12 February, 2016

The good fairies of New York by Martin Millar

I would like to see Auckland Libraries run a competition for the best opening sentence in a book. The best writers hook you in their very first sentences and then reel you in. This book would be my entry in that competition:

Dinnie, an overweight enemy of humanity, was the worst violinist in New York, but was practising gamely when two cute little fairies stumbled through his fourth-floor window and vomited on the carpet.

Hooked! The fairies’ names are Heather and Morag, Scottish thistle fairies and virtuoso violinists with a love of punk. They have an intense love-hate relationship that forms one of the key plot lines of the book.

Around Heather and Morag and a motley assortment of fairies and humans, Millar spins a riotously funny tale. Fleeing Britain after some complicated misadventures, the fairy friends proceed to spread mischief and magical chaos in New York whilst their enemies seek them out and plot their demise.

The relationships that develop between the fairies and those questionably fortunate few humans able to see them are both hilarious and touching. The lines between reality and fantasy are blurred, crossed and re-written in creative ways as the stories develop and coalesce.

The humour is fast and clever, occasionally scatological and pornographic. Behind the humour lies the commentary on modern society and its values, urban decay, identity and sub-culture. The fairies see what humans have learned not to notice, because if you do not notice, you do not need to care.

If you enjoy this book, you should also try Millar’s latest novel, The goddess of buttercups and daisies.

Title: The good fairies of New York
Author: Martin Millar

Reviewed by Nick K, Ranui Library

Nick K enjoys reading crime fiction, demonological adult and young adult fiction, classic children’s fiction like Arthur Ransome and picture books, especially those illustrated by Quentin Blake. He hates reality TV.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Kia ora! Please feel free to leave your comments or suggestions below.