Soul Purpose (book, 2006, Nick Marsh)

From SFX 145.


Nick Marsh/Immanion/271 pages

It really shouldn’t happen to a vet, not if this semi-autobiographical novel is anything to go by.

Alan Reece, vet, hates his job (as does Nick Marsh, vet, by the sounds of it), yet his miserable lot is nothing compared to the bother he’s in when he is drawn into the scheme of a dead dude to take over the world.

This is very much a first novel, one of two mismatched parts. On the one hand are the highly amusing anecdotes of a depressed vet, on the other a so-so tale of souls and floating space-beasts. The whole veers between rough and smooth prose, funny and forced jokes, original and borrowed ideas.

This is not a book a bigger publisher would have picked up, but it’s no bad thing that Immanion have – Nick Marsh can write quite well, but he may have been better being himself, rather than trying to be Terry Pratchett. Herriott died so long ago there is space for tales about modern vetting, you don’t need zombies to get people interested.

Did you know?

Immanion is a small press set up by Storm Constantine to publish her back catalogue. They now publish work by new and established writers. See

Did you know 2?

Shocking plagiarism of the month!

Nick Marsh, (Soul Purpose) – “Quaffing is very much like drinking, except that most of the drink ends up on the quaffer’s cheeks and front than in his mouth.”

Terry Pratchett, (Wyrd Sisters) – “Quaffing is like drinking, but you spill more.”

Can you guess who the disaffected vet is and who is the millionaire author?

  1. Nick Marsh says:

    I must humbly apologise for this unconscious plagiarism – I might have known the joke was far to good for my brain to have come up with unaided. It’s also depressing that it takes me twenty-four words to tell the same joke that the pithy Mr. P manages in eight.
    The offending line has been removed from the latest version of the book. Curiously, in the same book, I also managed to name one of the characters ‘Kate Schekter’, utterly unaware that I had unconsciously pilfered the name from Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently novels. Doh. Kate is now Kate Barclay, so, given my previous form, expect to find that name cropping up in one of Neil Gaiman’s old works.
    Sigh. Apologies again.

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