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 It’s included here along with many others, some unpublished, which show the incredible versatility of one of the most exciting writers working in Britain today.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 collection is stuffed with surreal, disturbing gems including:
‘When God Lived in Kentish Town’ Someone comes up to you when you’re quietly eating your stir-fried rice in a great Chinese take away, and tells you: ‘I’ve found God’. You try to ignore them, right? But what if they have, and what if He works in a drab old electrical store on Kentish Town Road and he’s not getting many customers?
‘Diet Hell’ Some people will do anything to fit into their old jeans.
‘Save As…’ What if you could back up your life? Save it up to a certain point and return to it when things went horribly wrong?
‘Everybody Goes’ An idyllic childhood day from a long, hot summer. The kind you want to last for ever. All good things must come to an end, mustn’t they?
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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 KaveneyReview:
‘Astonishingly distinctive short stories’
‘A story telling skill that can only be described as pure genius’
‘Very funny and decidedly surreal’
‘No one writes better than Smith about love: how it’s won, how it’s lost. No one writes better about being wasted – by drugs, by drink, by time. Nigh-on unique’
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Book Description Harper Collins, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110002256029