Sunday, December 27, 2015

Book Review: The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar

I read and review a lot of Indie authors on this blog, but I also read a lot of traditionally published authors as well. I also reread my favorite books, both classics and just best-loved. On Christmas Day, I picked up my copy of The Good Fairies of New York in order to reread a book that always makes me chortle, giggle, and sometimes laugh out loud.
The copy I have now has an introduction by Neil Gaiman. I will quote from him to give you an idea of what the book is about:
The Good Fairies of New York is a story that starts when Morag and Heather, two eighteen-inch fairies with swords and green kilts and badly-dyed hair fly through the window of the worst violinist in New York, an overweight and antisocial type named Dinnie, and vomit on his carpet. Who they are, and how then came to New York, and what this has to do with the lovely Kerry, who lives across the street, and who has Crohn's Disease and is making a flower alphabet, and what this has to do with the other fairies (of all nationalities) of New York, not to mention the poor repressed fairies of Britain, is the subject of this book. It has a war in it, and a most unusual production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Johnny Thunders' New York Dolls guitar solos. What more could anyone desire from a book?
This book originally came out in the early nineties and my original copy did not have the introduction from Mr. Gaimen. Martin Millar is well-known in Britain both for his Lonely Werewolf series and for the Thraxas series (under the name Martin Scott). For some reason, he is not as well known in the States and that is a shame because he belongs in the respected author grouping of Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, and Neil Gaiman. Maybe it's his covers, I don't know, but Martin Millar has a style all his own. Some people don't like it, but the rest love it. There seems to be no middle ground here.
There are a lot of Celtic stories and music here as well as musical references to early punk rock. The New York street scene is well-drawn as well as the Scottish countryside and people.
Here is the opening of the book to give you an idea:
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.
"Sorry," said one.
"Don't worry," said the other. "Fairy vomit is no doubt sweet-smelling to humans."
I highly recommend this (and all) of his books. This one is a quick read; trust me, it will make you laugh.

Link to Amazon