THE GOOD FAIRIES OF NEW YORK: MARTIN MILLAR Tuesday 29 November, 2011

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Scottish fairies on the rampage in New York city. Can Martin Millar’s book get you rushing down to the bottom of the garden?

I love a good fantasy book. I love a book where fantasy and our reality collide. So reading the synopsis on the back cover made me very excited about reading this book.

Heather and Morag, two Scottish fairies from different clans wake up hungover in New York city and have no idea how they got there. After this all manner of chaos ensues and ordinarily I’d love this book. I didn’t though.

There’s much to enjoy here. The invention, the characters and the humour. This is all made quite difficult to enjoy by Mr Millar’s decision to constantly jump from narrative strand to narrative strand. More often than not you won’t stay with one strand for even one page before we are forcibly pointed to another strand. This could be a stylistic choice for this book or it could be his usual style. The is the first Martin Millar book I have read and despite all of the good things within this book it may be my last.

I am a video editor by trade so I am quite well versed in the benefits of cutting between events and cross cutting. The pace at which Millar cuts though is quite incredible. The effect of all of this is that it’s quite hard to get close to any of the characters or any of the action. It could be that he chose to do this to heighten the chaotic nature of the story. I just felt that it impinged on my ability to inhabit the world of the book in any meaningful way. It also felt like some of the narrative arcs didn’t really fully develop because they rarely got more than a few paragraphs to unfold before we were dashing off to look at something else.

This might not be a problem for other people though. There are lots of redeeming features in this book though not quite enough for me to love it.

If you feel like you can keep up with the pace as Mr Millar hops around his wonderful fiction you might enjoy it just be warned that you might find yourself struggling to get enough purchase on the story to keep it held in your mind.

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