The Good Fairies of New York Mass Market Paperback – Jun 3 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. 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. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“The funniest writer in Britain today.”—GQ
“Millar offers fiercely funny (and often inebriated) Scottish fairies, a poignant love story, cultural conflicts, and the plight of the homeless in this fey urban fantasy.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Undeniably brilliant.”—The Guardian (UK)
Top Customer Reviews
Not so for Martin Millar. Instead, he creates a different kind that is no less urban or fantastical -- incredibly complex, comedic little novels spun out of thistledown prose. And "The Good Fairies of New York" is a primo example of this -- a mixture of rock'n'roll, Celtic fairy tales, and New York chaos, with a little love story and lots of fairy warfare woven in.
Two Scottish thistle fairies arrive on the surly, overweight Dinnie's window, and puke on the carpet. "Don't worry," one says. "Fairy vomit is no doubt sweet-smelling to humans."
But soon the fairies Heather and Morag have a spat, and Morag ends up stomping to Dinnie's neighbor Kerry, a sweet neohippie. The two fairies stick with their new friends throughout the days that follow -- Heather tries to teach Dinnie to play the fiddle, and Morag accompanies Kerry on a Chinatown shoplift trip, and the making of her Celtic flower alphabet. Then Kerry's rare triple-bloom poppy is stolen repeatedly.
And Heather and Morag decide (separately) to bring Dinnie and Kerry together (for very different reasons). Unfortunately, the fairies' attempts to help their friends ends in massive warfare between the Italian, Chinese and Ghanaian fairies of New York -- especially when Scottish thugs and Cornish royalty arrive. Wrecked fairy banners, a legendary violin, a deranged homeless woman who believes herself to be Xenophon, Johnny Thunders' ghost, and Tullochgorum are all thrown into the mix. Can Morag and Heather overcome their differences and somehow save the day?
You can tell what kind of book "The Good Fairies of New York" is by the title alone.Read more ›
"Dinnie, an overweight enemy of humanity, was the worst violinist in New York, but was practicing gamely when two cute little fairies stumbled through his fourth-floor window and vomited on the carpet."
I read through this book easily in a few days. I enjoyed the ribald humour and the constant bantering of the two Scottish fairy main characters, Heather and Morag, and I liked their human friends too--Kerry, a free-spirited rock-and-roll lover with a colostomy bag, and Dinnie, a grumpy, overweight violinist who lives above a theatre and likes to shout abuse at the rehearsing actors below. I laughed out loud many times before the book was over.
I hesitate to give it 5 stars. Although the book is not very long, it started to drag for me towards the end because I was simply getting tired of the same sorts of jokes over and over again, and I was eager for the story to end. I experienced the same thing reading Douglas Adams. After a while the wisecracks start to get on my nerves.
But overall it was a highly entertaining volume. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for some very unusual, off-the-wall fantasy or simply something uproariously funny. This is not a serious book to ponder over by any means. Although the fairies do make a few serious observations of humanity while they are in New York, these deep thoughts are lost in a sea of comedy.
I also thought that the way it was written was very difficult to follow, maybe it's the editing, I don't know. When a paragraph was finished, there was not indication that you would jump right in another story line, from other fairies. I just don't recommend this for a good read, not funny.