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Get in trouble : stories
OverDrive Inc.  Ebook
2015
Availability
OverDrive
Get in Trouble
Rating:3.5 stars
Publication date:2015

About the author:

MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow Kelly Link is the author of the collections Get in Trouble, Stranger Things Happen, Magic for Beginners, and Pretty Monsters. She and Gavin J. Grant have co-edited a number of anthologies, including multiple volumes of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and, for young adults, Monstrous Affections. She is the co-founder of Small Beer Press. Her short stories have been published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. She hasalso received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Link was born in Miami, Florida. She currently lives with her husband and daughter in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Description:

FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE • NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A bewitching story collection from a writer hailed as “the most darkly playful voice in American fiction” (Michael Chabon) and “a national treasure” (Neil Gaiman).
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
BookPage • BuzzFeed • Chicago Tribune • Kirkus Reviews • NPR • San Francisco Chronicle • Slate • Time • Toronto Star • The Washington Post
She has been hailed by Michael Chabon as “the most darkly playful voice in American fiction” and by Neil Gaiman as “a national treasure.” Now Kelly Link’s eagerly awaited new collection—her first for adult readers in a decade—proves indelibly that this bewitchingly original writer is among the finest we have.

Link has won an ardent following for her ability, with each new short story, to take readers deeply into an unforgettable, brilliantly constructed fictional universe. The nine exquisite examples in this collection show her in full command of her formidable powers. In “The Summer People,” a young girl in rural North Carolina serves as uneasy caretaker to the mysterious, never-quite-glimpsed visitors who inhabit the cottage behind her house. In “I Can See Right Through You,” a middle-aged movie star makes a disturbing trip to the Florida swamp where his former on- and off-screen love interest is shooting a ghost-hunting reality show. In “The New Boyfriend,” a suburban slumber party takes an unusual turn, and a teenage friendship is tested, when the spoiled birthday girl opens her big present: a life-size animated doll.
Hurricanes, astronauts, evil twins, bootleggers, Ouija boards, iguanas, The Wizard of Oz, superheroes, the Pyramids . . . These are just some of the talismans of an imagination as capacious and as full of wonder as that of any writer today. But as fantastical as these stories can be, they are always grounded by sly humor and an innate generosity of feeling for the frailty—and the hidden strengths—of human beings. In Get in Trouble, this one-of-a-kind talent expands the boundaries of what short fiction can do.
Praise for Get in Trouble
“Ridiculously brilliant . . . These stories make you laugh while staring into the void.”The Boston Globe
“When it comes to literary magic, Link is the real deal: clever, surprising, affecting, fluid and funny.”—San Francisco Chronicle
Reviews:

The New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)
"Welcome to the fabulous mind of Kelly Link. . . . It has taken Link ten years to produce her new story collection, Get in Trouble, and it is just as brilliant as her last."
Meg Wolitzer, NPR
"Ridiculously brilliant . . . and entertaining as heck . . . These stories make you laugh while staring into the void. By the end, they'll be with you sleeping and waking."--The Boston Globe "Marvelous . . . As a writer Kelly Link is possessed of many magical powers, but to me what's most notable about her new collection, Get in Trouble, is its astonishing freedom. . . . Link knows there's nothing she's 'supposed' to do; her imaginative freedom is unmitigated by a need to counterbalance the weirdness with explanation."
The Washington Post
"Smashing . . . sensational . . . Each of these stories presents the reader with the same setup: Remain in your narrative comfort zone, or venture into Link's uncharted sea of troubles. Come on. Live a little."--O: The Oprah Magazine "This is art that re-enchants the world. Who needs tediously believable situations, O. Henry endings or even truthfulness to life? Give us magic; give us wonder. What matter most in pure storytelling are style and visionary power. If your voice is hypnotic enough, you can make readers follow you anywhere."
San Francisco Chronicle
"When it comes to literary magic, Link is the real deal: clever, surprising, affecting, fluid and funny."
The Paris Review
"Brilliantly strange . . . With every tale [Link] conjures a different universe, each more captivating than the last. At first glance these realms don't seem too far from our own, but soon their wild, mysterious corners are illuminated. . . . You'll long to return the minute you leave. [Grade:] A"--Entertainment Weekly "Get in Trouble is one of the strongest collections I've read recently; each story is finely calibrated, with Link's surreal but utterly believable logic, suspense, and heart."
The New York Times
"Wildly imaginative . . . Link never fusses over the surreal twists in her stories, but they contain so much emotional truth that there's no need to explain a thing."
Chicago Tribune
"[Get in Trouble] resonates with depth and maturity, the sense of a writer using genre for her purposes rather than the other way around. . . . The stories here are effective because we believe them--not just their situations but also their hearts. . . . [Kelly Link] has created a series of fully articulated pocket universes, animated by a three-dimensional sense of character, of life."--Los Angeles Times "Since her 2001 debut, Stranger Things Happen, no one has surpassed Link at crafting stories like miniature worlds, each one palatial on the inside, honeycombed with alternate realities and alarmingly seductive. . . . A new Link collection is therefore more than just a good excuse for a trip to the bookstore. It's a zero-gravity vacation in a dust jacket."
The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Magical . . . The stories in Get in Trouble are something like the wonderful stories of Ray Bradbury, whose science fiction transcended the genre. Link's tales are reminiscent of Neil Gaiman, too, with something dark, feminine, and punk-rock blended in."
The Seattle Times
"Mesmerizing."
New York
"Beautiful, terrible and strange . . . When Link published her first collection, Stranger Things Happen, this sort of fiction, with its playful intersections of the banal and the wondrous, was rare. There's more of it now, but Link remains the master of a delicate genre."--Salon "[Get in Trouble] is a haunted house built with blunt sentences and teeming with dark shadows, sudden shocks, and secret rooms. . . . But fear not: Link is always in control, an emotional realist with a steady hand and a generous heart."
The Guardian
"Link's prose and ideas dazzle; so much so that you don't see the swift elbow to the emotional solar plexus coming until it's far, far too late."
The Huffington Post
"Link has won Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy and Tiptree Awards for her fiction, b
Publisher's Weekly

