Magic for Beginners

Magic for Beginners

Book - 2006
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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 .

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Publisher: Orlando : Harcourt, 2006
Edition: 1st Harvest ed
ISBN: 9780156031875
0156031876
Branch Call Number: F LIN NVD
Characteristics: 297 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Jackson, Shelley

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gendeg
Feb 13, 2015

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.

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allsystemsslow
Feb 19, 2010

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

d
dida
Feb 07, 2010

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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dida
Feb 07, 2010

dida thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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