• £3.99

Publisher Description

Michael Marshall Smith’s surreal, groundbreaking, and award-winning debut which resonates with wild humour interlaced with dark recollections of an emotional minefield. Now part of the Voyager Classics collection.

May we introduce you to Stark.

Oh, and by the way — good luck.

Stark is the private investigator who goes to work when Something Happens to you. And when a Something happens it’s no good chanting ‘go away go away go away’ and cowering in a corner, because a Something always comes from your darkest past and won’t be beaten until you face it. And that’s not easy in a city where reality is twisting and broken, a world in which friends can become enemies in a heartbeat — and where your most secret fear can become a soul-shredding reality.

And the worst of it is, for this nightmare you don’t even have to be asleep…

Considered a modern classic, and consistently featured in lists of Books To Read Before Your Head Explodes, ONLY FORWARD is a novel you'll never forget.


‘Smith delivers that rarest of commodities: a genuinely new twist with a punchline of CRYING GAME proportions’
Time Out

‘A storytelling skill that can only be described as pure genius’

‘Very funny and decidedly surreal’ Empire

‘No one writes better than Smith about love: how it’s won, how it’s lost. No one writes better about being wasted – by drugs, by drink, by time. Nigh-on unique.’ i-D

"Extraordinary debut" Clive Barker

About the author

Smith lives in north London with his wife Paula, and is currently working on screenplays and his next book, while providing two cats with somewhere warm and comfortable to sit.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
April 15

Customer Reviews

Looby Loooo ,

20 Years on, still my favourite book

I brought Only Forward as a teenager, based on the fact it had a really funky front cover. Little did I know that what I had purchased would remain by my side for 20 years, continuing to provide an escape into an ever nearing concept of our future. A mixture of action, sci fi and detective novel, with a large serving of philosophy (intended or not) this book is entertaining on so many levels. Though I own two original and well thumbed paperback copies I jumped into the present day and backed up with an iBooks purchase, and I would urge you to buy this book too!!

I have always hoped this would be made into a big screen film, as it easily has a storyline while would sell, but alas it hasn’t happed as yet. So why not let your own imagination create the film using the book as your guide. I continue to do this and in 20 years have yet to be disappointed.


Freddie Five ,

Blummin' marvellous

If you're reading this review to try to make up your mind whether to buy thus book or not - you should!

Completely enchanting and very very funny right from the first page. The ideas in this book are astounding and could easily fill half a dozen books.

Just wonderful. It really is. Inception? Who needs it? THIS is the real deal

Scribble ,

One of the best books I've ever read

Amazing book, clever, twist filled, delightful.

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