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What You Make It: A Book Of Short Stories
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What You Make It: A Book Of Short Stories

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  630 ratings  ·  25 reviews
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 h...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 4th 1999 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (first published 1999)
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Genevra Littlejohn
Occasionally twisted, always mindcatching, Michael Marshall Smith had a lot of fun with this one. Stories set in a dark alter-Disneyland(when murderers are loose, who better to hunt them down than the Mouse and his pals?), or featuring sidewalk artists whose work comes to life in their defense, these are short but very memorable.
I've been reading this for a while and there are lots of stories in this collection.
I have it downloaded to my phone so it's the one I read when I don't have my Kindle.
Mark Goody
There's an extra star here just for The Man Who Drew Cats and Hell Hath Enlarged Herself. There are many good stories in here, but those two are tremendous.
Sep 04, 2011 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
A timely collection, from "The Man Who Drew Cats" right up to "More Tomorrow". It's Michael Marshall Smith, how can you go wrong?
The man is a genius, what more can I say?
Tengo que empezar diciendo que, en general, no soy aficionada a los libros de relatos; y, cuando suelo ceder, normalmente lo hago si estos son de género: fantasía, ciencia ficción, terror... De hecho, puedo leer esta clase de narraciones sin problemas si hablamos de King y Hill, Bradbury y algunas recopilaciones tipo Premios Hugo o UPC...

Así pues, ¿por qué tenía ganas de hincarle el diente a éste, desde el momento en que me lo encontré en la biblioteca? Fácil: por ser su autor quién es. Y es qu...more
The collection features short stories which are both very different and very similar. Most of them are either predictable or downright clichés, but the author possesses the skill to make them interesting and gripping nonetheless. Almost all the stories are narrated in the first person by similar male protagonists, yet each of them manages to feel different to the reader. Insanity is a prominent theme, as is violence (and tea). The best piece for me was undoubtedly Everybody Goes which contains a...more
I love the novels I've read by Michael Marshall Smith and this collection, though a little up and down, had more hits than misses and struck many of the chords I've come to expect from him. 'More Tomorrow' has a chill that's only heightened by the entertaining period descriptions of the early-nineties internet. 'Hell Hath Enlarged Herself', though it starts off similarly to Greg Bear's godawful novel Blood Music, takes the same conceit to a creepiness and a lovely sustained note of sadness that...more
As in almost all collections of short stories, the quality is not uniform. However most of these tales are quite good. It is not (with a couple of exceptions) a book of horror tales, but of disturbing tales. What this collection reminds me is of E.A. Poe. A londoner Poe, in the current time, and using computers, but with the same mix of mormality and the extraordinary.

My favorites are "Later" and "The man who drew cats", and as they are in the beginning it may have lowered a bit the total score....more
A couple of these stories are good but overall I got tired of the wacky switchbacks and turnarounds. Didn't feel they earned them, sometimes real emotional impact was sacrificed for the sake of weirdness. Some stories also went on too long. Felt like a lot of scripts for short films, and the layers of irony dates this to the 90s even more than the digressions about that new internet thing.
Adele McVay
I found this book really hit or miss. The occasional short story was good, but the majority of them were just disappointing. I can't say I'm a fan of short stories in general, they tend to go nowhere, just as they're gaining momentum the author slams on the emergency break in the form of a 'shock ending' that brings the story to an abrupt ending. Unfortunately, this book was no exception.
Loved them all, very surreal, but I saw alot of hidden meanings. Stories start out quite normal then suddenly flip into the bizarre! Brilliant stories, some more strange than others. 'The dark land' totally struck home with me. :) Some great witty sections I'd love to reproduce at times too.
First I have to admit a bias as I love every book of his that I've read. But this is an excellent collection of short stories. Ideas that you really wouldn't have thought of first and endings that come out of nowhere. Highly recommended, but not for the squeamish or easily disturbed!!
Andy Theyers
Often collections of short stories are a bit lame, but this contains some real gems, including perhaps the most disturbing short story I've ever read. All his books are worth a read, but this one is particularly good.
Brilliant collection of short stories many of them dealing with the subject of bereavement or perhaps those were the ones that stuck in my mind more. Several stories will stay with me for a long time.
The four stars are really for one superb short story, Hell Hath Enlarged Herself, which is superb. It's about a group of science graduates to unwittingly open a door to the afterlife. Fab stuff.
The only collection of short stories I have enjoyed from beginning to end......each one more eccentric or twisted than the last.
Some creepy ideas here that stick with you after you've put the book down. Very well written.
This collection didn't change me as advertised – a solid find nonetheless.
Juvenile flailing for an effective style; gratuitous and unpleasant! UGH
Michael Grant
You won't like them all but there are plenty of memorable short stories here.
A collection of disturbing, but incredibly intriguing stories.
MMS!! lots of wonderfully crafted short stories...
Phil Hopper
One of my favourite collections of short stories.
Markosaurus Fisticuffs
Markosaurus Fisticuffs marked it as to-read
Oct 13, 2014
Johannes Punkt
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Sep 30, 2014
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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. His most recent novels are THE INTRUDERS, BAD THINGS and K...more
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“It's simply the way things are when people come together out of hurt rather than happiness. When you try to use people as band-aids you merely reinfect the wound, and every moment you spend with them is like a speck of glass working itself deeper into your flesh.” 12 likes
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