Magic Time: A Novel

Front Cover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Jun 12, 2007 - Fiction - 496 pages
3 Reviews

A prize-winning Southern master storyteller weaves a riveting tale of love, mystery and justice

When the Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist Doug Marlette last turned to fiction, Valerie Sayers rejoiced in The Washington Post Book World: "The Bridge [is] a great story—exuberant, proud, myth-challenging—and Marlette has a great, Dickensian time with the telling." Pat Conroy saluted The Bridge as the finest first novel to come out of North Carolina since Look Homeward, Angel. Studs Turkel called it "enthralling." Kaye Gibbons marveled at its "extraordinary grace [and] humor." And the Southeast Booksellers Association gave The Bridge the 2002 Book Award for Fiction.

Marlette's new novel, Magic Time, is a spellbinding stew of history, murder, courtroom drama, humor, love, betrayal, and justice. Moving between New York City and the New South of the early 1990s, with flashbacks to Mississippi's cataclysmic Freedom Summer of 1964, Magic Time tells the story of New York newspaper columnist Carter Ransom, a son of Mississippi, who had the great fortune and terrible luck of falling in love that summer of ‘64 with a New York–born civil rights worker who wound up being killed alongside three coworkers. Carter's father, the local judge, presided over the first trial of the murders. But now there's evidence that the original trial was flawed, even fraudulent. And the question, among many others, is whether the good judge was knowingly involved in a cover-up.

Magic Time is that rare thing: a page-turner whose driving plot line is matched by the depth of its moral vision.


What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A middle-aged New York columnist re-explores a personal tragedy that occurred during the Civil Rights era.The son of Judge Mitchell Ransom has been in New York for some time, a rising star in the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nancyK18 - LibraryThing

A young journalist, after losing his job and his wife divorces him, returns to his small hometown and reviews his life there particularly an incident from the 60's Read full review

Selected pages


Chapter 1
A Note About the Author

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Doug Marlette has won every major prize for editorial cartooning, including the Pulitzer. His first novel, The Bridge, was voted 2002 Best Book of the Year in Fiction by the Southeast Booksellers Association.

Bibliographic information