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Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link

Magic for Beginners (edition 2006)

by Kelly Link

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1,965825,120 (3.96)107
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 107 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
I've never read anyone like Kelly Link before. Her surrealism is mesmerizing, engrossing, even when you don't 100% understand it. I don't like all of the stories in this collection, but I love Stone Animals, Magic for Beginners, and Lull. Recommended for fans of Adventure Time and David Lynch. ( )
  xiaomarlo | Apr 17, 2019 |
I bought this after being underwhelmed by her latest collection. I wanted to give her a second chance. I think this was stronger but not by much. Maybe I've just read too much Neil Gaiman, but these stories are way derivative and kinda dull. Shame. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
There was a story in this book that featured a husband telling a green-skinned, vat-grown clone of his wife a story, while they are having sex, an event which was itself the subject of a story being told by a cheerleader, who is living life in reverse, to the devil, while they are in a closet after playing "spin the bottle", which was the subject of a story being told by an apparently underaged phone sex worker to a bunch of sad, middle-aged men during some post-poker game antics. Sounds confusing? I agree. Felt like this must have been something another writer challenged the author to write, otherwise why would you subject your readers too such whimsical convolutions? Plus how many characters can Link present to us who are named "Small" or "Soap" or "Mint" or "Onion" or some other such noun. It is all just a little too cutesy for me. I can't deny the authors imaginative skills, but the stories just go a little too off-the-rails for my tastes. ( )
  michaeladams1979 | Oct 11, 2018 |
These stories were all excellent and trippy in the extreme. The last one in particular (Lull) was almost eye-crossing in its complexity and gorgeousness, but they were all fantastic. My favorites were The Faery Handbag, Catskin, and the title story, Magic for Beginners. Those ones were a little lighter, a little less terrifying. Stone Animals was so weird that multiple times while reading I couldn't help but wonder where it was all going, and then the ending sort of snuck up on me. It gave me nightmares.

Overall, highly recommend. ( )
  whatsmacksaid | Sep 21, 2018 |
I suppose the highest praise I can give is that I felt the stories in this collection (even the longest ones) were too short! I wanted more. I'm mostly a novel-reader, and I kept thinking "what a wonderful premise for a novel," and then it would end. So half a star off the top for not being a novel, and another half star for not really connecting with me emotionally.

But were they interesting, engaging stories? Heck, yes. Well written (in the technical sense of using good grammar, elegant construction, etc., all the things that annoy me to no end when they're missing)? Absolutely. Will I read other works by the same author? Delighted to. ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Sep 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (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.

» Add other authors (1 possible)

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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