Fiction Reviews

What You Make It

(1999) Michael Marshall Smith, HarperCollins, lgpbk, £6.99, 400pp, ISBN 0-00-651007-8

Normally when I buy a collection of short stories, I am glad I usually don’t have to read all of them as it saves time for reading other material. In this case, however, I cheerfully re-read every one of Smith’s gorgeously written, funny, moving and downright brilliant tales. Another peculiar compliment is that I couldn’t find this book on the genre shelves in bookstores (or ‘geek shelves’ as they are sometimes known), but instead found it under the heading of ‘Literature’. You may also have picked up on the fact that I actually spent money (shocked gasp!), rather than just reading a review copy. What better recommendation could there be? If you haven’t already run across Smith, I suggest you do so immediately because you’re missing a treat. This collection is mostly horror and SF, with a few oddities, all of them moving, most of them screamingly funny (unlike Pratchett who wouldn’t know a joke if it bit him on the bum). You know you can trust me...

Tony Chester

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