What You Make It
Michael Marshall Smith  
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Genre:Popular Fiction
Purchased On:2006-03-19
Date Added:2006-03-19
Summary: The novels of Michael Marshall Smith, and in particular the remarkable One of Us, are notable for the sunniness of their disposition--even when his heroes are escaping hitmen, or clones are being dismembered for their bits, there is a basic good humour to the proceedings. This collection of his short stories, most of them from early in his career, reminds us that he made his name with tales of gloom and terror, a key figure in the New British Horror of the late 80s. What unites these stories with his later work is his capacity for poetic surrealism based on naive literalism. Take 'The Dark Land', for example, whose protagonist finds himself trapped in a house whose furniture constantly regresses to the 50s and whose kitchen constantly becomes squalid, unless he opens the front door and lets progress in. His horror stories have a nightmarish capacity for simple ideas taken to logical conclusions--the hero of 'More Later' checks a porno Web site in an idle moment and gets considerably more than he bargained for. For anyone with a taste for the bleak and the macabre, this is an impressively literate collection of short stories. --Roz Kaveney