Cover Image: White Cat, Black Dog

White Cat, Black Dog

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Member Reviews

3.5ish stars

This collection was okay. I tend to enjoy retelling of myths, fairytales, and similar stories, but I had mixed feelings about these ones; some I liked much more than others, but that’s at least in part because of the original stories I was (or wasn’t) familiar with. It was an interesting anthology of pieces, but it’s possible I wasn’t the best audience for some of them.
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This collection of short stories from Kelly Link is a delightful read, a must-purchase for anyone who is a Kelly Link fan, although I personally prefer her novels.
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Some gentle, strange spinnings from Link that riff on existing fairy tales but mostly takes them into her own voice and spins them into some fantastic liminal spaces. There are a few story threads that come up in my head even a few weeks later as I'm writing this up, just on their own. Definitely worth picking up from the library if nothing else.
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A very interesting and intriguing collection of short stories based on fairy tales and folklore. These were well-written stories that were unique, thought-provoking, witty and original. They ranged from speculative fiction to magical realism - which unfortunately for me, are not my favorite genres, So although I am glad I read this, I think I just may be the wrong reader for this collection. 

My hands down favorite was The White Cat's Divorce and I definitely can see where this collection will be right for the right reader. I recommend for sure to anyone who is a fan of speculative fiction or magical realism and think it it a great book to pick up at anytime and just read one story. Interested to see what else this author has written because her writing definitely was interesting and beautiful.
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This collection is weird, and that is great. 

You can definitely see where the fairytale inspiration comes from, but they are also so unique within themselves. I would say that for those not accustomed to "weird", this may feel very speculative fiction like, but in the best way.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes weird, or is looking into understanding the craft of creative writing a bit more.
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Can short stories be bangers? Because  Kelly Link puts out banger after banger in WHITE CAT, BLACK DOG. Short stories on the cutting edge of horror. Nothing traditional here. All experiments gone mad, but oh so satisfying. This is a read now!

Twisted fairy takes, ghostly romance, and housesitting for death. No safe choices here. Exquisite prose and unforgettable characters. One of the best short story writers around.
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I greatly enjoyed the title story, especially as I was familiar with the fairy tale on which it was based. I liked a couple of the other stories as well, but I thought the rest fell short. Or maybe they just didn't appeal to me. The book has received excellent reviews elsewhere, and the right reader--one steeped in fairy tale lore or who simply loves a well-told tale--will appreciate its twists and turns.
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Absurd and beautiful. Comfortably, deliriously folklorish with that necessary and nagging touch of modern discomfort - like a favorite oversized fuzzy sweater with an itchy tag. I craved these stories before, during, and after reading them, without having known of them before I was granted access to the e-galley of this through NetGalley. 500 stars, if I could. The illustration for each story was perfectly haunting and succinct.
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3✰ // i found this collection of short stories to be an interesting take on retelling some classic folktales. at times the writing style felt a bit flat to me personally. as well as, i think overall, the tenor of the book tended to lean too firmly on the realism side of magical realism for my personal preference; but again, to each their own. i’d say this book is for you if youre looking to read a creative new take on these classic tales.
thank you so much to Random House and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Beautiful, weird, dark, withholding of answers and resisting easy interpretation, "White Cat, Black Dog," is a collection of fairy tales for adults who find themselves in the middle of a crumbling world. Questions of love and survival take center stage. What will we do for those we love? How far would we travel into unknown lands to recover our love knowing full well our time is limited anyway? What happens when love pushes us to outrageous acts? How does surviving at any cost change us? What do we owe those who have ensured our survival? If we lose ourselves in surviving, can we find our way back? If the book were a person, I imagine it would listen to these questions and then offer a knowing shrug and get back to the task of living in extraordinary times.

I often found myself thinking: this is Link's "The Bloody Chamber." If you're already a Link fan, delight in another opportunity to spend time with her wild imagination. If not, "Get in Trouble," might be a gentler place to start, but either way you can't go wrong.
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I typically love fairy tale retellings, so I was excited going into this and it didn't disappoint. It's a bit bizarre, but I think that's part of the charm! I really enjoyed this one and will definitely be looking for more by Kelly Link now!
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Gave me the original Grimm's tale vibe, dark, gory, and unpredictable. I'm not sure if there's a lesson that I need to learn on each of the unassuming stories but I enjoyed it fully!
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Kelly Link did not disappoint again! I loved the fairy tale retellings and the style. The writing was eerie and otherworldly.
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Kelly Link's short stories often have an otherworldly feel, with odd and unaccountable things happening all the time. So a collection of reimagined fairy tales sounds like it might be something special. Black Dog, White Cat: Stories is exactly this and it is even more marvelous than I had hoped. Link sticks mostly with slightly less well-known stories, like <i>The Musicians of Bremen</i> and <i>Snow White and Rose Red</i>. Each story is wildly inventive and solidly based in its origin story. My favorite was a take on <i>Tam Lin</i> that had an otherworldly, magical atmosphere, even before introducing the supernatural aspect. The best story, in a collection where all the stories were good, was a take on <i>East of the Sun, West of the Moon</i> called <i>Prince Hat Underground</i>, in which a man sets out to find and rescue his husband, who was taken away by a mysterious woman, a journey that leads him to Iceland and an ever increasingly odd set of adventures. 

