Reviews of Spares (1996)
Review by pfcalcio (2005-11-22)
Marshall Smith's second sci-fi novel and it builds on the successes of Only Forward adding a more cohesive narrative to the sublime observational rants that litter the dialogue. The flawed hero Jack Randall is, inevitably, central to the book's success, and Marshall Smith effortlessly turns a violent and former drug-addled philanderer into an accesible figure that the reader roots for throughout.
However, genius, as is often asserted, is in the details or - in Marshall Smith's case - his supporting cast, and it is here that a book riddled with great ideas and strong notions is lifted to a whole new level.
A fine novel, wholeheartedly recommended to all, but especially to those who anthropomorphise their electrical goods.
Review by empathy (2003-03-10)
An outstanding book from an excellect author. Spares tells the story of Jack Randall, an ex-cop who doesn't exactly play by the rules. Set in a future largely similar to our own, the book details the efforts of Randall to save the 'spares', settle old scores, and most importantly, exorcise his own personal demons, a task which involves returning to a strange land which Randall thought he would never have to see again.