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Magic for Beginners The nine stories in Link s second collection are the spitting image of those in her acclaimed debut, Stranger Things Happen effervescent blends of quirky humor and pathos that transform stock themes of genre fiction into the stuff of delicate lyrical fantasy In Stone Animals, a house s haunting takes the unusual form of hordes of rabbits that camp out nightly on the front lawn This proves just one of several benign but inexplicable phenomena that begin to pull apart the family newly moved into the house as surely as a sinister supernatural influence might The title story beautifully captures the unpredictable potential of teenage lives through its account of a group of adolescent schoolfriends whose experiences subtly parallel events in a surreal TV fantasy series Zombies serve as the focus for a young man s anxieties about his future in Some Zombie Contingency Plans and offer suggestive counterpoint to the lives of two convenience store clerks who serve them in The Hortlak Not only does Link find fresh perspectives from which to explore familiar premises, she also forges ingenious connections between disparate images and narrative approaches to suggest a convincing alternate logic that shapes the worlds of her highly original fantasiesContents The Faery HandbagThe HortlakThe CannonStone AnimalsCatskinSome Zombie Contingency PlansThe Great DivorceMagic for BeginnersLull

10 thoughts on “Magic for Beginners

  1. says:

    I ve only got so much patience for surrealist storytelling, so maybe this was not the anthology for me The early stories in the collection are the kind of dream logic based oddities that, when you stumble upon them surrounded by other writers work, are interesting, if a little unsatisfying in their lack of conclusion For e

  2. says:

    Reading Kelly Link makes me wonder why anyone else ever tries to write anything Honestly I mean, I m sorry to have to say this to all the people who write short stories and everything, but Stone Animals is the absolute very best short story that has ever been written Oh, wait, except for Lull that is actually the very best shor

  3. says:

    Kelly Link writes what I should love quirky, whimsical, creative and fantastical ideas with often dark imagery but somehow all this mix of interesting things never ends up being a story Most entries in Magic in Beginners will draw you in with a unique idea, image or scene this is the case with two of the best stories in the volume,

  4. says:

    Like Grimm s on a hit of acid Or Lemony Snicket if he wasn t so flaccid Just kidding, I love Snicket, i just wanted to make a rhyme Maybe a bit like Miranda July s night terrors would be like after a night on magic mushrooms Murakami inside Raoul Duke s body visiting a Hayao Miyazaki movie say, Spirited Away Or really, I shouldn t bother

  5. says:

    Weird Modern Fairy Tales for Adults by a Writer with a Unique Voice3.5 starsMy introduction to slipstream short story writer Kelly Link was her recently issued Get in Trouble I got off on the wrong foot with that short story collection and did not finish it.I m glad I gave her another chance I liked this collection, Magic for Beginners, a lot

  6. says:

    Link garners effusive praise from Jonathan Lethem, China Mieville, Michael Chabon, Peter Straub, Alice Sebold, et al Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don t Some of her stories I enjoy, some of them I don t For example, take the two stories in this collection that I had read previously Catskin and Stone Animals, both of which I read in McSweeney

  7. says:

    I have a strange split dimensional relationship with magic realism Sometimes we are the best of friends, sometimes it worms under my skin in an annoying way Many books covet its charm but are not brave enough to attempt it, but that can never be said for Kelly Link, who might as well have invented it Sewn it together into a beautiful monster out of aba

  8. says:

    This is a collection of weird short stories which can be loosely qualified as urban fantasy When I said the stories are weird, I really meant it I would not be able to tell the plot of any of nine stories from the book Do you want to know about a man loving a cannon How about a man marrying a dead woman and having children What about a whole nation sitting

  9. says:

    You can find this review andat Novel Notions Something I ve noticed over the course of my recent reading life is that, if you re in the mood for weird, you should definitely look into short story collections Some of the strangest and most memorable fiction I ve read in the past five years or so have been short stories This is not a format I thought I enjoyed, a

  10. says:

    Here s the review from my twice yearly zine October 06 I think I preferred Link s debut short story collection, Stranger Things Happen, but I definitely appreciate what she s aiming for her Nobody writes stories quite like hers Kelly Link is herself no stranger to the bizarre,or even to charges of sometimes wading too deepinto its waters for some readers taste.In a r

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