MB Taylor's Reviews > The Good Fairies of New York

The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar
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's review
Feb 18, 2011

really liked it
Read in September, 2010

Finished reading The Good Fairies of New York (1992, 2006) by Martin Millar last night. The Good Fairies is a humorous urban fantasy, similar in genre to the work of Christopher Moore, but even further out. Although Moore’s sense of humor is pretty odd, Millar’s is downright strange.

The Good Fairies is mostly about two Scottish thistle fairies, Morag and Heather and their adventures in New York. Not that they know they are in New York (for a while they think they’re in Glasgow) or where New York is or exactly how they got there (they were pretty drunk when they arrived). According to them they are the best fiddlers in Scotland and they want to start a puck fairy band. They’re both very stubborn, very competitive and nearly as dumb as sticks.

The Good Fairies is also about Kerry and Dinnie, the New York humans the fairies befriend; a collection of Chinese, Italian and Ghanaian fairies that reside in New York; five fairies from Ireland and Cornwall as lost as Morag and Heather, camping in Central Park; a group a warrior fairies from Scotland hunting for Morag and Heather; and a band a Cornish fairies rebelling against their king who is trying to industrialize his subjects.

This is one very strange and funny book. It’s also R rated, mostly due to a series of raunchy phone sex commercials on Dinnie’s TV.

Two other characters of interest: Magenta, a bag lady who thinks she is Xenophon; and Johnny Thunders, the ghost of the New York Dolls guitarist, who has come down from heaven looking for his lost Gibson guitar.

Millar juggles his many plotlines pretty well; just as one gets really interesting he switches to another, making the book seem to move along at a frantic pace. And, as should be expected, the various plotlines (even the phone sex commercials) converge and separate and converge again.
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