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Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link

Magic for Beginners (edition 2006)

by Kelly Link

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1,930775,070 (3.96)103
Title:Magic for Beginners
Authors:Kelly Link
Info:Harvest Books (2006), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link

  1. 10
    Icelander by Dustin Long (kinsey_m)
    kinsey_m: If you enjoyed magic for beginners you clearly are capable of submerging into surreal universes and enjoying them, as long as characters feel real enough. Why not try a novel-length experience, then? Icelander shares a lot of things with Link's stories, one of them being that it just shouldn't work. But it does...… (more)
  2. 00
    Willful Creatures: Stories by Aimee Bender (GirlMisanthrope)
    GirlMisanthrope: Short stories of speculative fiction that are brilliantly written.
  3. 00
    Last Week's Apocalypse by Douglas Lain (lottpoet)
  4. 00
    The Stories of Stephen Dixon by Stephen Dixon (lottpoet)

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» See also 103 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
I've been debating whether to rate this three stars or four. Some of the stories in this book I thoroughly enjoyed - "Magic For Beginners," "Catskin", and "The Faery Handbag" in particular were ones that I couldn't put down. Other stories in it, however, for some reason or another failed to engage me. The ending of "Stone Animals" in particular felt like a let down to me - I believe it was more of a stylistic problem that I had with it than a content one.

Kelly Link reads a lot like Jonathan Carroll to me. Although the thematic content differs strongly from Carroll's focus on self-actualization and time bending, they come from the same nearly innate understanding of what it means to be writing speculative fiction. Stories like "Magic For Beginners" and "The Faery Handbag" walk the line between realism and weird fiction in a rather pleasing way that tickles the mind while never stepping so far off the beaten path as to make one feel ridiculous for reading it.

I'm interested to see more of her work, and curious as to what direction the rest of her writing goes in. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
The stories in this collection will surprise you. Some may even confound you. And you’ll be left wondering, as I am, what exactly you just read. Did it really go there? Was the world as malleable as that story assumes? Is the bit beyond the edge actually nowhere at all? And why aren’t these rather long short stories even longer? Much longer. Because once you get caught up in the world of living/dead marital relations (“The Great Divorce”), or retail strategies for zombies in The Chasm (“The Hortlak”), or a television programme, “The Library,” that is so extreme and unpredictable that it demands compulsive viewing even though it may not exist (“Magic for Beginners”), you’ll want that world to be detailed and elaborated and brought as much to life as possible.

I don’t always know how to assess a Kelly Link short story. Which is a good thing. They seem open, evolving, as though they might just be more than I imagine. I could definitely read more of these. Or just read these again.

Recommended. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Apr 9, 2018 |
Open your mind and be prepared for something different. Kelly Link is surprisingly creative.

Short stories are fun because you do not have to read them in order and you can come back to the book when it suits you.

I recommend "The Faery Handbag" and "The Great Divorce".

( )
  godmotherx5 | Apr 5, 2018 |
Litsy friends introduced me to Link, and I'm so glad. The stories are pretty crazy, but the more I read each one the more I came to love the characters. Her writing style is hard to describe. It's deep and silly all at the same time. ( )
  TheBibliophage | Mar 20, 2018 |
not all of them clicked for me, but the ones that did were jaw dropping and disturbing and yes more plz ( )
  ansate | Dec 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
Her best stories (and there are at least three small masterpieces here) are breathtaking tightrope acts—at once faintly familiar and pungently defamiliarized, thick with incongruous detail yet clouded in a redolent ambiguity. They are not merely dreamlike—subject to an intricate internal logic, they have a pulsing, worrying intensity, a larger meaning that lies just on the outer limits of apprehension, like dreams transcribed on the verge of consciousness.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kelly Linkprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jackson, ShelleyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Gavin and the Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop, where I met him.
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I used to go to thrift stores with my friends.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Collects the following stories:
"The Faery Handbag"
"The Hortlak"
"The Cannon"
"Stone Animals"
"Some Zombie Contingency Plans"
"The Great Divorce"
"Magic for Beginners"
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156031876, Paperback)

Magic for Beginners is Kelly Link’s eagerly anticipated and critically acclaimed follow-up to her beloved debut, Stranger Things Happen. “Cumulatively weirder and wiser” (The Believer), this new story collection riffs on zombies, marriage, witches, superheroes, haunted convenience stores, and weekly apocalyptic poker parties, among other things. 
Link’s work is truly unique. Time Out New York called her stories “cross-genre gems,” and her admirers in the literary community—from Peter Straub and Karen Joy Fowler to Alice Sebold and Michael Chabon—reflect the amazing range that makes her style so special. Call it kitchen sink magical realism: Fantastic and bizarre but funny and down to earth, there is something for everyone in Magic for Beginners.


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

'Magic for Beginners' is a collection of stories that take the ordinary and make it strange, and the strange and makes it ordinary.

(summary from another edition)

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