5 Jan 2013

The Servants, Michael Marshall Smith


I stopped reading Stephen King books a long time ago. Can I get a halaula. I don't mind a bit of horror and they are mostly good. Mostly (see what I did there?). I just always hated the fact within the last two pages the thing or guy or beast or clown would turn into a ghostly figure and drive his equally ghostly horses and carriage into the night sky. Then there was The Tommyknockers. Before I get abusive messages about putting Mr King next to Mr Smith, please bare with me.

I read The Servants a few months back. My first Michael Marshall Smith in a while. I've been reading the Strawmen books and a couple of other MM's but the MMS's are truly something else I'm sure you'll all agree. Like all his books under MMS it takes me months to recentre and find the right mental shelf to place the new found sentences. I love this about Smith and although The Spares tore me to my very thin soul I thank Mr Smith for the pleasure. The Servants is no exception although it is a slight departure. It's gentle, more like some of the short stories but it is still a very surprising book. Living in the UK currently made the story even more interesting as the images are so much more familiar and the subtleties of the new loosely plastered on top of the old are all there.
Young Mark is all of us. Mr Smith never lets us for get this but There is something else here too. His mothers peace, his stepdads fight and his fathers anger are even more us, even more real for the understatedness. Smith like every tell off I've ever had cuts me to the bone very quietly. This lil number happens while life goes on. The point is clear and I've grieved for the moments I've pissed away and I'm back now.

I'm sorry in a way now that I never persevered with The Tommyknockers. I'm also sure I don't need to now. Sorry Stephen. Thank you Michael. I should say I realise Kings idea was to morph but I believe the art in his his writing was the style even if I don't see it in the story. I can now appreciate the pace of The Tommyknockers. I never got it before Smith.

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