Machine Man
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Page 5.
Machine Man (serial)

I am not a people person. I don’t know why. Maybe you can figure it out and let me know. All I know is any time I’m evaluated, I score very low on social metrics. Also, if there is a party, I’m not invited. Or if I am, the people I’m seated between will both talk to the person on their other side. There’s something about me that is repulsive. I don’t mean disgusting. I mean like magnets. The closer people get to me, the stronger their urge to move away.

I am a smart guy. I recycle. Once I found a lost cat in the city and caught it and took it to the cat home. Sometimes I make jokes. I can tell what’s wrong with your car just by listening to it. I think women are beautiful and can do anything they put their minds to. I like kids, except the ones who are rude to adults and the parents just stand there, smiling. I have a steady job. I own my own apartment. I don’t lie. These are qualities I keep hearing that people like. I can only think there must be some other ingredient no-one is letting on, something vital, because I have no friends, am estranged from my family, and haven’t dated this decade. There is a guy in Lab Control who once killed a woman with his car, and he gets invited to parties. I don’t understand that.


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This is where site members post comments. If you're not a member, you can join here. There are all kinds of benefits, including moral superiority!

Machine Man subscriber Kramy (#818)

Quote: ""it's the way of the future""
Posted: 4027 days ago

Love the story already Max! I want to pay now for it... can we? If not, why not? :)

I need to compensate you somehow for your awesome linguistic skills.

Cheers for that.

Joel Kelly (#1517)

Location: Canada
Quote: ""
Posted: 4027 days ago

Loving it so far, Max!

Wolfgang (#1368)

Location: Berlin, Germany
Posted: 4027 days ago

Love the story so far - and this page in particular. It's a great characterization.

Noble Brown (#2407)

Location: Washington , DC
Quote: "Those that can't criticize"
Posted: 4027 days ago

You are putting "normal" on front street. You are letting all those people that live like this character a voice that they never use! It is written in a minimalist scope with shades of boring blue running down into a sea of normalcy nobody wants to wade in.

Machine Man subscriber Lance Mertz (#3541)

Location: Seattle
Quote: "It wasn't me, I wasn't there and did nothing."
Posted: 4027 days ago

So, are you writing this each day or do you have the pages all written and are posting them one at a time? Or, gasp, don't you have a plan? Just doing it as it comes to you?

Jess (#3888)

Location: CT, USA
Quote: "Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive. "
Posted: 4027 days ago

I feel so lucky to have a little of my favorite author's work show up in my inbox every day :) Thanks, Max!

Greg Cunningham (#1743)

Location: Norrisville, Maryland
Quote: " funny"
Posted: 4027 days ago

Half way through I started reading this page in a "Fitter, Happier"/Stephen Hawking voice. Was that the intent? If so, does the fact that I am concious of a writer's styling make it less effective? I am unsure if this is a little heavy handed or not.

That all said, I am enjoying this! An excellent waste of 5 minutes of my time. Thank you!

"like a cat
tied to a stick,"


Lea Hirschfeld (#3119)

Location: California
Posted: 4027 days ago

This is my favorite page so far!

Ashley (#3889)

Location: Denver
Posted: 4027 days ago

Loving it, It's like a present in my inbox every morning!

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 4027 days ago

Does this guy have Attention Deficit Disorder?


Justin (#2009)

Location: Halfmoon, NY
Quote: "Max(x) is awesome!"
Posted: 4027 days ago

I liked the first 4 pages, but this one seemed a little disjointed to me. I'm sure that's how it was supposed to come across, but it just didn't do it for me.

Tommy Mandel (#2554)

Location: nYc
Quote: ""You want me to sign this now?""
Posted: 4027 days ago

I'm getting strung out on such small reads. Poetus interuptus.

Yenzo (#829)

Location: Secret underwater pyramid base in the Pacific
Quote: "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe (Carl Sagan)"
Posted: 4027 days ago

Hey Max,

loving it so far. And by "it" I mean the both the text and the concept, as well as the comments.

If the characterization is going in the direction that I think it's going, you might want to check out Homo Faber (the philosophical concept as well as the Swiss novel), if you haven't already done so.

I forgot how much fun it is to read your novels, thanks for reminding me.

Machine Man subscriber Joe M. (#3183)

Location: Texas
Quote: "Grooviness is essential"
Posted: 4027 days ago

"I like kids, except the ones who are rude to adults and the parents just stand there, smiling."

I like this sentence a lot. "And" instead of "while" makes it much more interesting and evocative than it might have been. Of course you already know that, being the author and not a careless one, but I thought I'd voice my appreciation all the same.

Machine Man subscriber gStein (#585)

Quote: "That's not change! That's more of the same!"
Posted: 4027 days ago

@ Joe M: i work with school-age kids for a living, and during pickup, if the kids are rude to our staff or the parents, the parents usually just sit there, saying nothing. if we're lucky, the parent will give the kid a dirty look. if we're unlucky, the parent will get mad at us for teaching their kid to be disrespectful.

re: machine man, i'm so confused.

Machine Man subscriber Machine (#957)

Posted: 4027 days ago

What an amazing ability to move a plot/characterization at break-neck speed you have sir. Your mother should be proud.

I like this Machine Man guy. I like his bordering on mental disorder capacity to be nonplussed by the fact that people are somewhat repulsed by him. He seems to be outside of the conventional social normality realm in a vulnerable rather than a sociopathic kind of way. This I find intriguing. What a wily fellow you are Max Barry.

Please write more words and more frequently, how hard could it be.

Amber (#3671)

Location: Oregon, U.S.A
Posted: 4026 days ago

Having killed someone with a car is a much more normaly interesting and charismatic party conversation starter than recycling, or wanting to be a train, for that matter, (people alway's look at me weird too, when I state how I want to be an atom bomb) afterall. ;-)

I'm liking these little blips about who "he" is.

Maybe he likes the not dating or being spoken to bit?? He dug the no visitors in the hospital.

Eubrian (#3914)

Posted: 4020 days ago

This page had me cracking up. The bit about the guy in Lab Control was genius and the type of thing that makes me love your writing.

Josh Kinal (#3354)

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posted: 3992 days ago

And there it is: Bam. Hit us with the sympathy angle. Sure the man's been in some accident and he's in hospital but you know that's not going to sink in to our cold, repellent hearts.

But now he doesn't get invited to parties and we're right there with him.

Nicely done, sir. I'm loving this whole process.

stanley becker (#5283)

Location: black hole
Posted: 3313 days ago

If people don't like you , or mebbe you don't like them - Shakespearian huh {as in "to be or not to be"}

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