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What You Make It: A Book Of Short Stories

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  775 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
The first ever collection of Michael Marshall Smith's award-winning short stories. The first piece of fiction Smith ever wrote -- a short story called The Man Who Drew Cats -- won the World Fantasy award. It's included here along with many others, some unpublished, which show the incredible versatility of one of the most exciting writers working in Britain today. The colle ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 4th 2000 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1999)
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An Redman
Sep 18, 2016 An Redman rated it it was ok
The main male characters were the same dude recycled into different names, places and scenarios. They were inwardly sarcastic, outwardly ineffectual. Heavy smokers, regular drinkers, computer nerds with desk jobs, dodgy past entanglements of love. Almost always presented in the first person perspective.

Out of seventeen stories only two featured women, both of them dour and lacking real characterization. Most of the lady characters were throw aways, which bummed me the fuck out. At first I was di
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.
Dec 26, 2013 Mags rated it liked it
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
Nov 03, 2012 Mark Goody rated it it was amazing
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 really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?
Jul 27, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing
The man is a genius, what more can I say?
Apr 20, 2016 Claire rated it really liked it
I have been dipping in and out of this book for a long time and recently finished it. Some of the stories are quite dated now with regards to the mentioned technology but that doesn't diminish their impact too much. There was one story that I absolutely hated, 'The Dark Land' it irritated the shit out of me and I was glad when it was over. Of the other stories I particularly liked 'Hell hath enlarged herself', very creepy. A fair few of the stories are creepy or disturbing in some way but very g ...more
Aug 31, 2012 Estibaliz79 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 28, 2016 Tracy rated it really liked it
Short stories that create a world then turns it upside down. Never quite sure where the story will go and consequently I enjoy the story.
Jul 31, 2011 Intery rated it liked it
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
Apr 08, 2016 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
Sometimes very unsettling, always compelling.
Sep 12, 2016 Rae rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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.
Jan 22, 2013 Stantontas rated it it was ok
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
Oct 24, 2010 Adele McVay rated it did not like it
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.
Edd Barrett
Aug 15, 2016 Edd Barrett rated it liked it
I've been reading this in parallel with other books. It's a collection of short stories in classic marshall smith style. Some great stories, some a bit mediocre. Most of them involve a twist or an ambiguous ending. Some are fairly thought provoking.

Sadly, the story i liked the least was the one which titled the book. Ah well.

If you like MMS, worth a shot.
Apr 10, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories, own
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.
Aug 20, 2008 Catherine rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 31, 2008 Andy Theyers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
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.
May 30, 2007 Gothadh rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 23, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 23, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing
The only collection of short stories I have enjoyed from beginning to end......each one more eccentric or twisted than the last.
Jun 01, 2013 Emma rated it really liked it
Some creepy ideas here that stick with you after you've put the book down. Very well written.
May 19, 2010 1.1 rated it liked it
This collection didn't change me as advertised – a solid find nonetheless.
Jun 16, 2008 Falsedan rated it did not like it
Juvenile flailing for an effective style; gratuitous and unpleasant! UGH
Michael Grant
Mar 12, 2013 Michael Grant rated it really liked it
You won't like them all but there are plenty of memorable short stories here.
A collection of disturbing, but incredibly intriguing stories.
Oct 22, 2008 Uk rated it really liked it
MMS!! lots of wonderfully crafted short stories...
Phil Hopper
Jan 27, 2012 Phil Hopper rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite collections of short stories.
James Kidd
Nov 12, 2010 James Kidd rated it it was amazing
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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.” 13 likes
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