Third Wish is a unique experience. The story is obviously a long one, but one that needs to have an audience. The accompanied music is very important to the story, as it shines a brighter light on the participating characters. I have thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of Max-Pol, Alex, Alice, Kostas and Wonko. The adventures of Dog and Alice-Alice were not as exciting to me, but of course I was missing my friends by the time we met. Since Third Wish is so unique to me, I really have nothing to compare it with, though I have read hundreds of books. Third Wish stands alone, not only as a story, but as an adventure. The adventure seems to be an external one, a record of trips and happenings. Along the way you realize that another adventure has already started in the readers mind. This journey is not into just the characters, but the world in which the characters exist. I had to remind myself that the adventures of the "Jumwillies" takes place in the present. The wonderful places and experiences they enjoy and share keep me thinking that they are living a thousand years ago. I yearned for the peaceful and fun trips they were having, as well as the silence that only a comfortable friend can provide during a visit. I would have enjoyed being a Jumwillie, sharing their laughter, stories, and emotions. I'm sure the Freudian experts would have a lot to say about the story within a story within a story. Of course, by doing so they would miss the entire point of Third Wish! For in the end, we are as readers only a witness.
Though we can share in the telling of the many stories that the novel reveals, we are reminded that we are not being witnessed ourselves. We are bound to the characters by their stories, but as we know, some secrets must not be told. Thus, we are left with only one truth...
Nobody knows what the Jumwillies know.
I would describe Third Wish as a journey into the intimate lives of characters that enjoy the simple pleasures that life can bring...though most of us do not see them. These characters however have conflicts and dilemmas along the way. Third Wish is, above all, a journey. A journey of history, friendship, laughter, love, peace, sadness, and finally understanding and acceptance.
Third Wish stands alone among the hundreds of books I have read. It is unique in many ways, and the level of intertwining of characters and stories is rare in my opinion.
To Mr. Fulghum, Thank you for the enlightenment, enjoyment, and your gift of many stories in Third Wish. I find myself thinking of taking a walk with a friend and playing my own version of left right surprise. I think of visiting Crete one day, and enjoying the simple pleasures that Alex and Max-Pol experienced. I think of the many simple pleasures that in a busy world are forgotten. The idea of retroactive wishes should not be taken lightly, and I hope to be reminded of them in the future.