Galveston: A Novel

Sean Stewart

Published by Ace Hardcover, 2000
ISBN 10: 0441006868 / ISBN 13: 9780441006861
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Synopsis: Sean Stewart's previous novel, Mockingbird, was selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle, and one of the Best Fantasy Novels of the Year by Locus. Now in his most stunning novel yet, one of the most critically acclaimed fantasy writers of our time takes readers to Galveston--an island uprooted, and uplifted, by magic...

Galveston had been baptized twice. Once by water in the fall of 1900. Again by magic during Mardi Gras, 2004. Creatures were born of survivors' joy and sufferers' pain: scorpions the size of dogs, the Crying Clown, the Widow who ate her victims. And the Island of Galveston would forever be divided--between the real city and a city locked in a sort of constant Carnival, an endless Mardi Gras...

Praise for the award-winning novels of Sean Stewart:

"Stewart writes about magic as if it were an everyday occurrence, with its own rules and reasons."-- New York Times Book Review

"A wonderfully vivid and unexpected blend of magic realism and finely-observed contemporary experience."-- William Gibson

"Stewart's prose is vivid and precise...startling and moving."-- Washington Post Book World

Review: Novels from fantasist Sean Stewart resemble icebergs: four-fifths of their content is hidden, adding psychological mass that is felt, even if not seen. His seventh novel is his best yet.

Galveston, Texas, is an island already rich in history and eccentric characters when, during Mardi Gras in the year 2004, sudden magic floods the streets. The world is changed--divided between the real city, where technology and its products become unreliable and scarce, and the city doomed to endless carnival, where it is always 2004 and there are still such wonders as cigarettes, cold beer, and aspirin. Twenty years later, three major figures hold the city in precarious balance: Momus, the king of carnival and god of magic; Jane Gardner, ex-lawyer and unofficial mayor, fighting to maintain essential services in the real city; and Odessa, angel and arbiter. When Gardner develops Lou Gehrig's disease, her daughter, Sloane, strikes a desperate bargain with Momus, and the delicate balance is destroyed; cataclysmic change ensues.

Stewart is at his considerable best when he focuses on character. He is able to make metaphor concrete using symbols that, in lesser hands, might be considered simplistic and clichéd. The author is less sure, however, when he attempts to paint a grander canvas: the hurricane towards the end of the book is not strictly necessary, and it flings the novel around a curve that it was perhaps not meant to follow. Despite this, the book has much to offer, with tips on poker, herbal medicine, and island survival to augment the powerful themes of loyalty and luck gliding beneath the surface. --Luc Duplessis

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Title: Galveston: A Novel
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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