Magic for Beginners

( 10 )

Overview

Magic for Beginners is Kelly Link’s eagerly anticipated and critically acclaimed follow-up to her beloved debut, Stranger Things Happen. “Cumulatively weirder and wiser” (The Believer), this new story collection riffs on zombies, marriage, witches, superheroes, haunted convenience stores, and weekly apocalyptic poker parties, among other things. 
 
Link’s work is truly unique. Time Out New York called her stories “cross-genre gems,” ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (33) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $3.38   
  • Used (27) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$3.38
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(493)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
PAPERBACK New 0156031876! ! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! ! ENJOY OUR BEST PRICES! ! ! Ships Fast. All standard orders delivered within 5 to 12 business days.

Ships from: Southampton, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$3.38
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(1022)

Condition: New
PAPERBACK New 0156031876 Friendly Return Policy. A+++ Customer Service!

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$3.38
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(319)

Condition: New
PAPERBACK New 0156031876 XCITING PRICES JUST FOR YOU. Ships within 24 hours. Best customer service. 100% money back return policy.

Ships from: Bensalem, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$3.38
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(2566)

Condition: New
2006-09-05 Paperback Reprint New 0156031876 Ships Within 24 Hours. Tracking Number available for all USA orders. Excellent Customer Service. Upto 15 Days 100% Money Back ... Gurantee. Try Our Fast! ! ! ! Shipping With Tracking Number. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Bensalem, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$3.38
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(775)

Condition: New
PAPERBACK New 0156031876! ! ! ! BEST PRICES WITH A SERVICE YOU CAN RELY! ! !

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$7.27
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(23585)

Condition: New
BRAND NEW

Ships from: Avenel, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Magic for Beginners: Stories

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

Magic for Beginners is Kelly Link’s eagerly anticipated and critically acclaimed follow-up to her beloved debut, Stranger Things Happen. “Cumulatively weirder and wiser” (The Believer), this new story collection riffs on zombies, marriage, witches, superheroes, haunted convenience stores, and weekly apocalyptic poker parties, among other things. 
 
Link’s work is truly unique. Time Out New York called her stories “cross-genre gems,” and her admirers in the literary community—from Peter Straub and Karen Joy Fowler to Alice Sebold and Michael Chabon—reflect the amazing range that makes her style so special. Call it kitchen sink magical realism: Fantastic and bizarre but funny and down to earth, there is something for everyone in Magic for Beginners.

 .

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS
 
"One of current fiction's little-known treasures, [Link] spins her stories in such charming, matter-of-fact tones that you almost don't realize you're entering a hybrid world that's part Muggle and part magic . . . Link casts her spells like an expert."—Time

"A potent blend of horror and magic realism and postmodern absurdism . . . [Link’s] stories combine the everyday with the bizarre to powerful effect . . .That sort of resonance, that lingering, haunting effect, is the product of real magic, and Kelly Link is no doubt a sorceress to be reckoned with."—The New York Times Book Review
Michael Knight
… even when I didn't know what to make of her stories, I couldn't put them out of my mind. That sort of resonance, that lingering, haunting effect, is the product of real magic, and Kelly Link is no doubt a sorceress to be reckoned with.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
The nine stories in Link's second collection are the spitting image of those in her acclaimed debut, Stranger Things Happen: effervescent blends of quirky humor and pathos that transform stock themes of genre fiction into the stuff of delicate lyrical fantasy. In "Stone Animals," a house's haunting takes the unusual form of hordes of rabbits that camp out nightly on the front lawn. This proves just one of several benign but inexplicable phenomena that begin to pull apart the family newly moved into the house as surely as a more sinister supernatural influence might. The title story beautifully captures the unpredictable potential of teenage lives through its account of a group of adolescent schoolfriends whose experiences subtly parallel events in a surreal TV fantasy series. Zombies serve as the focus for a young man's anxieties about his future in "Some Zombie Contingency Plans" and offer suggestive counterpoint to the lives of two convenience store clerks who serve them in "The Hortlak." Not only does Link find fresh perspectives from which to explore familiar premises, she also forges ingenious connections between disparate images and narrative approaches to suggest a convincing alternate logic that shapes the worlds of her highly original fantasies. (July 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“A sorceress to be reckoned with.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“[Kelly] Link’s stories . . . play in a place few writers go, a netherworld between literature and fantasy, Alice Munro and J. K. Rowling, and Link finds truths there that most authors wouldn’t dare touch.”—Lev Grossman, Time
 
“She is unique and should be declared a national treasure.”—Neil Gaiman
 
“Funny, scary, surprising and powerfully moving within the span of a single story or even a single sentence.”—Karen Russell, The Miami Herald
 
“This is what certain readers live for: fiction that makes the world instead of merely mimicking it.”—Audrey Niffenegger
 
