|Get in Trouble
"Fran's daddy woke her up wielding a mister.
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 to take readers deep into an unforgettable, brilliantly constructed fictional universe with each new story. 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 in 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
I heard there was a fan club for Kelly Link? I love hearing that, I enjoy seeing a group of readers binding together from great feelings a book or Author emits. I wish I could say "Get in Trouble" grabbed me into the conga line, shaking my hips with excitement. Nope. I missed that bus. Maybe this was the wrong book to be introduced with? Short stories are probably the weakest books to try and capture my attention. You have to REALLY fascinate me, resonate with me or give the collection an overall theme to get me hooked.
Before I go into which stories gripped me (I did love two of them) and give a little love to the Author, I want to discuss a major gripe with audiobooks. I don't understand WHY a book is broken down poorly into chapters that don't make any sense. Worse than that? When you are listening to a group of SHORT STORIES and the chapters don't get broken down that way. Not only can I look to the index of a physical or digital book for the chapter (story) titles, but I can't even determine how long a story is if the audiobook doesn't piece them out that way! I love short story collections on audiobook for the simple reason that I can look at my audible app and see how long a certain story will take and pick which one I should listen to based on the length of my drive. I felt very disjointed while listening to this, many times finishing up a story in the middle of a drive and hardly completing the next one, so they merged in my mind, watering down the effectiveness. I would like to fault whoever is responsible for the publishing but I really don't know who does what.
On another note, the audiobook did have a complete cast, which was a great change. I loved certain narrators over others and maybe that also played into the likability of specific stories over others. The first story about the "Summer People" sticks out in my mind (even though it was the first one) as really gripping. I almost wish "Summer People" could evolve into a novel, that would be so much fun to read. My favorite story of them all was the third one, about a teen who goes to a hotel (hosting a dental and superhero convention) to meet up with a guy she met online in an MMORPG. Kelly Link has a wicked imagination and I can definitely see why people cling to her newest release and shriek with excitement, I'm hoping to go back and read a much loved book of hers to feel that same magic I did in those two stories. I know it's there!
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