Magic for Beginners

Magic for Beginners

By: Kelly Link

(Short Stories)

I have been putting off this review for a couple reasons.  One, I didn’t want to write a negative review.  I can’t help but think if the roles were reversed and someone didn’t like my book I would be devastated, but I suppose I can’t love everything.  Secondly, I haven’t actually finished the whole thing, but I doubt that’s going to happen any time soon, as you will understand in a moment, so I feel like it’s alright to review from here.

I really wanted to like this book.  I first discovered Kelly Link by reading her short story Magic for Beginners in Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine and I loved it!  The story was so bizarrely captivating that I couldn’t wait to read more, but when I started reading the collection of stories, none of the others (so far) captured my attention the way Magic for Beginners did.  In fact, they often felt to me like a haphazard collection of random strangeness ranging from just plain weird to mildly disturbing.  It just didn’t feel like there was any point to it all, and especially when all that randomness had a slightly more negative tinge to it I just had a hard time sticking with it.  Reading felt like work and I really hate that.

The author is incredibly imaginative, which is by far an awesome thing, and I’m not criticizing that at all.  I think that when it comes to the strange and bizarre everyone has their own personal taste, like art.  I kept feeling like maybe I was missing something and if I came at it from a different angle I’d see it for the brilliant originality that it is.  Perhaps I will one day, and if that happens I’ll write a new review.  Until then, it will wait patiently upon my shelf…

Happy Reading 🙂


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