I love it. My absolute favorite fantasy book ever. It was the second one I read, and got me hooked for life. It went from a teeny little cult classic in West Georgia (the city, not the state) to its very cool book related site – www.jasoncosmo.com. I wish I still had my copy, but I’ve read it so many times I can practically recite it. Simply genius. Can’t say enough good things about it. To anyone under 10, 20, 30 or 40 looking for a good fantasy read I highly recommend Jason Cosmo as perhaps the perfect blend of heroic epicness with self-contained irony. Er, it’s pretty funny too.
How can you not love a book that has a wizard called Mercury Boltblaster, a sun goddess with the brains of a beauty pageant queen, and a Dark Magic Society versus a League of Benevolent Magic? The genius of the writing is in the self-parody which then becomes the focus of the story. If it wasn’t in the names of the characters, it was in the flow of the plot, the easy and effortless satire crammed onto every page. This coupled with a pleasantly self deprecating and wry wit made me come back to it time and time and time again, savouring each tongue-in-cheek gem separately; like the rarest-of-the-rare prophet ‘He Who Sits On The Porch’, the mercenariness Natalia Slash, the good wizards Ormazander and Timeon and the bad wizards Erimandras and Necrophilius. The book, by the way, is an etymologists delight. The jokes within jokes are at their best there. Like how Necrophilius is a bad guy without being the Bad Guy. The counter-authoratative villain, Todorov would call him. He’s the guy our two heroes make a deal with, by the way, to be able to assault Dark Magic Society Overmaster Erimandras in his stronghold of Fortress Marnn before the demon Asmodraxas can escape and discover the secret of the super-wand which may be hidden in Jason’s aura…sounding clichéd all of a sudden? It isn’t.
In structural terms, the book is marvellous, meaning the world is governed by magical laws, but is also uncanny, meaning events have their order in nature. McGirt fulfills all the deepest requirements of fantastical narrative with such transparent superficiality in order to induce humour that you know its been painstakingly thought-out. Anyone teaching an introduction to fantastical writing should use this book.
From Bangalore but based primarily in New Delhi, India, Samir has variously been and continues to be a professional musician, a pub quiz host, a political campaign aide, and a student of the guitar, as well as history and international relations. He is currently Research Director for the Global Security Centre in India. He is also a freelance editor and research consultant, having worked for the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, the Public Health Foundation of India, and a McKinsey-IBM KPO, as well as Random House and Oxford University Press. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org