Starred review from September 15, 2014
These nine stories may begin in familiar territory—a birthday party, a theme park, a bar, a spaceship—but they quickly draw readers into an imaginative, disturbingly ominous world of realistic fantasy and unreal reality. Like Kafka hosting
Saturday Night Live, Link mixes humor with existential dread. The first story, entitled "The Summer People," in homage to Shirley Jackson, follows an Appalachian schoolgirl, abandoned by her moonshiner father, as she looks after a summer house occupied by mysterious beings. "I Can See Right Through You" features friends who, in their youth, were movie stars; now in middle age, she is the hostess and he is the guest star of a television show about hunting ghosts at a Florida nudist colony. "Origin Story" takes place in a deserted Land of Oz theme park; "Secret Identity" is set at a hotel where dentists and superheroes attend simultaneous conferences. Only in a Link story would you encounter Mann Man, a superhero with the powers of Thomas Mann, or visit a world with pools overrun by Disney mermaids. Details—a bruise-green sky, a Beretta dotted with Hello Kitty stickers—bring the unimaginable to unnerving life. Each carefully crafted tale forms its own pocket universe, at once ordinary (a teenage girl adores and resents her BFF) and bizarre (...therefore she tries to steal the BFF's robot vampire boyfriend doll). Link's characters, driven by yearning and obsession, not only get in trouble but seek trouble out—to spectacular effect.

Kirkus

Starred review from December 15, 2014
In stories as haunting as anything the Grimm brothers could have come up with, Link (Magic for Beginners, 2005, etc.) gooses the mundane with meaning and enchantment borrowed from myth, urban legend and genre fiction. Here are superheroes who, like minor characters from reality shows, attend conferences at the same hotels as dentists and hold auditions for sidekicks. Here, a Ouija board can tell you as much about your future as your guidance counselor. In "Two Houses," six astronauts wake from suspended animation to while away the time telling ghost stories, although they may be ghosts themselves. In "I Can See Right Through You," an actor past his prime, famous for his role as a vampire, yearns for the leading lady who has replaced him with a parade of eternally younger versions of what he once was-but who is the real demon lover? In "The New Boyfriend," a teenager discontent with her living boyfriend toys with stealing her best friend's birthday present, a limited edition Ghost Boyfriend, capable of Spectral Mode. In "Light," Lindsey has two shadows, one of which long ago grew to become her almost-real twin brother. She contemplates a vacation on a "pocket universe," a place "where the food and the air and the landscape seemed like something out of a book you'd read as a child; a brochure; a dream." Lindsey could be describing Link's own stories, creepy little wonders that open out into worlds far vaster than their shells. In a Link story, someone is always trying to escape and someone is always vanishing without a trace. Lovers are forever being stolen away like changelings, and when someone tells you he'll never leave you, you should be very afraid. Exquisite, cruelly wise and the opposite of reassuring, these stories linger like dreams and will leave readers looking over their shoulders for their own ghosts.

COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Library Journal

December 1, 2014

The cover of Link's new short story collection--the advance copy, anyway--is blanketed with raves from major authors. To be sure, her stories are wonderful creations; the author has a way of concocting a unique world in each piece and drawing in the reader. "The Summer People," for instance, features an Appalachian girl who minds the house of some unseen people, who seem to be both hoarders and fairies. In the futuristic "The New Boyfriend," teenage girls have superficial and dysfunctional relationships with life-sized boyfriend dolls. In "Light," a plucky, hard-drinking woman with two shadows employed at a company that ships and houses the inert victims of a mysterious sleeping epidemic gears up for a hurricane. VERDICT Link's fiction could be described as a combination of George Saunders's eerie near-reality mixed with Amy Hempel's badda-boom timing, plus a dose of Karen Russell's otherworldly tropical sensibility. In short, the tales are imaginatively bizarre yet can be seen as allegorical representations of our own crazy modern world. Most of the protagonists here are female and resourceful; it's a pleasure to immerse oneself in fantasy worlds where women aren't victims or pale stereotypes. [See Prepub Alert, 8/22/14.]--Reba Leiding, emeritus, James Madison Univ. Lib., Harrisonburg, VA

Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Booklist

January 1, 2015
Link, well known to fantasy fans and others who enjoy the weird in fiction, has gathered nine stories bound to captivate a broad audience. Humor, outrageous concepts, and first-class world building make these stories unforgettable. In Light, a woman who lives on the Florida Keys drinks constantly, picks up men who are big trouble, and has two shadows and a cozy life until her twin brother slides a doppelgnger into her bed during a lulu of a hurricane. The narrator of The Summer People has troubles of a different kind when her moonshine-loving father leaves her alone, tending to the weird people in the weird house, who always protect their own. Link's locations are almost in our world or time, but not exactly. The 15-year-old narrator of Secret Identity has come to New York to rendezvous with an older guy she met on an MMORPG; she has to overcome a raft of misconceptions; she and Paul Zell never quite manage to see each other; and she suffers a long list of hilarious humiliationstr's path'tique.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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