As I usually say; you know how it is. You email someone obscure-ish, asking them to send you a book, please. They say yes, of course and btw their wife has a book out too, and maybe I’d be interested in reading it? So this is all because Daughter and I went to Oxford in the summer and we had lunch with Katherine Langrish and Joanna Kenrick and Katherine recommended this obscure-ish book and I emailed for it and…
Yes, and wasn’t that a good thing? The wife’s book is short story collection Pretty Monsters and the wife is Kelly Link. It is still a read-in-progress, I have to admit. I’m about halfway in my self-inflicted period of horror and other lovely stuff. Pretty Monsters is pretty good. And monsterish. A monster just ate some American kid campers. I think. Most of them were pretty horrible anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
I had read a story by Kelly before, without remembering her name. I’m not sure which anthology it was in, but I recognised it when I came across it. Kelly has a seriously weird mind, or she writes as though she does.
The stories are interestingly different. What’s not to like about digging up your dead girlfriend, or skinless, ferocious dogs? I’m enjoying this collection, and I space the stories out, so I can’t start a new one when I’ve just finished the one before. They need digesting, and the mind needs to rest between the different kinds of weird. But as someone said last week, the good thing about short stories is that you can read one per day.
Pretty Monsters is one of the new Canongate/Walker co-published books for a crossover audience.
At some point I will even read the novel I wrote off for in the first place. But it’s Halloween just once a year.