Michael Marshall Smith: The Book I Would Like To Be Buried With…

April 12, 2010 by
Filed under: Bury Me With This Book, Interviews 

The fifth Bury Me With…, and I’m thankful to Michael Marshall Smith for providing an insight into the book that has influenced him more than any, the book he’d like to take with him to his grave…

lucky jim“It’s tempting to say the book I’d like to be buried with is an iPad, of course – as that way I could not only take a ton of books but be able to chase deadlines beyond the grave, too. But assuming that’s not within the spirit of the thing, then I’d have to say Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis. I first read it when I was about thirteen, and it made a huge impression on me. I read it and re-read it, countless times, and it probably informed my sense of humour more than anything else I’ve ever read. Amis’ ability to find comedy in life’s slings and arrows, to use words as precise little hammers to attack the countless impotent little furies and frustrations of existence, has been an inspiration ever since. It was also the very first book that gave me an inkling that I might like to try writing for a career. Though if I’m allowed to entertain the idea that I might still be able to read in the grave, I might substitute a really big entymological dictionary instead. I love words, and especially enjoy reading about their journeys through time, shifts in their meanings reflecting changes in society an attitude, and how each of them – as Butler said – tries to enclose the wilderness of an idea. In effect every word is a little story in itself. With an eternity to get through, a couple of hundred thousand of those might help pass the time…”

More information on Kingsley Amis can be found at Wikipedia.


MMS2_colour_smallAbout Michael Marshall Smith:

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. He is a three-time winner of the BFS Award for short fiction, and his stories are collected in two volumes – What You Make It and More Tomorrow and Other Stories (which won the International Horror Guild Award). His Steel Dagger-nominated previous novel – The Intruders – is currently in series development with the BBC.

His new novel Bad Things is now in paperback in the UK, and will appear from William Morrow in the US in 2010.

February 2009 also saw the UK paperback publication of The Servants, a short novel under the new name M. M. Smith.

He lives in North London with his wife Paula, a son and two cats.


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