Datsun's Reviews > One Of Us

One Of Us by Michael Marshall Smith
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's review
Oct 31, 2007

bookshelves: wasted_paper
Recommended for: A sci-fi geek I didn't like much
Read in October, 2007

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 in an attempt to sound futuristic, but wind up sounding like cheap, plastic accessories for a 3rd rate computer.

Almost as annoying is voice of the narrator. He supposedly grew up in Florida and moved to LA, but he's the inner voice of the London born author. For the record, anyone who would hyphenate "no-one", talk about "white goods" instead of household appliances or "pootle off up the road" is British. Or else a wannabe Anglo-poser. I kept waiting for him to follow up a gunfight with a nice cuppa and a little sit-down for some telly.

The last 75 pages of the book include 10 pages of tedious and unnecessary backstory for a supporting character, another 10 pages on the creation of the universe and mankind's role in the greater cosmology, and the most bare-faced, unapologetically literal deus ex machina I've ever seen.

Worst of all? I can't get that time back. I kept hoping the story would give me some reward for seeing it through to the end, and it didn't.


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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Andreas (new) - added it

Andreas stolen from futurama? you really think so?

message 2: by Datsun (new) - added it

Datsun Now that you mention it, this novel seems to have been published in 1999, which would make it just slightly ahead of Futurama. Perhaps it was because the characters of the robot appliances of the Planet Express offices seemed more, well, fleshed out than most of the characters in this book that it stuck in my head more.

Good eye on that one, Tueksta.

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