This is my first time reading the author.
I thought this collection of strange, unsettling stories was hugely enjoyable. Each story has an air of the weird, strange or mystery about and in some cases you really don’t know what’s going on until you reach the end – and even then you don’t get all the answers. For the most part I enjoyed the stories. My personal favourites were The Education of a Witch, Amicae Aeternum and Singing on a Star (which is amazing by the way). The other stories were good just not quite as great as these three which will stay with me for a long time. I really liked the author’s voice and style. Even though some of the stories dealt with crazy, fantastical events they are written in a matter that suggests everyday events are taking place. No oh my God, there’s a three headed-demon going to eat us all, more, oh, look that demon has a nice skin-tone. I just really liked this. I got lost in these stories for a while which is a good thing.
I thought PORTABLE CHILDHOODS was a fantastic collection of stories. I enjoyed each and every one. Most collections, I find, contain at least one dud, a story that just doesn’t work. That wasn’t the story this time around. Each story is strong and earns a place in the collection. I thought they were all fantastic. I enjoyed them all so much I struggled to picks some favourites but managed in the end. The best stories are Basement Magic, Triangle, Flying over Water, A Taste of Summer and Portable Childhoods. The stand out best story was Guys Day Out which made me cry like a baby. This story about a father and his Down’s syndrome son is one of the best stories I’ve ever read. I thought this was a great collection of stories and I’d highly recommend it.
Brad K. Horner similarly enjoys his first encounter with Klages through WICKED WONDERS.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ve never read Ellen Klages before, but I can definitely say that she has a talent for understated and richly-drawn character tales.
These aren’t meant to blow you away with reveals, but they are subtle and powerful explorations of youth (mostly) and they’re definitely good for nostalgia.
A great deal of them will have slight magical twists, but I’ve got the impression that they’re mostly nostalgic histories of Americana. It’s mild and slightly subversive and the kinds of reveals are almost always social or personality.
For more info on WICKED WONDERS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more info on PORTABLE CHILDHOODS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Eleanor Farrell