The Machine by James Smythe

The Machine

James Smythe

Is it possible to reprogramme a brain that has been damaged by dementia or post traumatic stress disorder? This modern Gothic tale is a chilling warning of might go wrong when we attempt to 'play God' with the mind. The claustrophobic and ominous background of a society breaking down through the effects of global warming helps to make this an emotionally charged reading experience. The shock ending will make you want to read this novel twice.


She’s thought about it, sometimes: as she’s tried to get to sleep, lying in bed, thinking about how easy it would be to wear a Crown, to press the buttons and to talk about Vic and herself, and their old life together. To talk her way through everything that she’s lost. To press the PURGE button and feel it all drift away. Vic used to say that it felt like when you take painkillers for a wound. He said that they gave him heavy stuff after the IED went off and put its shrapnel in his shoulder and his neck, and once he’d popped them there was a sense that it had once hurt, but that it was like an echo of the pain was all that was left, or the memory of the pain. Like it’s been rubbed hard and then left alone. That’s what the Machine did.

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