Link’s “Stone Animals” is a brilliant short story that starts off in a very normal, contemporary fiction kind of way, filled with psychological realism. It then free falls, veering sinisterly into the dark and fantastical. A lot of reviewers have thrown the term “magical realism” around when discussing the story, but for me personally, I think "Stone Animals" is a foray into horror.
The “haunted house" aspect is an inference we can make, and so we’re immediately primed to expect strange things to happen. And they do. Everyday objects outside and inside the home begin to emanate something strange. Thankfully, there are never any obvious confrontations with ghosts or poltergeists or anything outwardly paranormal. What happens outwardly is that the family starts to grow apart. They become increasingly alienated from each other and from their own things in the house. Their house is unfamiliar because its new, they just moved in, and their discomfort and unease are to be expected. But then that strangeness begins to permeate and spread—the TV, the alarm clock, and the family cat are affected in some way—until everyone starts to feel unhinged and out of control.
i would say the premises were original, though to be fair a story about a handbag that can trap people within the magical realm inside it is pretty much old hat
Very well executed surreal stories. I didn't find the individual ideas particularly novel, but the way they were put together was very well done.
dida thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over
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