A CITY DREAMING Roamin’ Polansky
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”.