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The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet [Paperback]

Kelly Link , Gavin Grant , Dan Chaon

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Price: 8.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

28 Aug 2007
Unexpected tales of the fantastic, & other odd musings by Nalo Hopkinson Karen Joy Fowler Karen Russell Jeffrey Ford among many others

Contains STORIES by the AMAZING Jeffrey Ford, the FABULOUS Karen Joy Fowler, the UNLIKELY Kelly Link, the THRILLING Nalo Hopkinson, the SHOCKINGLY GOOD Karen Russell, the UNNERVING James Sallis, and dozens of UNCANNY others, as well as USEFUL lists of many kinds and STRAIGHT-SHOOTING advice from Aunt Gwenda.

Edited by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant
Introduction by Dan Chaon

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Strange! 24 Aug 2008
By G. Messersmith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet is a zine run by Kelly Link and her husband Gavin Grant. I am a big fan of Link's work and since they took 10 years of stories, poems, odds and ends about literature, movies, and just about everything else you can think of from this zine and made a book, I had to purchase it. First there is the introduction which is too good to miss and then...

The first story is by Link "Travels with the Snow Queen" which has become quite famous on its own. This is followed by Grant's "Scotch, an essay into a drink." This one actually has a couple of drink recipes in it. The book is 387 pages long; therefore, I won't be able to give a review of everything so I'll try to hit the highlights.

"Pretending" by Ray Vukcevich is the story of a set of old friends who meet up at the holidays at a different place every year and this particular year they meet in a missile silo. The silo belonged to a family who had attempted to turn it into a home but gave up and now rented it out. The group decides while they are there, they will call on ghosts. It turns out to be a wonderful and scary story.

"The Wolf's Story" is a poem written by Nan Fry which will make you cry.

Sarah Monette wrote "Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland" and it was one of my favorite stories of the collection. It's a fairy tale for adults about a woman named Violet who is enchanged by the fairy queen when she is young and how that and letters from her carry over into her adult life and her marriage. I've read it several times.

"Bay" by David Erik Nelson is the strange story of one man's encounter with a guy at a bar who insists he listen to a story of a haunted dog. The ending is unsettling and left me thinking about it for days afterward.

"Happier Days" by Jan Lars Jensen is about a class reunion which has chosen the theme of Happy Days. I saw another reviewer state "it read like an Outer Limits show" and I have to agree.

Karen Russell wrote the short story "Help Wanted" which I found endlessly fascinating but I'm not sure it is for everyone. It's certainly different even for this book. It opens with a Mer-girl who is having a dream and her husband tells her to "quit thrashing around" because it's keeping him awake. The story reveals other females who are as unique as Mer-girl all seeking a job just right for them. A very quirky and delightful read.

"The Red Phone" by John Kessel is the story of a very strange conversation between two people who can only talk to each other through intermediaries. I loved it as it is quite unusual and one of the strangest phone conversations ever thought of.

"The Well Dressed Wolf" by Lawrence Schimel is a hoot! It even comes complete with illustrations done by Sara Rojo. The subtitle is "A rhetorical journey through his wardrobe in fairy tales" which pretty much explains what you are going to get from this reading. It talks about the wolf cross-dressing as a way to establish his individuality instead of just being part of the pack. Well you get the idea, you have to read it to really enjoy it.

There are so many funny, thoughtful, and strange things in this book, it would take another book just to describe them all. If you love Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Slipstream, etc., this is a wonderful collaboration of some brilliant writers. I had a great time reading them all!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet 4 Nov 2007
By Margaret Woodruff - Published on Amazon.com
What a strange and delightful book! Some of the stories I didn't understand, some I understood too well, and some of the lists interested me and others did not. But I loved the book. Good for this little piece of insanity in our too, too worried world.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only two other reviews? This book deserves much better. 27 Oct 2009
By P. Troutman - Published on Amazon.com
The best way to explain this lovely volume is by an analogy to music. Most record albums seem to fall into two categories. There are the classics in which you wonder how they could have packed so many good songs into one album (e.g., _Sgt. Pepper's_, Flogging Molly's _Drunken Lullabies_). Then there are the albums that have the few songs that seduced you into buying the whole thing, only to discover that the rest is garbage.

Anthologies of short stories often fall into these same two neat categories, and the ones with relentlessly good stories are the rarity. More often than not, even `best of' collections have you wading through mediocrity to find the occasional gems.

But there is a third category of music albums --- the ones in which the songs all sound more or less alike but you're perfectly happy with that because it's such a good song. These tend to be more atmospheric albums.

_The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet_ is like this third category. For most of these stories, there is such a uniformity of spirit that it's hard not to wonder whether the obscurer names aren't in fact pseudonyms for Kelly Link. (Not a bad thing if true.) The stories are almost all on the whimsical side, often with a conceit focused on mythology or especially fairy tales. So there's discussion of mermaid seduction ("`Don't flop right into the boat!' her teachers chided. "Do you want people to think you're some kind of floozy?'") to an analysis of the illogic of a wolf needing to wear a sheepskin if he can get his hands on one (with a bonus analysis of our gender assumptions about wolves) to a story entitled "The Ichthyomancer Writes His Friend with an Account of the Yeti's Birthday Party" (either self-explanatory or utterly hopeless).

Glib? Maybe. A bit redundant in hitting on fairy tales? Probably, though there's more diversity toward the end. But these stories are consistently enjoyable to read in a way that few story collections are. This is fun, pure and simple.

The exceptions are rare. Actually, only one. The story I didn't get at all was one called `Fishie'. I'm still not completely sure that the characters were human. (That's the risk of an `anything goes' collection.) But the next section--an advice column from `Aunt Gwenda'--was so funny that when I tried to read some excerpts to my wife, I failed because I was laughing so hard that she couldn't tell what I was trying to say.

Exuberance is the order of the day. While some stories deal with heavy topics, only one feels it: `Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland' would be a tough read if your personal experiences have been similar to what it describes. Everything else, even poisonous mushrooms, is panache all the way down.
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