Bewildering Stories

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Book Review:
Orson Scott Card, Magic Street

by Jerry Wright

Magic Street
Author: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Del Rey
Trade Paper: 416 pages
0345416899 Price: $24.95
Scott Card wins a lot of awards. And rightfully so. Magic Street was not anything like I expected. In some ways it reminds me of the writing of Dean Koontz, and I find that readers generally either love the book, or hate it.

Card decided to write a book with a black hero. People who know seem to think he got the vocabulary and talkin' pretty much correct, and the audio version seems to get high marks for authenticity and flavor. So...

The book starts out with an uptight black professor giving a lift to a greasy old dreadlocked street bum he calls "Bag Man". He doesn't want to, he just can't help himself. After dropping the bum off, he makes his way home to find that his wife is pregnant. And it just happened. And she goes through nine months in an hour. And gives birth to a baby boy.

Strangely, the "Bag Man" appears, takes the baby, and no one except for the Professor remembers anything about it. The bum then takes the baby and sticks it by a huge drain pipe where it is found by a kid named Cecil, or Ceece...

The boy, named Mack Street by his "adoptive mother", a local nurse, grows and explores, and finds that he "cold dreams" people's wishes. Which come true in horrific fashion. Magic is loose. And not just any magic. Card, after all this setup, takes a right turn into the world of Will Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". And much of the bizarrity of that so-called comedy turns out to be REAL. Including Oberon, Titiana, and that merry wanderer of the night, Puck.

So, I really enjoyed the book, enough so that it scooped Lisa Goldstein's Dark Cities Underground although I may do a review of that soon. If you love Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, you may not like this book, but if you are into Bewildering Stories, well, this could be right up your alley.

Copyright © 2006 Jerry Wright and Bewildering Stories

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