Magic for Beginners, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


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.




Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

They're interesting short stories and I don't regret reading them but they were just not me. They fall more into the magic realism end of the fantasy spectrum than the urban fantasy that I enjoy reading, and skate the border of horror as well.

Review by

Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link, is a collection of short stories that are difficult to pin down into a definite genre, and are all the sweeter for it. I've not come across Link before, but I'll be looking out for her from now on. Link's characters live in worlds where reality blends with something that is fantastical ... where ghost bunnies haunt houses, where everyone (not just Mark Hall) has a plan for dealing with zombies, and American teenagers are hooked on a bizarre television programme set in a 'world-tree library' where characters are never played by the same actor twice in succession, and where they themselves form part of the story. The stories are strange and beautiful, and almost without exception, are perfectly formed little morsels that work their way into your brain and expand there. (There are a couple of lesser stories, but even they have their merits). A collection to experience.

Review by

Not quite like anything I've ever read. There's a definite dream-like, nightmarish quality here, but Link also plays with the deceptive straightforwardness of fairytales, as well as mixing a streak of tongue-in-cheek genre humour in there. It's quite disturbing and eerie and leave tons of open ends and strange questions hanging. Me like.

Also by Kelly Link   |  View all