The Vanishing Magic of Snow: Reformatted Edition (The Fast and The Furies: Suspense Book 1) Kindle Edition
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This book, The Vanishing Magic of Snow, tells the illusory and illustrious tale of humans who are transformed, sometimes by love, sometimes by circumstance, sometimes by magic. Objects appear to vanish before our eyes, but are they really lost? Or has the matter been transformed into energy and vice versa? Sonny Storm, evocative of Siegfried and Roy, was transformed; Candi Lee Pike, (who sings "Excuse Me While I Disappear" and "I Put A Spell On You") was transformed; the "Hippie Magician" was transformed.Doc Marley was transformed and transformative. But was Jay transformed? That will be for us, the readers, to detect.
"From cops to newsmen to couples to whores, all spoke of their having been filled with white light and the sense of a fuse being lit. The same three words were on all lips: "The Almighty Shockeroo!" Jay Penny was the source of their amazement. Whence had he come? Where did he go? "A tidy row of shabby clothes marked the spot where Jay had been." Well, he had been in Kentucky. He had been in Toronto. He had been in the Carolinas.He had been in Grossman's. Along the way he met Ondaajte, Atwood, Cohen, Sarrazin and other glitterati of the Canadian bohemia of the 1970s. Jay took the "geographical cure" from the suffocating family and political climate of the U.S., but had he been healed?
He had been a telemarketer, and a "good" one at that. "And nothing was more welcome than a soft-spoken elderly mark. One high performer had won an award for selling a senile woman twenty-seven cell phones." So Jay might have been transformed from telemarketer to teleporter; transformed from writing articles debunking Uri Geller to writing novels about Magic, we are not sure.
We are sure about one thing: the inevitability of snow and its melting. The novel's central trope is "snow."
"We may get the snow wrong and hope to be saved. But if the snow's wrong about us, all is lost." Sometimes the snow dances; sometimes the snow sparkles; sometimes the snow freezes in this very poignantly poetic novel which ends with a nod to Real Magic and a Forward located after the Epilogue. What just happened? Well, for one thing, I, the reader was spellbound by the frozen atmospheric vapor falling to earth in light flakes, by the snow.
TVMOS opens with present-day Jay Penny, 60, living alone with his cat in Charlotte, North Carolina. He appears to be content until what Jay calls 'creepy karma' finds him. Jay loses his job working in a call center, is on the verge of eviction, it forced to apply for welfare-- which isn't even approved, most of his life savings is stolen, and his possessions keep vanishing from his locked apartment! Starving and broke Jay begins to believe that his past is exacting revenge for wrongs he committed while living in Toronto, Canada many years ago. As Jay's life begins to unravel, he remembers his glory days is Canada. It's the early 70s and Jay is young, handsome (and he knows it!), bold, adventurous, making his dream of becoming a published author come true, and in love with a lovely Black singer named Candi. He had everything until he betrayed his friend and gifted magician Sonny Storm and alienated the love of his life, Candi Lee Pike.
MacRath expertly interweaves the past and the present timelines and the pacing of the story is fantastic. It gives the reader just enough, but doesn't give away too much too soon--- creating an atmosphere of gripping suspense and unbelievable excitement. The epilogue is pure tragic brilliance in its rawest, most heartbreaking form. I will carry this dazzling and beautifully tragic tale with me for the rest of my life.
The Vanishing Magic of Snow is a compellingly told, ingeniously constructed tale of magic and despair, transformation and stasis, ambition and defeat. The protagonist, Jay, was something of a drifter and something of a grifter until he found a twin calling: as a writer and as the mentor of a brilliant magician named Sonny Storm. Each man had enormous potential, and in the heady days of Toronto's art scene a generation back, each had his chance to become legendary.
But...Jay lost his way and Sonny lost his edge when a rival stole the young magician's image. An older, perhaps wiser, Jay barely scrapes by, but he is not the kind of man to lose himself in nostalgic regret. In the twenty-first century, he risks everything, perhaps more than life itself, to recoup and regroup and seize a moment of legendary greatness.
The style in the book is engaging, evocative of snow (with all its connotations) and of the confusion of faces and places, some real, some fictional, that make up memory. The images are haunting: snowfall that passes over one person out of all beneath it; streets as dark as sin and as unknown as a man's own undiscovered inner core.
It's a voyage to the heart of darkness and back, a memory of the way things were, and a dream of the way they might be. By turns tough and tender, hard-edged cynicism and yearning romanticism, this short novel will linger in the memory.