“[These] exquisite stories mix the aggravations and epiphanies of everyday life with the stuff that legends, dreams and nightmares are made of.”—Laura Miller, Salon, Best Books of the Decade
 
“A major talent . . . Like George Saunders, [Link] can’t dismiss the hidden things that tap on our windows at night.”The Boston Globe
 
“The most darkly playful voice in American fiction.”—Michael Chabon
 
“I think she is the most impressive writer of her generation.”—Peter Straub
 
“Link’s world is one to savor. [Grade:] A”Entertainment Weekly
 
“Intricate, wildly imaginative and totally wonderful . . . will fill you with awe and joy.”—NPR
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156031875
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/5/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

KELLY LINK's stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, Conjunctions, The Dark, and elsewhere. Her honors include a Nebula Award and an NEA Literature Fellowship. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

The Faery Handbag
I USED TO GO TO THRIFT STORES WITH MY FRIENDS. We’d take the train into Boston, and go to The Garment District, which is this huge vintage clothing warehouse. Everything is arranged by color, and somehow that makes all of the clothes beautiful. It’s kind of like if you went through the wardrobe in the Narnia books, only instead of finding Aslan and the White Witch and horrible Eustace, you found this magic clothing world—instead of talking animals, there were feather boas and wedding dresses and bowling shoes, and paisley shirts and Doc Martens and everything hung up on racks so that first you have black dresses, all together, like the world’s largest indoor funeral, and then blue dresses—all the blues you can imagine—and then red dresses and so on. Pink reds and orangey reds and purple reds and exit-light reds and candy reds. Sometimes I would close my eyes and Natasha and Natalie and Jake would drag me over to a rack, and rub a dress against my hand. “Guess what color this is.”
 We had this theory that you could learn how to tell, just by feeling, what color something was. For example, if you’re sitting on a lawn, you can tell what color green the grass is, with your eyes closed, depending on how silky-rubbery it feels. With clothing, stretchy velvet stuff always feels red when your eyes are closed, even if it’s not red. Natasha was always best at guessing colors, but Natasha is also best at cheating at games and not getting caught.
 One time we were looking through kids’ T-shirts and we found a Muppets T-shirt that had belonged to Natalie in third grade. We knew it belonged to her, because it still had her name inside, where her mother had written it in permanent marker when Natalie went to summer camp. Jake bought it back for her, because he was the only one who had money that weekend. He was the only one who had a job.
 Maybe you’re wondering what a guy like Jake is doing in The Garment District with a bunch of girls. The thing about Jake is that he always has a good time, no matter what he’s doing. He likes everything, and he likes everyone, but he likes me best of all. Wherever he is now, I bet he’s having a great time and wondering when I’m going to show up. I’m always running late. But he knows that.
 We had this theory that things have life cycles, the way that people do. The life cycle of wedding dresses and feather boas and T-shirts and shoes and handbags involves The Garment District. If clothes are good, or even if they’re bad in an interesting way, The Garment District is where they go when they die. You can tell that they’re dead, because of the way that they smell. When you buy them, and wash them, and start wearing them again, and they start to smell like you, that’s when they reincarnate. But the point is, if you’re looking for a particular thing, you just have to keep looking for it. You have to look hard.
 Down in the basement at The Garment District they sell clothing and beat-up suitcases and teacups by the pound. You can get eight pounds’ worth of prom dresses—a slinky black dress, a poufy lavender dress, a swirly pink dress, a silvery, starry lamé dress so fine you could pass it through a key ring—for eight dollars. I go there every week, hunting for Grandmother Zofia’s faery handbag.
 
The faery handbag: It’s huge and black and kind of hairy. Even when your eyes are closed, it feels black. As black as black ever gets, like if you touch it, your hand might get stuck in it, like tar or black quicksand or when you stretch out your hand at night, to turn on a light, but all you feel is darkness.
 Fairies live inside it. I know what that sounds like, but it’s true.
 
Grandmother Zofia said it was a family heirloom. She said that it was over two hundred years old. She said that when she died, I had to look after it. Be its guardian. She said that it would be my responsibility.
 I said that it didn’t look that old, and that they didn’t have handbags two hundred years ago, but that just made her cross. She said, “So then tell me, Genevieve, darling, where do you think old ladies used to put their reading glasses and their heart medicine and their knitting needles?”
 
