December 14, 2009
The Wrong Grave - Kelly Link
I have said many times on this blog that there are some stories that Kelly Link has written that I love with an unhealthy obsession, and yet there are some stories that she as written that I really dislike. (Here's my review of Magic For Beginners.)
The Wrong Grave is online for free at kellylink.net, and is included in Pretty Monsters. Of course I couldn't resist reading it.
The story is about a boy who tries to dig up his dead girlfriend to retrieve some poetry he'd buried with her. In other hands this could be a clichéd story, resorting to tired fantastical horror-esque themes, however Kelly Link turns it into something strange and heart warming. The description of the main characters love and loss is wonderfully told in bitter sweet prose. Looking back on the story it reminds me a bit of Neil Gaiman, except a bit more slippery. At times the point of view changes, without warning, and the narrator talks to us with a knowing voice. It's funny and sad and I liked it a lot.
I've thought a lot about why some of Kelly Link's stories strike such a chord with me, and I still haven't been able to pin it down. In fact after a while I resist the idea to be critical about these stories because they are magic to me, and I don't want to break the spell.