Magic for Beginners

Magic for Beginners

3.82 (7,177 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas Expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas


In this dazzling collection, prize-winning short story writer Kelly Link takes the ordinary and makes it strange - and the strange and makes it ordinary. Engaging, funny, eerie and magical, these nine stories prove Link to be an original and important talent.

Of all the books you read this year, this will be the one that you remember. Taking themes from horror and fantasy, these stories transform them into the stuff of delicate lyrical fantasy, with a distinctive and effervescent blend of humour and pathos.

In 'Stone Animals', a middle-class family moves from Manhattan to a beautiful house in the suburbs. Almost immediately, their belongings become haunted, and they are increasingly unnerved by the growing hordes of rabbits that camp out nightly on the front lawn. The title story follows a group of adolescent schoolfriends whose experiences subtly parallel events in a surreal TV fantasy series which switches channels and times at whim. In 'The Hortlak', an all-night convenience store serves zombies as an experiment in retail; while 'The Faery Handbag' features a village which takes refuge from time to time in a magical handbag.

Bold, tender, mischievous and unsettling, Link's stories have the insistent quality of dreams and show a writer at the height of her powers.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 19mm | 210g
  • HarperPerennial
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 000724200X
  • 9780007242009
  • 122,521

Review quote

Praise for Kelly Link:

`A new collection by Kelly Link - and once more, for a little while, the world is worth saving.' Michael Chabon

`These stories will come alive, put on zoot suits and wrestle you to the ground.' Alice Sebold

`Dazzling, funny, scary and sexy, but only when they're not all of these at once. Kelly Link has strangeness, charm and spin to spare. Writers better than this don't happen.' Karen Joy Fowler

`The exact best and strangiest and funniest short story writer on earth.' Jonathan Lethem

`The most impressive writer of her generation.' Peter Straub

`Her stories have the vibrancy, the buzzing resonance and the oddly insistent quality of dreams.' New York Times

'Weird, funny, sad, scary, moving, hip, ingeniously executed and brilliantly written stuff.' Independent on Sunday
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About Kelly Link

Kelly Link's first collection of short stories, `Stranger Things Happen' was a Salon Book of the Year. She is also the editor of the anthology `Trampoline' and co-editor of `The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror', as well as the magazine `Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet'. She lives in Massachusetts, USA, where she runs a publishing company, the Small Beer Press.
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Rating details

7,177 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 31% (2,256)
4 35% (2,541)
3 21% (1,524)
2 8% (608)
1 3% (248)
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