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The Good Fairies of New Yorkby Martin Millar
Synopses & Reviews
The Good Fairies of New York finds two Scottish thimble fairies transported to lower Manhattan. Morag and Heather, who didn't completely fit in back in the old country, are a bit bewildered by their new surroundings, but make do as best they can. They're not entirely alone — as it turns out, New York is heavily populated by fairies, including Italian, Chinese, and black ones.
They glomp onto some humans; Morag joins Kerry, who suffers from Crohns disease (complete with colostomy bag), while Heather hooks up with the asocial (and unmusical) Dinnie. The humans aren't entirely enthralled by the fairies, with Dinnie telling Heather: "I've decided not to believe in you in the hope you'll disappear." His efforts are, of course, ineffective.
Some of the other fairies aren't too enthusiastic about the new foreign presences intruding on their turf either — and then there are the fairies back home, too... Whimsically and precisely, with a fun plot that turns corners on a dime, all sorts of delicious mayhem ensue.
These fairies enjoy drinking, eating magic mushrooms and passing out but they still manage to help a couple of humans to get their lives together along the way. Moreover, inhabited by a fascinating range of human ccharacters who are self centered and hedonistic but at the same time incredibly kind and loyal, Good Fairies is probably the only book out there in which race riots and Crohn's Disease are treated with lightness and good-tempered humor.
If you've ever wanted Johnny Thunders of The New York Dolls to come back from heaven to find his lost guitar, or if you've ever wondered why reels can be so tricky on the fiddle, or if you've tired of some of the more traditional types of fantasies, this book's for you.
"British author Millar offers fiercely funny (and often inebriated) Scottish fairies, a poignant love story as well as insights into the gravity of Crohn's disease, cultural conflicts and the plight of the homeless in this fey urban fantasy. Due to the machinations of the obnoxious Tala, Cornwall's fairy king, only a few humans can see the 18-inch-tall fairies who alight in Manhattan: Magenta, a homeless woman who thinks she's the ancient Greek general Xenophon; Dinnie, an overweight slacker; and Kerry, a poor artist/musician who hopes her Ancient Celtic Flower Alphabet will win a local arts prize. Fairies Heather MacKintosh and Morag MacPherson scheme to put Dinnie and Kerry together, rescue fairy artifacts and prove that in love or war, music is essential. Neil Gaiman provides an appreciative introduction." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Imagine Kurt Vonnegut reading Marvel Comics with The Clash thrashing in the background. For the deceptively simple poetry of the everyday, nobody does it better. Just check out...the Highlands-bred, New York Dolls-obsessed fairies for yourself." The List (UK)
"Buzz is high, fueled by Gaiman's effusive introduction, but Good Fairies doesn't live up to the hype. The novel's structure is disjointed....Characters are one-dimensional and — as ridiculous as it may sound in describing fairies and ghosts — completely unbelievable." Library Journal
"[U]ndeniably brilliant." The Guardian (U.K.)
"[T]he funniest writer in Britain today." GQ
The Good Fairies of New York tells the fish-out-of-water story of two Scottish thistle fairies who find themselves in Manhattan. The fairies hook up with two humans, Kerry (complete with colostomy bag) and Dinnie (antisocial in the extreme), finding time to help both get their acts together. A book that brings together race riots and Scottish folklore, The Good Fairies of New York is anything but a typical fairy fantasy.
About the Author
Martin Millar was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but has lived in London, England, for a long time. He has written profusely,from novels and plays to short stories and articles. Millar has written six other novels: Love and Peace with Melody Paradise; Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation; Lux the Poet; Dreams of Sex and Stage Diving; Ruby and the Stone Age Diet; and Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me.
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