Great review of Howard Who?
Back in print after so many years, Howard Who? remains a terrific collection of short stories. There is nobody else alive writing stories as magnificently strange, deliriously inventive, and utterly wonderful as Howard Waldrop. More.
This won’t stay online, so here’s the full thing.
Nancy Pearl Books Reviews for 10/2/2006:
On the one hand, reading Magic for Beginners, Kelly Link’s exquisitely loopy collection of stories, demands a certain suspension of disbelief, not unlike when you read Garcia Marquez, Salman Rushdie, or the other magical realists. (As Shakespeare had Hamlet note, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”) You simply have to accept (at least for the length of the story) that there might be zombies living among us, or that a purse can expand to hold a complete village. On the other hand, Link’s writing is so remarkable, her use of language so mind-boggling perfect, that you’re sucked into the world of the stories before you know it, beguiled by descriptions like this one, of a sofa covered in “…an orange-juice-colored corduroy that makes it appear as if the couch has just escaped from a maximum security prison for criminally insane furniture.” My favorite is the title story, which reminds me of a drawing by M.C. Escher’s picture The Drawing Hands. It’s intricate, wildly imaginative, and totally wonderful. Whether or not you think you like fantasy, if you’re a fan of inventive plots and good writing – Link’s use of language will fill you with awe and joy – don’t miss this collection.