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The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet Paperback – August 28, 2007

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Genre-blurring stories, poems and articles by a few major authors and a host of relative unknowns appear in this oddly compelling excursion into the realm of the surreal and interstitial. The standouts are a diverse lot: Nalo Hopkinson's exquisitely visceral folkloric allegory "Tan-Tan and Dry Bone," Sarah Monette's darkly romantic "Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland," the hilarious illustrations of Sara Rojo and narration of Lawrence Schimel in "The Well-Dressed Wolf," Richard Butner's appropriately dry "How to Make a Martini." Link and Grant also unabashedly include surprisingly sub-par examples of their own work. With a major SF imprint publishing this hefty anthology, LCRW's times as a low-profile fringe zine may be at an end, though it remains to be seen whether mainstream readers will be convinced to swell the ranks of its relatively few but utterly devoted subscribers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



“Tiny but celebrated.”
–The Washington Post

“Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet never fails to hook me.”
–New Pages

“What is in this container?” Is it “dwarves and faeries and hobgoblins sitting around drinking mead out of acorns?” Or “post-nuclear holocaust cannibal mutants with a taste for sexy college students?” Perhaps it’s something even more sinister, some sort of “weird or speculative fiction.”
–from the Introduction by Dan Chaon

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345499131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345499134
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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