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Resurrection Man, Sean Stewart

It was Don Webb who first pointed me in Stewart’s direction, but it took me quite a while before I finally picked up a novel of his. This of course was due to no active avoidance, but simply because I have way too many books to read as it is. Still, if I never got any recommendations, I would miss out on some amazing books, of which Resurrection Man is one of them.

I like fantasy based in the real world–something magical hidden under the surface. When young, I remember being fascinated by magicians, tarot cards, and voodoo. I liked science fiction, but ESP and telekinetics did not intrigue me as much as the rituals of fantasy. This was the difference between science and magic, even when both could accomplish the same effect. Later in life, this preoccupation with magic had me gravitating to magic realism in my reading, a subject which I still actively seek out.

Resurrection Man is not quite magic realism (at least in my definition of the term) because Stewart’s world is not our own. It has many similarities, but the differences–angels working for the police, feng shui necessary for building placement–are striking. What makes Stewart seem like magic realism is for his style of writing about this alternate world, almost laconic, but seemingly realistic.

The plot is a strange mixture of mystery and secrets that also appealed to me, as the protagonist must deal with his own angelic nature (not as heavenly as you might think), the past of his aunt’s husband, and a possible child, both born yet unborn. I liked Resurrection Man a lot, and I’m looking forward to reading another book by Stewart to see if he can capture my interests so completely once again.

[Finished 16 September 1997]


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