The Good Fairies of New York

Reviewer: Alan Smithee (pseudonym to protect the guilty)

Author: Martin Millar

Published: 1992

Reviewed: 2009-03-07

Publisher: Trafalgar Square Publishing

Anyone who has met me and been forced to put up with me for more than
five minutes has probably heard my Rules for Bad Books (TM).
Specifically, a set of 3 simple criteria that can be used when
purchasing a book to determine whether or not it's likely to be total
crap. For the uninitiated, I have summarized them below:

1) The book contains the words 'A Novel' somewhere on the cover
without any context. If the publisher needs to TELL you that this
collection of printed dead tree is, in fact, a novel, then you've got

2) If the author's name is printed in a larger font size than the
title. (Author's name and title being in the same font size doesn't
count.) This means the book is being sold solely based on who wrote
it, and not because it's good.

3) The back cover or inside flap, normally being reserved for a brief
teaser plot synopsis, are covered instead with 'praise' for the book.
If they need to spend all their time telling you it's good, while not
providing you with a blurb to help you decide for yourself, then there
could be problems.

Now, to qualify as bad, a book must meet at least two of the three
criteria listed above. Meeting only one should raise suspicions, but
that doesn't mean it will be bad. It just means that the publishers
flunked cover design school, which anyone who has seen either the
Hitlercycle or the cover of Der Kadett can readily agree is a common

Lets see...

The Good Fairies of New York.

Author's name bigger than title? Check.

Back cover filled with praise instead of plot? Check.


Now, like any good science-minded person, I always make allowances for
the fact that my theory could be proven wrong. With every new book I
read, I could stumble across that hidden gem which shakes the very
foundations of my carefully honed thesis. Could The Good Fairies of
New York very well be that book?

Uhm, no.

The best I can figure, it's about crackheaded, kilt-wearing,
fiddle-playing fairies from Scotland that get lost in New York for
some reason. Only certain people can see them, possibly while high.
I'm not 100% sure. I can't read more than a few pages at a time
without putting it down and resting my eyes because the writing is
simply THAT disjointed. It wouldn't surprise me if this book is one
of those things that only makes sense after taking copious amounts of
drugs, and since I don't take drugs, more research is needed to
confirm this.

Quote: "'I've decided not to believe in you in the hopes that you will

Unfortunately, no amount of willing or wishing can make this book go
away. But as much as I want to sink my filthy claws into it and just
rip it to shreds, I can't. I have to be fair here.

As objectively horrible as this book is in every way, I can't help but
imagine what a competent storyteller would have done with the concept.
I mean, the main idea of the story in of itself isn't so bad?

Actually, well, yes, it is. Crackheaded fairies never ends well. But
it had potential. It really had the chance to be one of those
endearingly bad books that you somehow love anyway in spite of it
being so mindfuckingly stupid.

Instead, we get crack. The bad kind of crack cut with drano or
something that makes you go blind and all your teeth fall out. Maybe
if I could force myself to read it all the way through without
stopping for periodic psych evaluations I would be able to pick out
some sort of real storyline, but I can't, even though the back cover
swears to me that one should be there. Maybe there was one, but all
the whiskey killed it off.

In Conclusion: Theory confirmed. Expect a summarization of my
research to appear in leading scientific journals within the next 6
months. I will use my commission to bribe certain key publishers into
publishing less crap. Hey, if they can make more money by NOT
clogging the shelves with these books, then they just might take me up
on the offer.

Also, apparently fairy vomit smells good. Who knew?