Magic For Beginners

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Monday, September 26, 2005
by Kelly Link #32

I can't say much about this collection that hasn't been said better elsewhere (like maybe this review), so I won't say much. I will say that I loves me some Kelly Link. She takes familiar things and turns them upside down and inside out, then sprinkles them with zombie sauce, folds them into origami and returns them to you - different from how you ever imagined, yet unmistakably familiar. My favorite stories in this collection were probably The Faery Handbag, The Hortlak, Magic For Beginners, and Some Zombie Contingency Plans - but I don't think there was a bad story in the whole book. The quote from Alice Sebold on the front really says it all, "These stories will come alive, put on zoot suits, and wrestle you to the ground."
5 comments on "Magic For Beginners"
  1. Hey! And amen -- I'm reading this now, after having devoured the first one, "Stranger Things Happen" (favorite story: The Snow Queen) -- she's one of those rare writers whose voice gets up inside your head and seeps way in, for days, eh?

  2. At least days! I read Stranger Things Happen over two years ago I find myself thinking about aspects of those stories all the time. The Snow Queen is so good. That's the one with the robber girl in it, isn't it? I need to read them again.
    It seemed like STH was much more rooted in fairy tales than the new book is (despite the Faery Handbag and the catsuit one) - but she's still tapping into stuff that feels as universal as the fairy tales. I've never read anything quite like The Hortlak before, that's for sure. I'll be interested to hear which are your favorites from this collection.

  3. Hee hee - when I read the title to this post as I was also in the process of scrolling, my mind saw "Music for boogers"

  4. jen, i've had a hectic week or so with a friend visiting, my bachelorhood invaded, and if it's any indication of the magnitude of said event I HAVEN'T HAD TIME TO READ (an unbelievable occurrence), so I still have two stories to go, but: so far the story that really got me the most is "Stone Animals," though I sure love "The Hortlak," too.

  5. Those rabbits! They were way creepier than the zombies from the Ausible chasm. I think what I loved most about The Hortlak were those crazy pajamas. They are the extra touch of beautiful lunacy that Kelly Link is so good at - who else would think of them?

    That *is* a hectic week! But it sounds like the good kind of hectic, at least.


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