This book was VERY STRANGE but engrossing. Just trying telling someone what it is about, not very appealing - a man driving home from work stops to pick up a homeless man. Within hours, bizarre stuff has happened - his wife gets pregnant and gives birth and the baby is take away in a plastic bag and left by a drain pipe in a nearby park. The baby is found and adopted by some people in the neighborhood, while only the father remembers the strange incident with the homeless man and how the baby originated. The story gets stranger - the child can dream about what other people wish - and when he grants the wishes, terrible things happen to fulfill the wishes. Amazing how ORS can get into the minds of people with such different backgrounds and voices. This book is splashed in color and vibrancy, with twists and turns in every chapter. Not at all predictable, I had no idea where the book was going, dragged out in the undertoe and surfaced near the end. I didn't like the ending, but not because it wasn't well written.
This was a great read. Very interesting twists and turns in the story and I really liked it.
A different styl from Card's usual. Not like his Alvin Maker or the Ender books at all. . . An abandoned baby is more or less communally raised in an African-American neighborhood. Nobody knows who really is his father, and only one little boy knows who his mother was--and that boy may just hate the baby. 'Things' keep trying to kill the little boy, but luckilly he has some very good self-appointed protectors.
As with all of Card's books, this most recent of his is very well written.
It takes place in an upper-middle-class black american community. Card's afterword makes much of how he had his black friend vet it before sending it out - I think because he KNEW that he'd be taking a lot of criticism. The characters in this book don't just happen to be black, they make a Big Deal out of being black (or Card makes that deal). At times, his characterization works - but at other times I felt like saying, "Yo, you be Trying Too Hard, bro!"
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the first half of this book. It's a riff on the classic stories of wishes gone wrong. An adopted foundling, Mack Street, grows up in a tight-knit community... but he has dreams of his neighbor's dearest wishes - dreams that begin to come true in horrific ways.
And one day he discovers he can slip sideways through a house no one else can see, and into Fairyland... he is, of course, a changeling, and is pulled into the ago-old drama involving Puck, Oberon and Titania...
However, the second half of the book becomes overtly religious. (As opposed to being a book about religious people, which is fine.) But it got extremely moralizing, and, probably because I don't agree with Card's religious views, the story and plot really just stopped working for me. Card, I felt, was trying to overlay a black-and-white duality over a story of beings who have always been amoral (and are here specified as still being amoral), and eh.... it didn't work. There is also a very weird segment where for some very vaguely explained reason, Mack has to have sex with the 'hot motorcycle hoochie mama' who is Titania. But he won't do it before getting married. rolleyes.gif So Titania says they can be married only in the eyes of God (? A fairy says this?) but not the law, so Titania Hypnotizes the preacher into doing a ceremony (dude, I don't think that counts!), but this makes sex OK! And then, even more oddly, Card makes some comment about this being like a gay marriage where partners are "married in the eyes of God but not the law." Just trying to figure out if Card has changed his stance on homosexuality and gay marriage here, or not??? Anyway, it was all pretty ridiculous.
If you like Orson Scott Card, you will probably enjoy this. I haven't enjoyed many of his recent books and, while this is certainly not on par with his best (Alvin Maker series, in my opinion), at least it is a return to form. An enjoyable fantasy novel.