The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Miller

The Good Fairies of NY

So I’m not with you in body ‘fellow readers’ but I am here in book reviewing spirit, one of us managed to get a flight out. The volcano gods heard my prayers.
At this point I hope to be doing my best Princess Di impression outside the Taj or downing some Kingfisher beer.

Whilst I am out in India I will be also searching for a beautiful Summer outfit for my newly appointed Godson’s Christening. We are making it official in June. I love being a god parent especially because they are children of one of best friends. I can’t say I am particularly fussed about ALL children, you know the type of women who are. They are the type that when someone brings a new baby into the office literally jump across desks and printers to hold the wrinkly little bundle in their arms.

It’s not that I am not maternal, in fact, I consider my aversion to random people’s children as a high primitive form of survival of the fittest. After all if we were cavemen and you weren’t in my tribe you’d be down the pecking order for maternal offerings – clearly. Maybe I’m just a pack animal – the sort of blonde Essex type – but I do believe that Miranda from Sex in the City got it right when she said ‘Children are like farts, you only like your own’.

Essentially I am not down with other people’s children losing their body functions on my clothing, I literally gagged the first time my god daughter regurgitated sour breast milk from my friends boobs. I really can’t cope with anyone else’s boob regurge anywhere near me or baby poop. No I’m not massively keen on poop either.

One thing I can be positively be sure I love about children is their books, but as an adult they are a bit embarrassing to take outside the book shop’s kid section. Instead I search high and low for magical adults books and I was delighted when one of my dear friends gave me ‘The Good Fairies of New York’ by Martin Millar. Obviously a bit dubious about anything with the external title of ‘fairies’ on it – I thought I could smell Chick-Lit.

I was really surprised, the book was nothing like I was expecting and being seasoned New York visitor I was really impressed with the way Millar captured a real slice of the city; the side that includes tramps dying in the street, dubious healthcare provision, chinatown and American porn. The story centres mainly around Kerry, a girl with blue hair, a lover of the New York Dolls who is pretty and kind and also has to wear a colostomy bag for her Chrone’s disease. Recently jilted by shallow Cal for this very reason, Kerry is out to exact revenge on him by beating him in the Arts Community fair competition. Cal is entering his version of A Midsumer Nights Dream and Kerry is creating an Ancient Celtic dried flower alphabet by combining rare exotic flowers.

Dinnie is her slobbish neighbour who hates everyone [except Kerry], has no money, can’t play his fiddle very well and watches TV porn constantly. He is madly in love with Kerry and doesn’t have any hope of being with her, until two drunk fairies come vomiting in his life after a bender on Whisky. These fairies are on the run from Scotland due to the fact they massacred an ancient fairy heirloom by accident.

The two miniature rebels have a love/hate relationship between them. Morag and Heather both think they are better than each other at pretty much everything especially fiddle playing. After an almighty row they go their separate ways and one agrees to help Dinnie achieve what he wants from life and the other chooses to help Kerry complete her alphabet.

Chaos ensues as the two fairies try and deal with New York living, one gets in a fight with the Chinese and Black fairies and another starts flirting with the Italian fairies. What you are left with is a comedy of errors on all parts. The confusion is increased by all the fantastic peripheral characters such as Magenta, a bag lady who thinks she is an ancient general about to be sieged and who has also stolen a secret potent cocktail recipe from a fellow tramp Joseph who is out to find her.

There are the Cornish rebel fairies who are trying to overthrow a rebel King, and the fairies who have been sent out to recover Morag and Heather adding extra merriment to the mix. Not to mention the hunt for precious dried flowers, the ghost of Johnny Thunders from the New York Dolls looking for his long lost guitar, the oppressed English fairies and long lost fairy artefacts turning up in NYC!

This book is a great Summer read and if you love New York, fairies and generally a bit of slap dash humour you will really enjoy it. I wouldn’t call it a modern classic like the introduction suggests but it is a very good book. Perfect for your holiday beach bag snap it up or nab a copy from a friend now – Lauren

Author: Rohini Wahi

Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.

She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at mail@rohiniwahi.com

4 Comments on The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Miller

  1. Léonie
    Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 13:25 at 1:25 pm (9 years ago)

    Ahhhh, this book is indeed a great summer read, I read it on a beach in Cornwall a couple of years ago. Well written with a hint of trash which is just what you want on holiday! Your review certainly does it justice Lauren! I (along with Neil Gaiman, always a great arbiter of taste!) also recommend it!

  2. susan
    Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 15:03 at 3:03 pm (9 years ago)

    in between painting, sanding, perusing sites for more inspiration and ideas – and reading my favourite blogs – I now know what to spend my birthday book tokens on – Thank You!!

  3. Rhianne
    Thursday, April 29th, 2010 10:10 at 10:10 am (9 years ago)

    Oh, I really want to read this book, I read one of his other books ‘the lonely werewolf girl’ last year and I loved it. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Becky
    Monday, July 12th, 2010 17:49 at 5:49 pm (9 years ago)

    I love this book – its like a fairy tale on acid, highspeed, eccentric and slighty fantastical but such good fun. Glad you enjoyed it!

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