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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, Dark and Edgy, 24 Oct. 2002
This review is from: What You Make It: Selected Short Stories (Paperback)
At the start of this collection of short stories, Michael Marshall Smith is careful to alert the reader to the difference between a novel and a short story - and it is a warning that the reader would do well to heed.
One of the strength of MMS's writing is in his honest and very raw dealings with human emotions. His novels often balance out the warmth of his central characters against some of the more brutal things that happen in the course of the story. There's just not enough time to build that warmth here in these stories so they inevitably end up very raw, very bleak and ever so slightly disturbing.
That said, the stories are still expertly written (although his humour is something else that doesn't get much of a look-in in some of the stories) and they give a good idea of MMS's ideas pared down to their simplest forms and maybe a little better idea of what makes him tick. It's interesting, for instance, to speculate how "The Man who drew cats" was influenced by the writing of Stephen King for instance.
All in all a very good book - imaginative, stylish and scary. Just don't read it if you're looking for something to cheer you up on a rainy afternoon. It's likely to make you wonder if the rain is ever going to stop.
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