Read Magic for Beginners: Stories by Kelly Link Free Online
Book Title: Magic for Beginners: Stories|
The author of the book: Kelly Link
Date of issue: June 29th 2005
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 575 KB
Edition: Random House; Reprint edition (June 29, 2005)
Read full description of the books Magic for Beginners: Stories:I've only got so much patience for surrealist storytelling, so maybe this was not the anthology for me. The early stories in the collection are the kind of dream-logic-based oddities that, when you stumble upon them surrounded by other writers' work, are interesting, if a little unsatisfying in their lack of conclusion. For example, when Eastern European refugees hide in a magical handbag and a wayward boyfriend makes off with it, the idea is clever and the writing both fantastic and absurd. But each story seems progressively more self-indulgent. I can tolerate some non-linear storytelling, unexplained fantastic elements, the random insertion of zombies who lack all stereotypical characteristics of zombiness. But not altogether. In the later stories, even a pretense of causality is abandoned as characters very names change from paragraph to paragraph without explanation. There are bursts of brilliance all over the page, with startling concepts and wry asides, but the stream-of-consciousness suggests more the ramblings of someone who's high than the discipline of a professional writer. Each ends abruptly, a post-modern cop-out in which the author has finished the part of the story that interested her and then abandoned her characters without an ending. (Yes, I realize that this is a deliberate stylistic choice that's currently fashionable. I also think the literary scene's obsession with ignoring endings is self-indulgent to an extreme.) To be honest, I have a lot of trouble remembering which story contained what--they all kind of blend into each other, since none end and at no point does any event influence what happens later.
I'm reminded of many of the works of Grant Morrison--a million fascinating ideas swirling around the page, and a lack of an editor to chose three, sit the author down, and say "no, stop adding ideas--take these three and make an actual story out of them. Beginning, middle, end. You can even write it out of order. But stop adding things and finish what you started."
I usually reserve a one for something that I just cannot understand how it was published. Here, I do understand. This is literary wanking in genre form. It turns out that when you add enough zombies and time travel and the Devil to modern literary conventions, you end up with something that's nearly unreadable.
Perhaps I am too harsh. The ideas and the language really do sing. The question really does become how interested you are in story over style. For me personally, though, these feel rather like listening to someone recount their incoherent dream from last night.
Read information about the authorKelly Link is an American author best known for her short stories, which span a wide variety of genres - most notably magic realism, fantasy and horror. She is a graduate of Columbia University.
Her stories have been collected in four books - Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, Pretty Monsters, and most recently, Get in Trouble.
She has won several awards for her short stories, including the World Fantasy Award in 1999 for "The Specialist's Hat", and the Nebula Award both in 2001 and 2005 for "Louise's Ghost" and "Magic for Beginners".
Link also works as an editor, and is the founder of independant publishing company, Small Beer Press, along with her husband, Gavin Grant.
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