Link knows how to create an atmosphere in her writing, which is a skill that shines in these fairy tales. They are set ostensibly in this world, but each has such a different feeling and air about it, even before the tale gets to the fairies, or the talking animals, or the 300 year old man. Link also knows how to create a story that is hard to put down, even if that story is spent within the walls of a single house or even sitting in the middle seat of a crowded flight. If you have any interest in fairy tale retellings or even a well-told short story, this is the collection to pick up.
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Wow! This was an incredibly weird and wonderful collection of short stories.  I am so thankful to Random House and NetGalley for the ARC of White Cat, Black Dog. I have added all of Kelly Link's collections to my TBR, I can't believe I haven't read any of her work sooner.  Go read this ASAP.

The White Cat's Divorce - 5 stars

Prince Hat Underground - 5 stars

The White Road - 5 stars

The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear - 4 stars

The Game of Smash and Recovery - 3 stars

The Lady and the Fox - 5 stars

Skinder's Veil - 5 stars
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In Kelly Link's follow up to the critically acclaimed "Get in Trouble" the author explores Scottish lore, French ballads, and fairytales in reimaginings of familiar and unfamiliar tales.

I adore Kelly Link's writing, so I was really excited to dive into these tales. One of my favorites was The White Cat’s Divorce. It was a magically wild tale about a young son seeking his father's love, who's journey has him meeting humanoid cats that run a weed farm. Not only was it incredibly weird, but so quintessentially Kelly Link. I also really enjoyed Prince Hat Underground!
I actually plan on grabbing a copy of this collection to put on my shelf. Something about Link's writing just connects to me and she's overall one of my favorite short story authors in the modern age. I think she manages to distill stories into their perfect length almost every time. "Get in Trouble" is a collection I still return to frequently to read and enjoy for it's lyricism and underlying meanings. "White Cat, Black Dog" is no different, embracing the weird and wonderful while also leaving an aftertaste of the bizarre that will make any reader remember these stories for the rest of their lives.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for providing me a copy of this book for an honest review!
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DNF at 48%. I love fairy tale retellings and I’ve enjoyed other Link stories for their quirky weirdness. I may have picked up this collection at the wrong time but they just weren’t working for me and I decided to DNF. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advance reading copy.
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White Cat, Black. Dog is a collection of short stories by author Kelly Link. The stories are based on seven fairy tales which have all been modernized and, like in any collection, I liked some more than others. My favourite was The White Cat’s Divorce in which a rich man sets difficult tasks for his sons. But, honestly, I enjoyed them all. They were well-written and entertaining with a nice touch of humour and reminded me of the joy fairy tales provided my childhood. I loved the drawings by Shaun Tan at the beginning of each story and appreciated Link letting the reader know which fairy tale the story is based on. It shoUld be noted that this collection is definitely for adults but my inner child  thought it was great fun.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review
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An intriguing, enjoyably strange short story collection, all based on retellings of fairytales/folktales - most setting the stories in the contemporary world, with a few instead setting them in a dystopian or sci fi future.

I actually wasn’t familiar with all the source stories, but I love that each story title has the title of the story it was inspired by in parentheses, so I could go look up the original story after reading it. Some of the stories were very much a retelling, just changing the setting, while others were more abstractly inspired by the original stories (or in one or two cases, I couldn’t quite figure out the connection, maybe it was more thematic). Regardless, the writing was quite good and I really enjoyed reading them.

This is the second of Kelly Link’s short story collections I have read (I also read Get in Trouble), and I definitely would like to check out her other three as well. And if she ever writes a novel, I’d be there for that too!
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Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I am a huge fan of retellings, especially ones that are a little off-kilter or introduce horror to a genre that wasn't necessarily horrific to begin with. I think this collection does just that; it was unsettling and funny and tense. The appearance of an old romance story I read years ago was a welcome change of pace, but I really loved the uncanny nature of the other stories. 

4 stars.
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