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Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link

Stranger Things Happen (original 2001; edition 2012)

by Kelly Link, Kathleen Jennings (Illustrator)

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1,348395,714 (4.07)66
Title:Stranger Things Happen
Authors:Kelly Link
Other authors:Kathleen Jennings (Illustrator)
Info:Subterranean (2012), Edition: Signed, Limited Edition, Hardcover, 232 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites

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Stranger Things Happen: Stories by Kelly Link (2001)


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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Kelly Link's collection of short stories was my first exposure to any of her writings. I'd never heard of her before and had no idea what to expect. Having finished Stranger Things Happen I'm pleasantly surprised but also a tiny bit disappointed.

She has a wonderful knack for creating some unique characters and situations, but many of the stories themselves feel only half-formed. I came away from many of the stories thinking they lacked any sort of focus or denouement. Maybe it's the sort of book that will benefit from multiple readings but at the moment I'm not inclined to pick this back up any time soon. ( )
  MerkabaZA | Jun 12, 2017 |
There's a tremendous kind of fairy-tale logic in Kelly Link's short stories, and I don't say that just because several of the stories in this collection are or include fairy-tale retellings. It's more to do with the construction of them, the way the stories seem absolutely whole and necessary in themselves even when each piece doesn't necessarily follow logically from the last. They feel true in that fairy-tale kind of way, even when they're obviously fantastical or downright strange. Of the stories in this collection, my favorites are "Flying Lessons," about a modern-day demigod's girlfriend; "Survivor's Ball, or, The Donner Party," about an unusual party met at the end of a long road trip; "Louise's Ghost," about loves lost and ghosts collected; and, as always, "The Specialist's Hat." ( )
  jen.e.moore | Jul 30, 2016 |
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose
The ghost(?) of a man stuck in a strange limbo tries fruitlessly to remember his wife's name. Through his monologue, a sad story gradually emerges.

Water Off a Black Dog's Back
A young librarian meets an attractive girl as she's returning a book in worse-than-dog-eared condition. A love affair quickly starts - but when she takes him home to meet the family, he's drawn straight into a Southern Gothic nightmare.

The Specialist's Hat
Previously read in Link's 'Pretty Monsters' collection, as well as in 'Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic" and in a Year's Best collection. This is a well-anthologized story! It's also available free on Link's site: http://www.kellylink.net/fiction/link-specialist.htm
Creepy! Creepy, creepy, creeeeeepy! If you buy, and move into a haunted house, you PROBABLY should check the babysitter's references, and maybe her ID, too, before you leave your young children with her. Better yet, just get the hell out of that house before it's too late.

Flying Lessons
"Going to hell, instructions and advice..."
Fractured and reconstructed, a modern myth that follows a kleptomaniac innkeeper's daughter (well, actually, it's a British bed & breakfast catering to the tourist trade...) Weird connections, and more than a hint of Eurydice...

Travels with the Snow Queen
An adult retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's tale. Here, Link reimagines Gerda and Kay not as innocent children but as two contemporary adults in a dysfunctional relationship. A strong feminist message is the main takeaway, as Link turns the original story on its head.

Vanishing Act
Hildy has always envied her cousin, Jenny Rose, who gets to travel around the world with her missionary parents. But after Jenny Rose is sent to live with them, her feelings change. Jenny Rose is quiet, uncommunicative - the reader can tell, traumatized - but we see things only from the child Hildy's perspective. But Hildy is more perceptive than any of those around her, who gradually seem to stop noticing Jenny Rose at all...

Survivor's Ball, or, The Donner Party
Imagine the weird and unpleasant dream that you might have after watching a TV show about the Donner Party. Your relationship problems, random things from your day, problems with your teeth, and snippets of the TV show are all mixed together into somethings that's half nightmare and half just... interesting.

Shoe and Marriage
Really, this one is four separate short pieces on a similar theme.
The first is a feminist take-off on Cinderella. The second, a dream/nightmare inspired by televised beauty pageants. The third: What if Imelda Marcos (or someone like her) was actually sympathetic, once you understood her background? Fourth: An encounter with a fortune-teller.

Most of My Friends Are Two-Thirds Water
Have you ever noticed that there's a certain type of blonde woman? They all look alike. Maybe they're actually aliens.

Louise's Ghost
One Louise has the strange ghost of a naked man in her house. Her best friend, also Louise, likes to sleep with cellists. Her young daughter is obsessed with the color green.

The Girl Detective
Is the narrator the plucky girl detective? Or is she detecting the girl detective? Nancy Drew meets the Twelve Dancing Princesses, through a weird kaleidoscope.

( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
A swan, a bull, a shower of gold, something new, something old, something borrowed, something blue. He seduced Sarah Stoneking in an empty movie house, stepped right off of the screen during the matinee and lisped “Shweetheart” at her. She fell into the old goat’s arms. I know, I was there.

Having really enjoyed "Magic for Beginners" I was initially extremely disappointed by this book, as I found the first two stories quite unpleasant to read and wasn't too fond of the third one either. But by the time I had read "Flying Lessons" and "Travels with the Snow Queen", I was feeling better about it as stories based on mythology and fairy tales are much more to my taste. "Survivor's Ball, Or, the Donner Party" was an odd one. I found it quite unnerving, as all the way through it I kept thinking that something really bad was going to happen, but nothing did. So, overall, although I didn't think that this collection was as good as her next one, I'd still say that it's worth reading. ( )
  isabelx | May 17, 2014 |
Table of Contents
◦ Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose
◦ Water Off a Black Dog's Back
◦ The Specialist's Hat
◦ Flying Lessons
◦ Travels with the Snow Queen
◦ Vanishing Act
◦ Survivor's Ball, or, The Donner Party
◦ Shoe and Marriage
◦ Most of My Friends Are Two-Thirds Water
◦ Louise's Ghost
◦ The Girl Detective ( )
  SChant | May 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kelly Linkprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jackson, ShelleyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jennings, KathleenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
This first collection by award-winning author Kelly Link, takes fairy tales and cautionary tales, dictators and extraterrestrials, amnesiacs and honeymooners, revenants and readers alike, on a voyage into new, strange, and wonderful territory. The girl detective must go to the underworld to solve the case of the tap-dancing bank robbers. A librarian falls in love with a girl whose father collects artificial noses. A dead man posts letters home to his estranged wife. Two women named Louise begin a series of consecutive love affairs with a string of cellists. A newly married couple become participants in an apocalyptic beauty pageant. Sexy blond aliens invade New York City. A young girl learns how to make herself disappear.
These eleven extraordinary stories are quirky, spooky, and smart. They all have happy endings. Every story contains a secret prize. Each story was written especially for you.
Stories from Stranger Things Happen have won the Nebula, Tiptree, and World Fantasy Award. Stranger Things Happen was a Salon Book of the Year, one of the Village Voice's 25 Favorite Books of 2001, and was nominated for the Firecracker Alternative Book Award.
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Collects eleven short stories incorporating ghosts, aliens, and the living dead, including the stories "Survivor's Ball, or, The Donner Party" and "Louise's Ghost"

(summary from another edition)

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