Randall: burnt-out, dropped out, and with a zero credit rating at the luck bank. After five years lying low on a Spares farm, looking after inmates that can't even spell luck, he is finally faced with a chance at redemption....if he,
Paperback, 317 pages
Published November 2nd 1998 by HarperCollins (first published 1996)
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Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Philip Dick, Annihilation
Calling Spares a ‘hard-boiled detective’ story is like calling Ben&Jerry’s Wavy Gravy ‘chocolate swirl ice cream.’ Sure. I guess, if you ignore philosophy, organics, ingredients, and taste.

I mean, there lead is an ex-cop, ex-soldier; pretty standard, just replace the bottle of Scotch with a foil-wrapped pouch of Rapt. Usually.

“Then on an afterthought I reached behind me and took down a bottle of Jack Daniels. Actually, it wasn’t an afterthought. It had been a first thought and an in-between
5.0 stars. This was an incredible novel. I would describe it as science ficiton "noir" in the family of Blade Runner or the Takeshi Kovacs novels by Richard Morgan. Brilliantly written and peopled with superb characters, this one is highly recommended.

Nominee: Britsh Fantasy Award for Best Novel
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, mind-bender
3.5 ish
Jul 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book was TERRIBLE.

I had 2 chief complaints with the book:
1) The writing is piss poor.
2) The story has almost nothing to do with the "Spares". A more fitting title would have been "Crackhead Ex-Cop".

Let's just assume for a moment that Michael Marshall Smith actually wrote a book about the Spares. Here's a rundown of the *completely* believable premise.

In the near future, rich people pay lots of money to keep clones of themselves in "farms". Whenever injured, the rich people just carve a piec
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
ספר מד״ב על שוטר לשעבר וחייל לשעבר שמציל אנשים שהם שכפולים גנטיים שנוצרו להשתלת איברים וכדי להגן עליהם צריך להתמודד עם אירועים מעברו.

ספר שנון ומהיר בלי הגיגים עמוקים.
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Michael Marshall Smith totally blew me away with Only Forward, so Spares was going to be a tough act to follow. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as great as Only Forward (few books are), but the quality of writing was right up to par.

I get the feeling that MMS' stories are an outlet for him to get a few things off his chest. His characters tend to wax philosophic during lulls in the action, and where this seems to annoy some readers, I found these lulls the best parts of the novel.
Like Stephen Ki
Javier Núñez
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No hay medias tintas para mí con esta novela. Es una 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 como un piano de grande.
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook
The stars only go up to 5 and I want to give it more. I mean, I gave 5 to “Only Forward” but I like “Spares” even more. After I finished “Only Forward” I had to agree with some reviews saying that the book was not entirely polished. “Spares” definitely has the finished polished feel. Good read all around with an ending that is satisfying and not at all Hollywood!

(view spoiler)
Pablo Bueno
Creo que este es uno de los libros más contradictorios e incalificables que he leído. Hay multitud de elementos dentro de sus páginas que me chirrían o que no acaban de cuadrar del todo. Ni siquiera he logrado comprender por qué no funcionan completamente algunos de ellos. Sin embargo, llegué a la conclusión de que quedarme en que el libro me había parecido regular sería estar haciendo un deshonesto ejercicio de simplificación, puesto que no le faltan aciertos.

