Link writes like the girl in the back of homeroom who is weird, yes, but also cool and intimidating. She’s probably wearing black and writing allover her arms with a ballpoint pen. She knows a lot and she is not afraid to drop reference after reference and allusion after allusion- she doesn’t care if you get it, she gets it and she is enjoying herself. Luckily, she dropped her notebook after class and now you get to take a peek inside.
This is probably the most traditionally “dark” of Link’s collections. She’s always lifting up rocks to stare at the bugs underneath, but this time the rock comes smashing back down. or flies through a car window on an overpass. or bludgeons and unfaithful husband. or is actually a cursed animal that was turned into a rock. It took me longer than usual to read this collection of stories, as the first few were so grim (but still so good) I had to put the book down and walk away for a bit. More than one story required a follow-up of a good, dumb cartoon before I could get myself in the mode for sleep.
Things lighten up a bit towards the back half, but only if you consider riffs on fairytales where the ORIGINALS involve a lot of foot trauma to be light: you know, like dancing to death in heated iron shoes, turning your mermaid tail into feet that always feel like you’re being stabbed, cutting off pieces of feet to cram yourself into glass slippers…Link says it best:
“Ladies, Has it ever occurred to you that fair tales aren’t easy on the feet?”