This collection is outrageous. I never thought that I'd be hooked by stories with superheroes, Summer People, Sleepers or Ghost Boyfriends, but I've just finished it and I'm telling you, readers, to get your hands on it.
In hindsight there are a few hints that this is going to be a trip before you even start reading:
- The title: what reader isn't at least a little bit mischievous; who wouldn't want to know what kind of trouble we're talking about and who gets in it
- Michael Chabon calls Kelly Link "the most darkly playful voice in American fiction"
- Neil Gaiman says "she is unique and should be declared a national treasure"
- Her author photo: she looks like she's just holding in a great story under that smile, but only just; her eyes lock in with the confidence that she can hold your attention and that tattoo, well I'm just intrigued at how stating the obvious seems like something with more possibilities and stories behind it
- Acknowledgements: I love reading these - it's where a writer really has the free space to be themselves and speak as an individual. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays...are all spaces for writers to explore, expose, polish and propose, but here, this page or two, is where stripped down personality can really show. And in this case you get a peek into the community behind these stories. Link thanks people for borrowed ghost stories and discussions about evil pants and television shows, and I've never seen an Arts Centre thanked for providing "a desk, some elk, a bear, and conversation" before, but here it is.
Those tags could easily have been more than enough reason for me to leave this book in the library when I have so many other stories to read, but boy am I glad I didn't.
I do have one question about the book: On the cover, what does the key with 1584 mean? Maybe I can ask her at the Five Minute Story Slam (MWF)