Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Magic Street

What if everybody's deepest wishes came true? In this book, nothing much good. Every wish comes "true" but with side effects that make everyone miserable.

This book is set in a tony African American neighborhood in L.A. At the outset, a mysterious homeless man leads a professor to an odd experience that produces a mysterious baby. Eventually this baby is raised by a single nurse, with plenty of assistance from a teenage boy. As a kid, he has "cold dreams", which are actually other people's dreams - that often come true.

This is one of Card's better books. The characters are fresh and original - not rehashes of characters in his other novels. The parallel fairyland universe is also a great twist. Here is a place that is totally different from our universe, yet everything that happens there has some parallel result in the "real" universe. The general portrayal of fairies that date back to Shakespeare's time is also ingenious. These "fairies" have always been around, usually giving people exactly what they "want", but almost never what they really need.

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