Monday, May 20, 2013

The Magic Circle : What She Read Review

Don't just take my word for it; visit
a host of other bloggers for their
unique reviews of this novel via
TLC Book Tours.
Truth?  I flat-out begged for this book.  LARPing, NYC, Greek drama, and a writer who teaches English at Columbia University: What more promising confluence of elements could I ask for?

The Magic Circle is the tale of three aspiring twenty-something academics who live in the same apartment building near the Columbia campus.  The shifting triangulations of this trio of  "frenemies" - quietly practical yet socially awkward poet Lucy; fiery and unpredictable Anna; and logical, rules-oriented Ruth - frames one aspect of the book's plot, while the blurred line between game and reality as the three explore adult role playing and smartphone-based interactive games in Manhattan's parks and warehouses forms another.  Drop in an exotic-erotic-and-maybe-psychotic male twin and you've got yourself a novel.  (This one.)

On the bright side, fans of game theory and LARPing (live action role playing, a current practice somewhat loosely akin to Dungeons and Dragons from back in the day) will likely enjoy the exploration of ideas embedded in this story.

Cautions?  (POSSIBLE SPOILERS in this paragraph!) You'll encounter moments when Davidson's storytelling breaks the fundamental "show, don't tell" rule, so readers looking for consistency in adhering to that maxim might find themselves perplexed or annoyed.  In addition, if you know Euripides and you read the back cover of this novel, you'll be able to infer the nature of the plot, so - at least for me, and perhaps for you - the novel's interest must lie in relatively minor plot twists and explorations of game theory as it plays out in "real" life, rather than in an intense plot pay-off.

This I will say:  Davidson's narrative moved along fast enough to keep me reading despite my own minor challenges with prose and plot.

In the end, if you're a fan of LARPing and/or game theory and looking for a quick read, this novel might well interest you. 


p.s.  Many thanks to the professionals at TLC Book Tours for granting my wish. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour!

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