Tim Storm's Reviews > The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet

The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet by Kelly Link
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's review
Oct 07, 2011

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Read in October, 2011

I may have had a different reaction to this collection had I encountered it earlier, but familiar as I am now with the kind of story that might appear in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, this one didn't do it for me. The stories included within (there's a fair amount of poetry, too) are exactly my kind of genre--that difficult-to-label, slipstreamy, edge-of-fantasy stuff I've been drawn to in the past couple of years--but this didn't quite strike me as a best-of, unfortunately. The pieces by authors I've encountered elsewhere, folks like Kelly Link, Theodora Goss, Ray Vukcevich, Karen Joy Fowler, and Karen Russell (all of whom I've thoroughly enjoyed) were not their best. And many of the other stories were intriguing but lacking a real spark. Two stood out to me: "The Fishie," a sort of Riddley Walker-type tale of some simple folk living in an alternate world that may or may not be post-apocalyptic, and "What's Sure to Come," a more realist story (that felt a lot like a Stuart Dybek tale) about a child narrator observing his gambling, card-reading elders. I also really enjoyed the illustrated essay "The Well-Dressed Wolf." As for the others, I was seldom repulsed (like I often was with the Kelly Link-edited Trampoline--and by the way, I absolutely adore Kelly Link's writing; see my other reviews), but I wasn't quite enchanted, which is what writing of this variety can/should do.
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