Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Everything You Need by Michael Marshall Smith

Fall is definitely in the air! It's amazing to me how quickly the seasons changed here - September hit and bam (massive deluge aside) it's fall. This is so surreal compared to back home in Louisiana where we have about two seasons: hot and not so hot. And that's totally fine with me except that I actually kind of love fall. Not the cold mind you, just fall. Fall doesn't mean pumpkin lattes for me, it means Halloween and an even more intense craving for horror than I suffer from the rest of the year. ('Cause let's face it, it's always there. At least for me.) So it's perfect that this month marks the release of Earthling Publication's latest collection from Michael Marshall Smith, Everything You Need.

If you've not read Michael Marshall/Michael Marshall Smith before, you are most definitely missing out. While he's been published for years it was actually the release of The Straw Men that caught my attention. It was the first in a trilogy that was released during my bookseller days. Since then, he's penned a number of additional titles including The Servants, Bad Things, and Killer Move. And he's got a new release due out here in the States in February from Mulholland. In the midst of all of that, he's somehow found the time to compile a new collection of shorts featuring a selection of previously pubbed pieces and all new stories (with story notes!!!!) in Everything You Need.

Throughout the years I have become increasingly more fond of short stories and it's all thanks to authors like Michael Marshall Smith. The stories in Everything You Need run the gamut from fun ("The Seventeenth Kind") to freaky ("Sad, Dark Thing," which I had the pleasure of reading last fall) and everything in between. Some, like "The Stuff That Goes on in Their Heads," will make you ponder deeper thoughts while others will scare the ever living crap out of you. They make for dark and dreary bedtime stories - the kind that make you double check locks and turn on lights even though you know it won't help - and that's exactly what I enjoy about them!

Smith conveys so much emotion and detail in each of the stories, something that always amazes me in shorts in particular, how, in just a few pages, the author can ensnare the reader and leave them breathless with anticipation and utterly worn out by the end.

While I did truly enjoy each and every story in this collection, I must say my personal favorites were "Author of the Death," "Unnoticed," "The Woodcutter," and "The Last Barbecue."


April @ My Shelf Confessions said...

I'm not usually a fan of short stories - they just leave me so unsatisfied because JUST as I'm beginning to connect and love the characters or enjoy the story BAM it's over. But this collection sounds really intriguing and even though I don't read a ton of horror - I love suspense and the creepies.. so this might be just what October calls for :D
I'm definitely checking out his novels too!

Becky LeJeune said...

I used to feel exactly the same way, April. I honestly think what changed my mind was Joanne Harris's JIGS & REELS. Course I'd always read King's shorts and loved them, but Harris's first collection for some reason proved to be a real turning point. I really started to love short stories in general after that.

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

I really want to try this one out but I have to say, the price is sort of intimidating!

Becky LeJeune said...

Yeah, the price really is intimidating. But it is a nice limited edition - I wish I could afford their slipcovered ones!