Magic for Beginners

Link, Kelly

Book - 2005
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Magic for Beginners
All-new collection of magical stories from slapstick comedy to Gothic horror.

Publisher: Northampton, MA : Small Beer Press, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0812986512
Branch Call Number: FICTION LINK
Characteristics: 272 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Jackson, Shelley


From Library Staff

"If I had to pick the most powerfully original voice in fantasy today, it would be Kelly Link . Her stories begin in a world very much like our own, but then, following some mysterious alien geometry, they twist themselves into something fantastic and, frequently, horrific. You won't come ou... Read More »

Short stories about the intersection between the worlds of reality and the supernatural, including such topics as a haunted convenience store and a weekly apocalyptic poker party.

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Feb 13, 2015
  • gendeg rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Link’s “Stone Animals” is a brilliant short story that starts off in a very normal, contemporary fiction kind of way, filled with psychological realism. It then free falls, veering sinisterly into the dark and fantastical. A lot of reviewers have thrown the term “magical realism” around when discussing the story, but for me personally, I think "Stone Animals" is a foray into horror.

The “haunted house" aspect is an inference we can make, and so we’re immediately primed to expect strange things to happen. And they do. Everyday objects outside and inside the home begin to emanate something strange. Thankfully, there are never any obvious confrontations with ghosts or poltergeists or anything outwardly paranormal. What happens outwardly is that the family starts to grow apart. They become increasingly alienated from each other and from their own things in the house. Their house is unfamiliar because its new, they just moved in, and their discomfort and unease are to be expected. But then that strangeness begins to permeate and spread—the TV, the alarm clock, and the family cat are affected in some way—until everyone starts to feel unhinged and out of control.

Feb 19, 2010
  • allsystemsslow rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

i would say the premises were original, though to be fair a story about a handbag that can trap people within the magical realm inside it is pretty much old hat

Feb 07, 2010
  • dida rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very well executed surreal stories. I didn't find the individual ideas particularly novel, but the way they were put together was very well done.


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Feb 07, 2010
  • dida rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

dida thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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