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
Kelly 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
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author Kelly Link has established a singularly captivating voice with her genre-bending mix of dark magical realism. Get in Trouble continues the tradition with stories that follow a dreamlike logic—a bit like Haruki Murakami, if Murakami wrote about washed-up heartthrobs and teens with mechanical boyfriends. There are superheroes with the power to guess the sell-by date on cans of tuna, a storehouse filled with slumbering humans, a woman with two shadows—Link’s vivid landscape blossoms with the weird. Get in Trouble is both unnerving and disorienting, but each story will haunt and amaze you.
Link's haunting collection of short stories trades in both the familiar and the macabre, creating worlds in which ghosts are accepted, space travel is a given, and superheroes are all too real. There isn't a bad performance by any of the nine actors here, though three stand out more than others. Kirby Heyborne's rendition of the melancholy tale "I Can See Right Through You," in which he portrays an aging movie star who pines for his glory days, is poignant. Heyborne brings some needed humanity to "the demon lover," another character in the same story, who is more complex and perhaps sinister than is immediately apparent. Another top-notch performance is by Susan Duerden in "Two Houses," a futuristic story about a space crew awakened from cryogenic sleep for a celebration that takes a dark turn. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that the breathy nature of Duerden's performance, which sometimes descends to a mere whisper, is no accident but a spot-on character decision. Finally, the childlike voice of Ish Klein shines perfectly in "The New Boyfriend," in which one teen girl is jealous of her friend's newest robot boyfriend. A Random hardcover.
Modern Fairy Tales That Are Never What You Expect!
This is the third volume of Kelly Link's short stories that I have read, and they certainly don't disappoint. They are always surprising, just when you think you have them figured out, they go off in an unexpected direction. These stories are themed around the character getting into some sort of trouble, thus the name of the collection. Usually, the trouble is of their own making, sometimes it unexpectedly finds them. Poor decisions are usually involved, or maybe they are good decisions? It all depends on how the reader views the situation. These sometimes are dreamlike fantasies. Sometimes the stories seem grounded in a gritty reality, but it isn't the reality you are familiar with.
The only thing I didn't like about this book is its cover. With so many images from the stories that could have been used, why they selected the ugly graffiti-like text they did is beyond me.
I didn’t like this book at all. I was expecting more. The stories are weird and I’m not sure where the character is taking me. There are unusual grammatical errors that I’m not sure are on purpose because the story doesn’t warrant its use. I like short stories that made me feel something significant at the end, or that the character/s provided some meaningful insight. I didn’t get that with these stories. I had to reread stories to see if I missed the meaning, but got nothing and only irritation.
Gets gimmicky fast
I truly enjoyed 3 or 4 of the 8 or 9 stories. The author’s schtick gets pretty tiring pretty quickly though. At first you think it’s great, very novel, but by the end you’ve got a bead on what she’s doing, and it’s not nearly as impressive, just a bunch of tossed-off fantasy ideas that junk up the story.