What We’re Reading: Get in Trouble

Title: Get in Trouble: StoriesGet in Trouble

Author: Kelly Link

Genre: short stories: magical realism, science fiction

Why did you choose to read this book?

According to the book’s back cover, one of my favorite authors, Michael Chabon, called Kelly Link “the most darkly playful voice in American fiction.”

What did you like about it?

The book delivered “dark playfulness” as promised! I don’t read much magical realism or science fiction, so both of these elements in her writing were refreshing. I think some of the stories are allegorical. Each story contains a thread of humor and absurdity.

Through short stories, Link explores many different characters and settings in one book, so it’s easy to put down and pick up again. Even in a few pages, Link creates worlds that are just similar enough to our own to relate to them, but strange enough to make me laugh out loud.

Was there anything noteworthy about the book?

It was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for fiction and an American Booksellers’ Association Indies Book Choice Award finalist in the category Book of the Year – Adult Fiction.

What feeling did the book leave you with?

As a Gen-Xer, I’ve lived long enough to be amazed by the potential of technological advances, only to have my hopes (of the paperless office, of free information, of an informed citizenry, of a solution to global warming) inevitably dashed by mass greed and willful ignorance. Get in Trouble speaks to my cynicism, but also to my hope and the need to continue to imagine things beyond the possible.

Who would you recommend the book to?

I’d recommend Get in Trouble to anyone who gets a thrill from finding the absurd or impossible in the mundane.

What would you pair this book with?

I would pair this book with waiting for something: riding a bus, sitting in a doctor’s office, a lunch break from work, etc.

About Stephen Brooks

Stephen is a reference librarian at Durham Tech. He has blogged previously at acqweb.org and for American Libraries magazine online. He enjoys reading 20th and 21st century literature, biographies and books about sports.