Pretty Monsters: stories by Kelly Link

Pretty Monsters
This otherworldly collection of short stories by master fantasist Kelly Link is equal parts whimsy and menace, where dreams and nightmares walk hand in hand, and butterflies turn out to be cockroaches. Walk around in Link’s peculiar world for a while, and you might run into a dead teenage girl at the 7-11 (“The Wrong Grave”), or wind up in another dimension if you open “The Faery Handbag.” In “Magic for Beginners,” you can watch a pirated television show called The Library, where the characters may or may not be real—but only if you can find it, because it’s never on the same channel twice. You can divine your inner goddess in “The Constable of Abal,” conjure your inner werewolf in “Pretty Monsters,” or discover that we are all capable of magic in “The Wizards of Perfil.” You’ll never go camping again after meeting the urban legend-y “Monster,” but may be tempted to believe in aliens after shaking hands with “The Surfer.” You can even try on the evil cousin of Harry Potter’s Sorting Hat in “The Specialist’s Hat.” Each story is as unique as a fingerprint, as surreal as a Salvadore Dali painting, and as unforgettable as your first kiss. Just in time for Halloween, these nine stories, quaintly illustrated by Shaun Tan, are full of tricks AND treats!

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