Passing through the skinny house that no one else can see, Mack is plunged into a realm in which time and reality are skewed, a place where what Mack does seems to have strange effects on the "real world" of concrete, cars, commerce, and conflict. Growing into a tall, powerful young man, pursuing a forbidden relationship, and using Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream as a guide into the vast, timeless fantasy world, Mack becomes a player in an epic drama. Understanding this drama is Mack's challenge. His reward, if he can survive the trip, is discovering not only who he really is but why he exists.
Both a novel of constantly surprising entertainment and a tale of breathtaking literary power, Magic Street is a masterwork from a supremely gifted, utterly original American writer, a novel that uses realism and fantasy to delight, challenge, and satisfy on the most profound levels.
©2005 Orson Scott Card; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks
"[Card's] prose is a model of narrative clarity; the author never says more than is needed or arbitrarily withholds information; yet even a simple declarative sentence carries a delicious hint of further revelation." (The New York Times)
I have been a fan of Card since I first read the short story that was to become the novel Ender's Game twenty some years ago. His ability to create characters who will stay in your heart happens yet again in this novel. The narrator was also terrific - nailing the different voices so that one had no difficulty determining which character was speaking. I personally enjoyed how he intertwined religion, upper middle class African American culture, Shakespeare and a fairy tale.
I've enjoyed other books by Card, but this one was weak. It was as if he was deperate to write a book no matter how bad it was. At the end he claims he wrote the book to please a friend who wanted a book with a Black hero in it. Sadly the only way he could think to accomplish this was by plagerizing a Mid Summer Nights Dream. He took the characters and brought them into modern times as African-Amerian fairies.
The book itself was long, boring, the plot was too broken and anti-climatic. If you did nothing more than listen to the first and last hour of the book you would have the best parts of it.
The story opens up intriguingly, building a nice atmosphere of suspicion that things are not quite right. Some wonderfully colorful characters are introduced and you're on the verge of getting hooked. And bang, enter Shakespeare, the fairies and extremely handy answers and excuses based on "things that are normal in fairy land". Nothing really clever or thought provoking happens after the half-way point, with a total reliance on magic, and not much in the way of writer ingenuity. I'm never disappointed having read a book, but I sometimes feel taken advantage of; this would be a case in point. Be prepared to be swallowed whole by a "giant slug" in his "slug-like" mouth!
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