Stranger Things Happen

Author: Kelly Link
Published: 2001
Language: English
Wordcount: 86,317 / 237 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 52.8
LoC Category: PN
Audiobook: www.spokenalex.org
Downloads: 3,919
Added to site: 2005.07.01
mnybks.net#: 10673
Origin: www.lcrw.net
License: by-nc-sa
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Kelly Link's debut collection takes fairy tales and cautionary tales, dictators and extraterrestrials, amnesiacs and honeymooners, revenants and readers alike, on a voyage into new, strange, and wonderful territory.

Show Excerpt

ane . . . it was to be expected that he'd want to learn to fly. They always do. We moved around to keep him safe and far away from Vera, but you can't keep him away from the sky. If he comes to a bad end, then we kept his feet safely planted on the ground as long as we could.

We tried to teach him to take precautions. Minnie knitted him a beautiful blue sweater and he needn't be afraid of birds nor goddesses while he keeps that on. We did the best we could.

16. The Skater.

In the morning, it was raining. Humphrey helped June with her chores. Lily said nothing when she met him, only nodded and gave him a mop.

Walter said, "So you're the boy she's been pining after," and laughed when June made a face. They tidied the first four rooms on the second floor, and when June came out of the washroom with the wastebasket, she saw Humphrey standing in front of Room Five, his hand on the doorknob. Watery light from the window at the end of the hall fell sharply on his neck, his head bent towards the door.

"Stop," June hissed. He turned to her, his face white and strained. "She doesn't like us to come into her room, she does everything herself."

"I thought I could hear someone in there," Humphrey said. "They were saying something."

June shook her

Reviews

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Average Rating of 2.6 from 8 reviews: ***
2012.03.02
Sarah
****.

Kelly Link is one of my favorite authors. Her other book available on ManyBooks, Magic For Beginners, is one of the best books I\\\'ve ever read. That being said, I didn\\\'t love this collection. You can tell she hadn\\\'t really found her voice yet, and some of the stories are just irritating. However, Flying Lessons is excellent, a modern tale of Greek mythology. A few other stories are pretty good too, just not memorable. This book is worth reading, for sure, just not Link\\\'s best.

2009.09.10
bacoyanis219
**...

I expected more from this book considering she won prizes.

This book was imaginative, though I could do without the masturbating, sex, and swearing that seemed superfluous. Many of these stories left me confused and endings were unsatisfactory.

Actually, I kept reading to see if the book would get better, this is definitely not a young adult book!

2009.09.04
Rosanna
*....

After reading some of the scathing reviews here: I just had to check it out.
I was quite innocently looking for a short story collection. And honestly, I thought that nothing could be as horrible as some of the critics here allege..
But I was wrong..
This is the worst sort of self indulgent crap that I've ever attempted to lay my eyes on.
It's a lot of pointless meandering that actually claims to have some kind of meaning.
This actually reminds me of some notes someone has made on short stories yet to be written ...just the notes, the outlines..and then thrown together into a non intelligible brew of nonsense.
Or better yet...a lot of scribbles while under the influence of some highly toxic hallucination.
Awards?
Is this some kind of joke..?
Well, at least it gives all true writers some hope...that some will actually attach any meaning to this batch of scribbles.
Don't bother with this...or better yet...
wake up each morning and write down the dreams that you remember each night.
After you have enough to fill so many pages ...just call them a series of short stories. Attempt to publish.
You'll have much of the same.

2006.11.03
Kurt
*....

First off, let me say something I've said before to Matt in an email, this site truly redeems the internet. All of you downloading should support this site.

Now for this book. I couldn't agree more with Jim's review of this complete rubbish. What more can I add that he hasn't already said? Except that if this is what modern fiction is all about, then I'm sticking to the classics. This is a really bad collection, each story is a mess and ultimately pointless as Jim points out. Don't waste your time with it. There are millions of other books on this site - almost everything else is better than this literary diarrhea.

