Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant, editors,
The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet
(Del Rey, 2007)

Drawing on a decade of submissions to the zine Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, the variety of stories in the newly published "Best Of" anthology hold only one clear message: here there be monsters! Whether it involves mushroom-crazed duchesses, unavoidable ghosts, talking animals or only a sorry inability to mix a great cocktail, the imaginable atrocities of life, and some that only these authors could have imagined, find vibrant and stirring representations in this book.

Designed to tempt every palate, this collection of far-ranging stories seems to include something for everyone -- and no one story can accurately indicate the tone or appeal of the others. A skim through Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet is rather like flipping through the stations on a radio -- you'll find everything from pop music to health advice, and one of those stations is bound to interest you. The main difference is that where one might feel silly for finding a commercial more engrossing than anything else on the radio, this book's offerings embrace so much, in such a short span of pages, their readers will be too busy paying attention to compare them to anything else.

A satisfyingly weird homage to the magazine pledged to publish the best and the oddest of today's literary world, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet is a provoking experience. The only piece of advice that could help prepare readers for some of the strangeness in store for them here is to avoid reading it right before bedtime.

review by
Whitney Mallenby

16 February 2008

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