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The Government Manual for New Wizards Paperback – Bargain Price, May 1, 2006
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About the Author
Jacob Sager Weinstein lives in a magical land across the waves, populated by strange creatures such as "bobbies" and "solicitors." His work has appeared in the Onion. He is a former staff writer for Dennis Miller Live and a current staff wielder for the forces of good.
Matthew David Brozik sports a scar on his forehead that is the result of an unenchanted childhood accident involving no black magic whatsoever. His short fiction has appeared in such publications as the Sycamore Review, Spout magazine, Sidewalks, Barbaric Yawp, and the Dogwood Journal. He lives in New York.
Top customer reviews
Oh, and it's really really funny, too.
While there I saw this little book, "The Government Manual for New Wizards." I picked it up and skimmed through it, getting a couple of good chuckles before I put it down and walked away. But I walked right back to it a couple minutes later just to look through it some more. This went on for fifteen-twenty minutes before I finally convinced myself to actually buy it. I was finding it funny, just a spoof book that poked fun at Harry Potter, the fantasy genre in general, things like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," the first and second installments in "The Santa Clause trilogy. government manuals,ghosts, etc.. If I bought it, then I'd have more time to pursue it at home without being distracted too often by the folks there at the store that night. Well, I have been pleased that I did.
As I said, the book is clearly meant as a spoof. The first thing that should clue on in on this is the synopsis on the back. It tells you flat out that this book is a spoof. And that's ok because it's not meant to be taken seriously. Nor is it meant to deride things like Harry Potter. It is simply meant to get a few laughs out of it. And that is exactly what it does.
According to the book there is a right way and a wrong way to greet various types of dead beings. For example, a right way of greeting a vampire is asking it what blood type goes with a certain type of fish while a wrong way is to invite it to see your crucifix collection. Now all the legends, stories, and such I've ever heard about vampires usually makes it clear their not gonna eat fish, or anything else for that matter. They typically are depicted as being sustained off blood alone. And the crucific is depicted as something vampires despise and are repelled by. Plus most people wouldn't think about greeting a vampire, the natural impulse would be to run. But it's the thought of how you might greet these dead beings (and I'm not talking just vampires) that lends itself to the humor here.
Or what about getting into a chocolate factory? How many of us have read the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" or seen the movies based on the book? If the real Willy Wonka manufacturing company were to run a promotion whereby if you got a gold ticket you got a tour of the factory then there would be folks who'd be intrested in finding one of those tickets. Now imagine you could turn lead into gold. Be real easy to take a lead ticket that looks like the gold one andtransform it into a winning ticket, right? Well under the book's seventh chapter, it's illegal to do exactly that.
When buying a ticket to a magical form of entertainment or a sporting event, one should always be wary of the fine print. Remember "The Santa Clause?" The fine print on the Santa buisnes card said putting on the coat made you Santa. But there was even finer print, revealed in "The Santa Clause 2," that said you had to have a Mrs. Claus by a certain time or you stopped being Santa. Well that buisness card had nothing on the tickets mentioned in this book. Their fine print may even be written in a different dimension so you can't see it when you buy the tickets!
Nothing that might have even a hint of magic to it in some way is beyond the reach of this book to spoof.
Overall, very light reading and you will laugh multiple times, I think the Government Manual for New Superheroes is better and am looking forward to the GMfNew Pirates. Hopefully this series will continue with something along the lines of GMfNew Aliens on Earth or Space Marine, you catch the drift.
Harry Potter fans, reformed role playing gamers, and smart people in general will really enjoy this book. It's one of the best "fake information" books I've read. Full of specious facts and guidelines for magicians, the Govt. Manual pokes fun at popular fantasy texts and conventions with occasional (and forgivable) puns, non-sequitors, and hyperboles that remind me of Mel Brooks movies and Woody Allen short stories rolled into one. These guys should be writing for the New Yorker. Discover them now.