2006.10.15
George
*****

This is not your typical ebook -- it's not a "quick read," nor a "quick easy read." These stories are challenging and require some work on the part of the reader. I can't, for example, imagine reading them on an airplane. Dan Brown fans need not apply.

Nevertheless, Stranger Things Happen is a fantastic book. Each story takes the reader to a strange new world where unexpected things happen. Each story is like a piece of intricate jewelry unearthed at an archaeological site.

Is it for everyone? Absolutely not. Is it for you? If you love fairy tales, urban magic and Shirley Jackson, then yes.

2006.04.16
Jimmy
*....

This book is awful. I came to this book with high hopes after reading all the praise that preceded the contents and was sorely disappointed. Never has a collection produced such a strong dislike in me and wonderment at how or why writers/editors give such unjustified praise to a book that is mediocre or in this case downright awful. The book is a collection of short stories where supposedly strange things happen, as in the title. The first story is about a man who seems to be dead and what does he do with his time? Well, he wanders about on a beach and masturbates in a hotel room. Thatís all. The story is a wash out, nothing happens in the end. Actually all of the stories just fizzle out to nothing, end up meaningless. After about the third story you start to wonder why you are bothering to read this stuff. I found myself confused most of the time, as to who was talking, who the writer was talking about, what was going on or supposed to be going on, and nothing seemed to make sense or add up. The writing jumps about all over the place, present tense one minute, past tense the next, jumps viewpoints left and right until you donít know or care what is going on. Iím not against breaking convention, if it is done well it is great Ėand great writers have done it, Joyce etc- but it doesnít come off in this collection, probably through inexperience, lack of skill, as it was the writerís first collection. So I read the second story, hoping it would be better. The second story is about a boy and a girl and her weird parents (the father has fake noses and the mother a prosthetic leg, whoopee) but it ends up fizzling out and leaves you wondering what it was supposed to mean, if anything at all. The characters were badly drawn, the prose erratic and seemed to be a deliberate attempt to be modern but just ends up being confusing. The specialist hat is probably the most conventional of the stories (babysitter, something in the house etc.) but even here it fizzles out and is too vague to produce the frisson that it should. After this, I didnít want to read on and when I did (only because I realised I wanted to let others know how bad this books was) the stories were so confusing that I found myself wondering where I was and where the characters were and what in the hell was going on and seriously wondering if there had been some really bad typos here somewhere. The characters all seem the same, the settings are unclear, the dialogue is stilted, the stories seem pointedly strange to the point of silliness. Iím still wondering if the awards that this collection received were all part of the fiction. Surely somebodyís idea of a joke! I really wonder.
An instantly forgettable collection of experimental stories. Too vague and confusing to be worth attempting to read through the swamp of nonsense. Youíll probably give up after the third one, like I did.

2006.02.19
52 Books
**...

The stories were interesting, but there was always something missing from them. Most lacked a proper ending (or any ending at all). My impression of the stories were that the author was trying too hard to be modern and trying too hard to shock the reader. There were also some formatting problems in the middle of the text which were annoying. I wouldn't recommend this book, but could understand how someone who like more experimental fiction would enjoy it.

2005.09.06
Brian
*****

You know the power of stories, and particularly sometimes of short stories, to reimagine the world, to turn things upside down, to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange... Well so does Kelly Link. This, her first collection of short stories, is an abolute wonderland of bizarre, idiosyncratic tales, and I was so blown away when I first read it I wanted to make sure this tiny independent press could afford to keep putting out writing like this, and I offered to help finance their next book if they needed it. The book was a bargain for the $16 or $18 I paid for it, and may be overlooked amidst free public domain classics, thinking that nothing good ever gets given away for free before it has to, but Kelly and her husband and editor Gavin Grant are not your typical people, and this is not your typical collection of short stories. Get it, and if you don't like the first story you read (the first one in the book is not as easy as some of the others to love, though still excellent), pick another one, because they're all as completely different as they are completely original.


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