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Sunday, January 29, 2006

50 Book Challenge

Book #3: Magic for Beginners, by Kelly Link

I'm still completely enamored of this book of short stories even though I finished it a week and a half ago. It's full of fantastical stuff that deals with such subject matter as zombies, haunted houses, witches, cats (or the notion that cats are actually people who have become very comfortable in cat suits), all-night convenience stores, and people who live inside a handbag from whence they emerge only once every several years.

My favorite tale of the bunch was Magic for Beginners itself, a story about characters whose lives revolved around catching their favorite television show - The Library. This show, which has all manner of mysterious and creepy events taking place, is not on any regular network, nor does it appear at any set time. Viewers must constantly search to find the show, where one of the characters is played by a different actress (or actor) each time.

Along with Magic for Beginners, I was also extremely fond of Stone Animals, the haunted house story (though the haunting "infestation" seems to spread to other things) and Hortluk, which follows the adventures of two young men who man the counter of a 24 hour convenience store. They're trying to change the very idea of "retail sales", which includes trying to figure out how best to serve the zombie population that lives in the area.

That's really only scratching the surface, too, as there are numerous entertaining flights of fancy. Link has a talent for fantasy, to be certain.

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