When I first started reading this book, I felt like Homer Simpson when he was reading the Far Side: "I don't get it. I don't get it." But it grew on me, and I had fun reading it. However it's rather indescribable. It has fairies, the ghost of the New York Dolls' Johnny Thunders, a bag lady who thinks she's an ancient Greek general, and two very star-crossed lovers, among other things. If that's enough to interest you, then you'll probably enjoy the ride.
I picked this book up and decided to buy it based mostly on the rave review that Neil Gaiman gave it and the fact that it was a World Fantasy Award winner. But I have to be honest here. I just don't get it. I don't understand why Gaiman adores it so much or why it's award winning -- maybe because it was ahead of its time when it was originally published in 1992? I even enjoy other books this author has written under a pseudonym. I just don't get the attraction of this book.
The story itself is cute but very hampered by the fragmented way its told. Each character's story is chopped up into bits and pieces. All the chance meetings and coincidences that make the story fall together in the end really felt a bit forced. And worse yet none of the characters are completely fleshed out. They are all characatures - the tragic heroine, the loser who just needs a little guideance, the crazy homeless woman, and all the various fairy clans are complete stereotypes.
The final straw is that after everything is over and done with and all the strange little plot lines are tied up the book ends very abruptly and left me wondering what happened.
I'd gotten it based on Neil Gaiman writing in praise of it, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped. There is some clever humor but a whole lot of silliness and more point-of-view jumps than I've encountered in a long time. It just wasn't a smooth read, and I ended up skimming to get to the end of the story.
Fantasy tale about fairies--beginning with two exiled Scottish fairies, Heather and Morag--who make their way to New York. Eventually the book encompasses the stories of several fairy clans both across the pond and in NY itself, with bits on the Isle of Skye to Cornwall to Ireland and different neighborhoods of New York. Some interesting humans pepper the story as well--Kerry, a young hippie-ish woman with severe Crohn's disease and a colostomy whom Morag befriends; Dinnie, an overweight, bigoted layabout whom Heather takes on as an improvement project since, like herself, he is a MacKintosh; and Magenta, a thirty-something mentally ill bag lady who has delusions that she is the captain of a mighty Greek army. Witty, funny and yet poignant with interesting characters and an interesting "world" I enjoyed this book quite a lot, though sometimes it was just plain silly. It's written in an easy reading style and sometimes the humor sneaks up on you and makes you laugh out loud.
Incredibly simplistic, juvenile, and all-around unlikeable. The writing style is adequate, if plain, but the characters are all one-dimensional and not very interesting, the story doesn't really go anywhere, and Millar's exploration of race relations is laughably absurd.
This book starts off confusing. There are so many plot lines to follow. And I almost missed when they all came together. It happened so fast. Too much build up for so short a point. However, it was fun and silly to read. I could only read this book for about a half hour before I needed to find another book, that made sense, to read. I was still able to finish it in 4 days.
This was a really nice book and an easy read. It was a bit of a slow start because it was hard to find the author's rhythm. Millar jumps around a lot and includes a lot of characters which were difficult to keep track of until halfway through. All that didn't bother me much, I still really enjoyed it and could keep track of the main plot points and characters. It's an offbeat story in an offbeat style and was pretty refreshing. It's not for everyone, but if you're looking for something a little different I'd recommend this book.
An interestingly odd book. Excellent story line of a mixed group of Scottish, Irish, and English fairies arriving in New York. Needless to say they meet odd New Yorkers and get themselves into and out of all kinds of trouble. Throughout the adventure they meet fairies from Chinatown, Little Italy, and Harlem. The third-person view jumps from character to character. There are topics in this book that are not appropriate for young readers (nothing graphic but not things parents want to be explaining to pre-teens)--so I would say late teens to adults as my rating for readership.
Martin Millar unleashes a world never known by busy humans, the world of fairies. "The Good Fairies of New York" introduces us to these fairies and how uncorrupt they are until they are immersed into a human world. The fairy's lives begin to model human society with a dictatorship happening, and rebellion brewing thanks to the discovery of Mao's writings, jealousy and racisim. Fantasy, but really reality as it parallels human problems. A fantastical read for those who enjoy this parallelism with a lot of fantasy!
Took a while for me to get 'in' to this book and, to be honest, I was tempted to set it down and walk away after the first few chapters but I'm glad I didn't as it *did* eventually find its rhythm. Morag and Heather, 2 punk rock wannabe fairies, with a tendency to find trouble (though through no fault of their own- just ask them, they'd love to tell you) land in New York City. Leaving a Celtic Flower Alphabet, a couple of fairie riots, several felony thefts, a lot of whiskey (a little wine too) and a civil war in their wake they manage to stay busy and really don't have to try that hard. Really.
This is *not* your typical fairie story and you will be seriously disappointed if you order the book on that assumption. Instead expect very little magic, phone sex commercials, homeless people dying on the doorstep, grit and grunge, a crazy baglady, Chairman Mao and a blue ponytail.
These are one of those stories that you have to read a couple of chapters or more to grasp who is who and what is going on. There were just so many characters and it seemed there was always some sort of trouble these fairies were into.
My version of the book had a intro by Neil Gaiman which I think gave the book more creditability then some ways it deserved. Not to say I did not like it. It just took me so long to finally get into the story and understand what was going on.
You are first introduced to the fairies Heather and Morlag in a drunken confused state and already exiled from there home but you dont find out that they were exiled until half of the book. You just know that there are other fairies looking for them but you dont know why.
The people they attach themselves to, Dinnie and Kerry, are probably not the most upstanding citizens to say the lest but it is New York. Everyone in New York has a dark side it is assumed. The fairies arent really there to help them become a better person...well that is not true they try but it doesnt always work out for the best.
Heather tries to teach Dinnie how to play a proper fiddle and Morlag trys to help Kerry collect her flowers for an art piece, stealing items from different areas of New York along the way. Heather steals for Dinnie to live and Morlag steals for Kerry for pleasure. The stealing gets the fairies in trouble with more stereotypical fairies, the Italian fairies and the fairies from Chinatown.
The book is very different I will say that. There are many things left unanswered in the book in the end and it had so much going on. There is a humorous feel to it. It is definitely tongue-in-cheek. This probably would be a story I would read again to revisit the characters and find things I probably missed the first time around.
Two Scottish thistle fairies wake up hungover in New York with absolutely no idea how they got there. Mayhem ensues. Its quirky and fun, bringing another universe to life. The only thing I wasn't super crazy about is that it ends quickly.
Millar dumps everything into this lightweight fantasy -- feuding fairies, a lovesick musician, a hippy chick obsessed with flowers, a gonzo production of Midsummer Night's Dream, a bag lady with delusions of grandeur, and a rock'n'roll ghost, mixes them all up, and hopes for the best. While wildly imaginative it does tend to get a big out of control at times. Neil Gaiman's introduction remains probably the best part of the book.