An interesting, and eerie collection of stories. A bit strange and bizarre, they did a good job of making me feel uncomfortable, which I think was the intent.
I was really impressed by this short story collection. Each of the seven short stories were inspired by different fairy tales (some of which I've never heard of before) but they were all uniquely and wonderfully weird. If you're into the surreal, abstract, dream-like quality of fairy tales, check this collection out! My favorite stories were "The White Cat's Divorce", "Prince Hat Underground", "The White Road", and "Skinder's Veil". I look forward to reading more from Kelly Link.
I wanted to love this book, as I am a sucker for fairy tale reimaginings and retellings of all kinds. But this one didn't have quite enough of the source material included, even metaphorically, to really hold my interest. Out of the 7 stories, I truly enjoyed 2, thought 3 were just okay, and actively disliked 2. But if you have a bit of time and are able to read "Skinder's Veil," the last story, I highly recommend that one.
I appreciated this collection, but it didn't stand out to me; I think that's a me problem in that I've engaged with SO MANY stunning short story collections this year, and I also read a fairy tale retelling (How To Be Eaten by Maria Adelmann) that happened to resonate with me more than this one did. I have nothing bad to say about it; in the context of my recent reading, it just didn't click.
I’ve read one other collection from Kelly Link (Stranger Things Happen) and after loving this one as much, if not more, I’m ready to become a Link completist. I don’t think I have the words to accurately describe what she does so well. While Link’s debut STH covered a wider range of genres, in White Cat, Black Dog she offers seven exquisite stories that are all retellings of fairytales. There’s still variety here—they range a great deal tonally and some of the original tales are well-known while others are more obscure—but the focus of this collection allows for some really interesting cohesive themes and shows-off just how talented Link is. If you enjoy genre mash-ups, visceral world-building, fairytale retellings, and stories that surprise, please do pick this up! It’s definitely a contender for a top book of the year for me and it felt like great preparation for Link’s first novel, releasing next February.
This was one of my favorite collections I've read this year. Since finally reading Kelly Link this year, I've fallen in love with her stories, but I think I might prefer this collection even more than "Get In Trouble." These stories aren't afraid to delve into the strange, and Kelly does so with confidence and mastery. Imagine a weed farm being run by walking and talking cats, having to visit hell to rescue your husband who marrying his demon fiancee, and being lost on a road where invisible forces will eat you up if you do not display your dead. The worlds Kelly crafts are ones I urge every reader to visit.
Link does the unthinkable and the unsurprising at once. Another unbelievable collection of short stories enters into our world as fairy tales are reimagined and retold. Whimsical and otherworldly, Link takes a collection of well-known tales and makes them wholly her own and wholly wonderful.
I am what one might call a Kelly Link stan so i definitely went into this reading experience with plenty of positive bias and this book did not disappoint! Link is a master of her craft, delivering another set of delightful and magical and funny and eerie stories. We are so lucky to live in a world with Link’s writing.
White Cat, Black Dog: Stories, Kelly Link, author; Shaun Tan, illustrator
I found this book to be very creative and very imaginative as it married reality with magical realism and fantasy. I did not enjoy the language or some of the sexual content, but the seven stories were engaging, nevertheless.
My two favorite stories were the first, “The White Cat’s Divorce”, that gave the book part of its title and the sixth, “The Lady and the Fox”, about a young girl and what seems like an impossible love story.
In the first, a man does not want to grow old, but he can’t stop aging, although he tries everything humanly possible. In the end, will his consuming desire actually bring about his demise?
In the sixth story, Miranda falls in love with Fenny, a strange man she meets every year on Christmas, if it snows. She is determined to keep him in her life, by hook or by crook. Will she defy destiny?
Another story I enjoyed was “Prince Hat”. Gary and Prince Hat are a happy couple, but he has made a deal with Agnes and she does not want to let him go. Is eternal life worth it?
If you enjoy a bit of fantasy, with a touch of horror and science fiction, that approaches fairy tales in a new and different way, this book is for you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!