Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners – Review

Monsters in Eden

9780007242009 Source: Harpercollins UK

Kelly Link’s award-winning short story collection, Magic for Beginners, whisks the reader along a meandering trail through several unique and inventive twists on the fantastical. Strands of myth, sci-fi and fable commingle with characters who yearn, mock, steal and bicker throughout these nine stories. That might not seem like many but, once read, they leave the reader with the impression of having travelled through twice as many worlds as they signed up for. It’s a collection that buzzes with ideas, sometimes whimsical, sometimes startling. Where another author may be content with one concept, stringing it out over a narrative arc of the same length, Link’s stories often juggle many notions at once, jettisoning a rich flood of dream-sparks that can live and die in the space of a page. Some of these ideas are given flesh and bone, others merely cast a lingering shadow, yet all…

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