Aquí el enlace a la reseña completa
Mark Woods
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Spares was written way back before Michael Marshall dropped the Smith from his name, was just starting out as an author and was single-handily responsible for some of the best British sci-fi that had been seen in years! The third of his offerings after One Of Us and the ground-breaking Only Forward, Spares was a novel that redefined the term Cyberpunk and gave us something entirely different from anything we had seen before. Part comedy, part tragedy, part post-modern satire, Spares takes us on ...more
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Motao sam se po lokalnoj knjižnici i spazio hardcover izdanje romana SPARES od neke već davno ugasle izdavačke kuće. Marshalla Smitha do tada nisam čitao premda mi je njegovo ime bilo poznato(njegov roman ONLY FORWARD je izuzetno hvaljen).SPARES je izvrsna kombinacija distopije,cyberpunka i osvete.Radnja često kreće u neočekivanim smjerovima a likovi su sjajno iznijansirani.Ima tu i dosta nasilja (jedna scena ratnog zločina neopisivo je šokantna) i bizarnih krajolika koji nalikuju Zonama iz THE ...more
Ljubomir Simin
Oct 01, 2014 rated it liked it
A mixed bag of noir fiction, dystopian society, sci-fi and philosophy, not terribly great at neither of those, but it has some interesting moments.
John Dalton
This is an excellent and strange book. It's a sci-fi noir detective thriller with some serious excursions into surrealist territory, and liberal helpings of humour thrown in between all the drugs and violence. Despite this confusion, the author has managed to pull off a cohesive story with fully fleshed-out characters in a vividly described world.[return][return]A cop goes off the rails after a mob hit on his family takes away all he had left in life. He wasn't exactly on the rails to begin with ...more
May 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: pre-2012
The point of art is to create a reaction in people, good or bad, the stronger the better. Michael Marshall Smith always accomplishes that with me, but unfortunately in this case it was a hate reaction. I had previously read and loved "One of Us" and "Only Forward", so dove into this book eagerly.

MMS always creates interesting, oddball worlds that are very full and developed around the characters. I found the clone concept to be very upsetting in and of itself - the entire way it was set up and
Apr 07, 2009 rated it liked it
This is pretty similar to Only Forward, Smith's first novel, except that this one doesn't descend into tedious drivel halfway through... Both feature a very interesting setting and a street-smart but self-depracating male protagonist who knows how to handle himself as a result of a somewhat shady past and who embarks mostly unwillingly on a mission that involves wise-cracking, shooting and often jammily stumbling through a series of encounters with quirky people in odd locations. Both hence have ...more
I found this book to be pretty dire if I'm honest. I am never interested in having a junkie as the so called hero in a book as I find nothing heroic in snorting crap up your nose or sticking needles in yourself. I hate hearing these so called heroes whine about their tough life and expect to get my sympathy. Instead the phrase 'get stuffed' comes to my mind. If this is the best, most reliable man for the job that they can find to guard the cloning investment of rich people, then there is somethi ...more
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
So this book had great promise for me. The book follows Jack an ex Police officer who looks after a clone farm. The book starts as Jack breaks out a few clones after getting sick of the way that they are treated. He takes them to his old town to get supplies and starts getting hunted. The clones get stolen and Jack has to work out who stole them and how to get them back.

The book starts with a bang, straight into the action and the violence of a great action packed book. Jack is a complex charac
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
I've come to count on Michael Smith for imaginative, quite bizarre stories that are well written with an interesting main character. This story is set in the future and is about Jack Randall, an ex-soldier in the war in The Gap. You don't actually find out what this means until the last quarter of the book. After his wife and daughter were murdered, Jack was quietly sent out of New Richmond to a Spares farm, where important people keep their genetic clones handy in case of accidents. You never k ...more
Questo romanzo l’ho letto nel 1999 e ricordo che non mi era piaciuto per nulla. Mi è tornato in mente solo perché ho visto il film Non lasciarmi, tratto dall’omonimo romanzo di Kazuo Ishiguro, che mi sono affrettata a mettere in wish list.
Il tema affrontato è lo stesso, ovvero la clonazione umana al solo scopo di fornire, in caso di necessità, organi da trapiantare senza che causino problemi di rigetto. Ma è il tenore ad essere completamente diverso. Sono proprio curiosa di leggerlo, perché Kaz
Oct 07, 2014 rated it liked it
This was very dark and miserable, yet compelling, not sure I want to read another from him for a while, not much light in here.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm giving Spares three stars because its batshittery was on par with the crazy I tend to enjoy in urban fantasy, and I did indeed inhale this book. the main character is not admirable, though he does admirable things; the story is fascinating yet mad, the characters are pretty expertly layered assholes who spend a lot of time under the influence of something or another; the setting is futuristic enough to almost be dystopian-but-not-really. Honestly, well-played. Smith's use of language is by t ...more
Ian Casey
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition's a sad fact of life that you can't always learn from your mistakes, because by the time you've made them you've changed the playing field forever."