I know that no one is going to believe any of this. That’s okay. If I thought you would, then I couldn’t tell you. Promise me that you won’t believe a word. That’s what Zofia used to say to me when she told me stories. At the funeral, my mother said, half-laughing and half-crying, that her mother was the world’s best liar. I think she thought maybe Zofia wasn’t really dead. But I went up to Zofia’s coffin, and I looked her right in the eyes. They were closed. The funeral parlor had made her up with blue eyeshadow, and blue eyeliner. She looked like she was going to be a news anchor on Fox television, instead of dead. It was creepy and it made me even sadder than I already was. But I didn’t let that distract me.
 “Okay, Zofia,” I whispered. “I know you’re dead, but this is important. You know exactly how important this is. Where’s the handbag? What did you do with it? How do I find it? What am I supposed to do now?”
 Of course, she didn’t say a word. She just lay there, this little smile on her face, as if she thought the whole thing—death, blue eyeshadow, Jake, the handbag, faeries, Scrabble, Baldeziwurlekistan, all of it—was a joke. She always did have a weird sense of humor. That’s why she and Jake got along so well.
 
I grew up in a house next door to the house where my mother lived when she was a little girl. Her mother, Zofia Swink, my grandmother, babysat me while my mother and father were at work.
 Zofia never looked like a grandmother. She had long black hair, which she plaited up in spiky towers. She had large blue eyes. She was taller than my father. She looked like a spy or ballerina or a lady pirate or a rock star. She acted like one too. For example, she never drove anywhere. She rode a bike. It drove my mother crazy. “Why can’t you act your age?” she’d say, and Zofia would just laugh. Zofia and I played Scrabble all the time. Zofia always won, even though her English wasn’t all that great, because we’d decided that she was allowed to use Baldeziwurleki vocabulary. Baldeziwurlekistan is where Zofia was born, over two hundred years ago. That’s what Zofia said. (My grandmother claimed to be over two hundred years old. Or maybe even older. Sometimes she claimed that she’d even met Genghis Khan. He was much shorter than her. I probably don’t have time to tell that story.) Baldeziwurlekistan is also an incredibly valuable word in Scrabble points, even though it doesn’t exactly fit on the board. Zofia put it down the first time we played. I was feeling pretty good because I’d gotten forty-one points for zippery on my turn.
 Zofia kept rearranging her letters on her tray. Then she looked over at me, as if daring me to stop her, and put down eziwurlekistan, after bald. She used delicious, zippery, wishes, kismet, and needle, and made to into toe. Baldeziwurlekistan went all the way across the board and then trailed off down the righthand side.
 I started laughing.
 “I used up all my letters,” Zofia said. She licked her pencil and started adding up points.
 “That’s not a word,” I said. “Baldeziwurlekistan is not a word. Besides, you can’t do that. You can’t put an eighteen-letter word on a board that’s fifteen squares across.”
 “Why not? It’s a country,” Zofia said. “It’s where I was born, little darling.”
 “Challenge,” I said. I went and got the dictionary and looked it up. “There’s no such place.”
 “Of course there isn’t nowadays,” Zofia said. “It wasn’t a very big place, even when it was a place. But you’ve heard of Samarkand, and Uzbekistan and the Silk Road and Genghis Khan. Haven’t I told you about meeting Genghis Khan?”
 I looked up Samarkand. “Okay,” I said. “Samarkand is a real place. A real word. But Baldeziwurlekistan isn’t.”

Copyright © 2005 by Kelly Link

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at www.harcourt.com/ contact or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents
The Faery Handbag 
The Hortlak 
The Cannon 
Stone Animals 
Catskin
Some Zombie Contingency Plans 
The Great Divorce 
Magic for Beginners 
Lull 
 

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2005

    Deliciously Eccentric, Comfortably Bizarre

    As an avid reader and an embarrassed fan of the strange and paranormal, it takes alot for me to be even faintly surprised by any ghost story these days. Link's collection of short stories did more than surprise me, they actaully thrilled me, alarmed me and most especially puzzled me. Don't expect your average gothic spooky tales here--even her obligatory ghost story is incredibly bizarre and positively dripping with post-modern conventions. Beyond the shock-and-awe factor, Link's stories resonate with the full range of human dilemas--apathy, cynicism, alienation and disgust--as well as at times presenting remarkably touching moments. I reccomend this one--but only for the adventurous and lovers of the eccentric. Those who prefer more straight forward, predictable pieces might want to steer clear, or at least wait for the paperback.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Recommend

    Magic for Beginners is a collection of short stories full of ism's; mainly magical realism (as the title infers) and surrealism. My favorite was the Stone Animals. This story has touches of Gulliver's Travels and psychological thrills as some of the characters slowly are removed from existence. Another is Grandma's magical purse, The Faery Handbag and what powers does it really hold? The Lull has stories within stories, you go forwards and backwards and travel through time. If you enjoy magical realism and a good story this is a book to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2006

    Terribly written

    This book was highly recommended by Time Magazine so I decided to purchase it. What a disappointment! The sentence structure and shallow characters could have been penned by an 8 year old. Save your money.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)