A CITY DREAM­ING Roamin’ Polan­sky

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased 6 Oc­tO­ber 294 pages | Hard­back/ebook Au­thor daniel Polan­sky Pub­lisher Hod­der & stoughton

As cities go, there are few as iconic as New York, but while Lon­don has so many ur­ban fan­tasies that there’s a whole Strange Lon­don sub­genre, the Big Ap­ple hasn’t been quite so en­thu­si­as­ti­cally ex­plored. Daniel Polan­sky’s lat­est aims to balance the scales in NYC’s favour, and con­jures up a richly de­tailed – if oc­ca­sion­ally be­wil­der­ing – ex­pe­ri­ence.

A City Dream­ing is the story of a ma­gi­cian known only as M, who re­turns to the streets of New York and soon finds him­self drift­ing in and out of scrapes with his friends and ac­quain­tances in the oc­cult world. Canal pi­rates, zom­bie wait­ers and re­al­ity-al­ter­ing coffee shops are among the bizarre threats that M en­coun­ters along the way, in an off­beat story that’s largely told as a se­ries of self-con­tained episodes or vi­gnettes.

While there is an over­ar­ch­ing plot bind­ing the col­lec­tion of tales to­gether, Polan­sky keeps it so far in the back­ground that it’s fre­quently easy to miss. A City Dream­ing of­ten reads more like an ec­cen­tric and in­ven­tive short story col­lec­tion than a novel, and its ram­bling struc­ture and whim­si­cal, mag­i­cal-re­al­ist tone will ul­ti­mately ei­ther charm you silly or leave you baf­fled. Saxon Bul­lock

Daniel Polan­sky is a huge fan of J Dilla. His desert is­land al­bum is the rap­per’s fi­nal LP, “Donuts”.

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