Such a bluntly spartan title as Spares undersells Michael Marshall Smith's second novel. To be sure, the titular concept of cloned humans kept mentally crippled and used for spare biological parts is one with potential. A competent sci-fi author would have extrapolated from that and built a decent novel of it.

But MMS could hardly be contained t
Jenny M
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it

_Spares_ is like _The Island_. No, not that one. Or that one. I mean this one, the one where Michael Bay directs a rip-off of The Penultimate Truth and Tom Cruise kills himself, though sadly he also survives. Anyway, yes, they're both high-octane sci-fi thriller things involving human beings being grown for parts by the rich. The main distinction between the two is that in Smith's version it's a hell of a lot more horrible, and also that in Smith's version the main character is incidentally a me
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I love Michael Marshall smith, he is a great imaginative writer. This is a 90s sci fi, with twists and turns and you won't guess where it's taking you. The story has some really imaginitive concepts, the City New Richmond is like a floating cloud city for the rich come crashing down to earth so the real people moved in. And the Gap is this weird space leaking into our world, of all the gaps, all the things never perceived, and we went to war with it, like a really bad trip gone really wrong. And ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Un libro ligeramente por encima del montón, cuya premisa baila entre distintos caminos sin tener un objetivo claro ni una meta fija. La ambientación es lo mejor que tiene, tanto el principio como el final, y es lo único destacable.
Los personajes no llegan a marcar ninguna diferencia: el protagonista salva todo tipo de obstáculos con una pericia y una suerte inusitadas, y los secundarios parecen existir para surtir las necesidades del protagonista.
El desarrollo es inestable y la sensación final e
Claire B. Platteuw
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: livre-voyageur
Il faut reconnaître que ce type de science-fiction ne s'adresse pas à tout le monde. C'est parfois assez ardu à lire et je pense que la traduction n'aide pas. Certaines phrases n'avaient tout simplement pas de sens...
Mais ce serait bouder son plaisir que de passer à côté de ce livre. Il m'a par ailleurs évoqué à plusieurs reprises le film "The Island", qui exploitait la même thématique (utilisation de clones pour avoir des "pièces de rechange" - spares, le titre anglais, est beaucoup plus parlan
Elisa M.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Some extremely unpleasant passages and the obscure nature of the Gap are nicely balanced by the unlikely team formed by ex policeman Jack, his archnemesis mobster Johnny, the prostitute Nearly, the clone Suej, the droid Ratchet and the bar owner Howie with his odd plans to make money (paying for home-delievered aggression? Really) and his equally odd minions - all with a dose of surprising humanity, loyalty and honor completely unknown to the rich people of New Richmond. In the end we get to see ...more
Andrew Kim
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
The brief synopsis when I pulled this ebook from the library was focused on the clones. I was thinking "The Island" but in fact, it was a red herring. Cloning for parts was could have been any number of other things that might have tied the novel together. In fact, most of the book was about the lingering affects of war and drugs. There's a credit at the end to someone for helping Smith not be sued...I'm thinking copyright and plagiarism. Not a terribly original story.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fanastic book with great characters in an intriguing story full of humour set in a fascinating Sci-fi setting I only hope he writes more stories in this setting. The only critique I have is Spares could of woven some of the lore and Jack's back story better into the plot as a trickle of information rather than their being nothing about the topic and then everything at once.
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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
“and only when that happens do you realise just how much silence there really is. Silence between lovers, when something really needs to be said; silence from a parent when a child needs some word more than anything else in the world; silences and in betweens and everything which isn’t an answer.” 12 likes
“You have to accept gifts occasionally, because there are some things you can’t give yourself” 4 likes
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