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Magic Time: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, June 12, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When a terrorist group bombs a Manhattan museum, New York Examiner columnist Carter Ransom suffers an emotional breakdown and returns to his Mississippi hometown, Troy, to convalesce. Carter's father, Judge Ransom, has just retired after 40 years on the bench there; his most famous case was presiding over Troy's national disgrace: the Shiloh Church bombing, in which four civil rights activists died in 1965. At the time, Carter was a local rookie journalist who met and fell in love with Sarah Solomon, one of the volunteers who died. One man was convicted, but the instigator, Samuel Bohanon, the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, went free. Now, as Carter begins to understand that he has never fully come to terms with Sarah's death, an ambitious young state attorney is reopening the Shiloh Church bombing case—and she's going after Bohanon, along with anyone who stands in her way, including Carter's father, who, rumors say, threw the first trial to spare Sam. While this capacious second novel by Pulitzer Prize–winning Kudzu cartoonist Marlette (The Bridge) doesn't travel any new turf (and despite the over-the-top climax), the author writes of the South with such affection that the novel becomes one of those stories a reader doesn't mind revisiting. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Marlette fulfills the literary promise of his debut novel, The Bridge (2002), with a panoramic saga that revisits an ignominious chapter in Mississippi history. A terrorist bombing in New York City during the 1990s plummets outspoken newspaper columnist Carter Ransom into a paralyzing depression, forcing him to return home to the small southern town where, as an impressionable college student, he fell in love with Sarah Solomon, a civil rights volunteer who was among several workers killed in a Klan-instigated church bombing during the freedom summer of 1964. All local men, the murderers were brought to trial before Carter's father, a conservative judge who may have covered up information, thus allowing the mastermind to go free. With the surfacing of new evidence, Carter must confront painful memories as he determines who his father was protecting and why. A tenacious legal thriller, touching remembrance-of-youth novel, and spicy love story rolled into one, Marlette's majestic and detailed second offering communicates the assured finesse of a seasoned author. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312426674
  • ASIN: B005M4KV30
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,194,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John K. Crane on December 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was sorry to see this book rated less than the five stars it deserves. At times the author approaches the grandeur of Faulkner. It is a three-tiered story of the 1964 Freedom Summer. (At times the tiers of time get a bit difficult to discern, especially within chapters, but the author always provides clues as to the time period--characters on the scene, places, etc.) Faulkner was forced to use italics to separate past events from present, but Marlette has learned from Faulkner that the modern, attentive reader does not need such. The book has literally everything--love, loyalty, violence, segregation, Ku Klux Klanners, generational conflict. In the end it shows a development from the South in the 1960's versus the 1990's. Black congressman are elected in predominantly white districts, then lead charges against corporate America for environmental pollution at the cost of local jobs. The central event, however, is the 1980's trial of a man who escaped conviction in the 1960's while his cronies went to jail. (This rings a bit false in that no one was convicted in the Goodman, Schwerner, Chaney murders in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1964, a historical event this novel closely parallels and reflects upon.) There is the suggestion of blackmail in the 1980's trial, implying that a progressive judge had "let off" the current man being tried back in the 1960's. "Do you civil rights workers want THIS to come out?" The judge in question is the father of the Hero, Carter Ransom, a New York journalist sent back to Mississippi to cover the trial which could well embarass his own father to whom he is devoted. The judge owns up to his own "sin," thus defusing it as a trial issue.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Constance Kuchta on January 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I met Doug Marlette while visiting Texas at a book signing. He is nice person with an open mind. He also is an engaging speaker. I enjoyed him very much, so I bought his book Magic Time for my husband and I to read. My husband reads highly reviewed books every chance he gets, and thought this was a very good book. Big compliment for him, and intends to buy Doug Marlettes other book: the Bridge. This book was important for me to read. Some of it was hard to get through, because I don't like violence, but upon the conclusion I was left with a deeper understanding of the civil rights movement and the sacrifices made. Magic Time is a book that discribes turbulant times in the South, but you meet characters who are good people and take big risks to made a difference. It is subject that has been greatly ignored, but needs to be discussed. That is why I reccomend that you read it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wendel on October 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Magic Time will not disappoint! I have always read and always ask one thing of an author, make me want to turn to the next page! Sure, we can all learn a little more, feel a little deeper, and share the world with one another through our experience but who will if that requires we become frozen by boredom. When reading Magic Time you may learn something, you will certainly feel something, and all the while your mind will forget itself as the read continues. Doug Marlette has decided to write about the South without the embroidery and fantasy often used by Southern wanna-be's, Southern never-were's or the Southern elite that 99.999% of Southerners don't know and will instinctually avoid. As you read about the evil of racism that was and still is a factor in all regions of our nation, Doug Marlette will remind you that evil rarely introduces itself for easy identification. Racism is an evil that Magic Time will not let the reader forget. What strikes this reader is that Doug Marlette doesn't hide behind the mask of explanation or run from the nudity found in the truth but presents a story to the reader for their own interpretations. Wow, what a concept, tell the story, present the reality, and accept the consequences of that honesty. Even the intellectually gifted can come down from their lofty perch of literary reference, pause in their instruction, and consider the fact that most us want a good story that teaches good over evil. Even better, I prefer a story that is bound with feather-light pages that almost turn themselves rather than lead volumes that Hercules himself could not budge nor Homer with all his wisdom could decipher.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Anthony on January 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm in two book groups and have been disappointed lately with several of our selections but NOT THIS (Magic) TIME! Doug Marlette's Magic Time has it all--mystery, gut-wrenching and only-too-recent history, multi-dimensional and likeable characters, romance, and complex issues and relationships. He moves back and forth in time with smooth transitions, never leaving the reader jolted from past to present and back. This is a relevant and timely novel--I'm recommending it to a diverse group of reader-friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Desvousges on February 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is by far the best novel published by anyone in the last few years. Marlette's characters are richly developed, and in a true southern tradition, lovable and 'dislikeable' at the same time. I was a teenager in a small southern town in 1964 (when Magic Time is in its heyday), and I clearly remember the racial turmoil that summer throughout the south and the feelings of rage and shame it all brought to the forefront. Marlette captured this beautifully through his characters--the joy, the angst, the fear, and the knowledge that something bigger than all of us was happening, and we weren't quite sure where it all would lead, but we wanted to be there. I think this is a wonderful novel for all ages, and I highly recommend it. Doug Marlette just keeps getting better and better, and it's a joy to read his work. Keep writing, Mr. Marlette!!
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