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Extended Audio Sample Magic Street Audiobook, by Orson Scott Card Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.93 out of 52.93 out of 52.93 out of 52.93 out of 52.93 out of 5 2.93 (40 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Orson Scott Card Narrator: Mirron Willis Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2005 ISBN: 9781455182671
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In a peaceful, prosperous African American neighborhood in Los Angeles lives Mack Street, a mystery child. Abandoned by his birth mother and raised by a blunt-speaking single woman, Mack passes from family to family, a boy surrounded by people yet deeply alone. He realizes how different he is from others the day he sees, in a thin slice of space, a narrow house. Passing through the magic house that no one else can see, Mack is plunged into a realm where time and reality are skewed. Inside, what Mack does has strange effects on the “real world” of concrete, cars, commerce, and conflict.

Growing into a tall, powerful young man and pursuing a forbidden relationship, Mack becomes a player in an epic drama. Understanding this drama is Mack’s challenge. His reward, if he can survive the trip, is discovering who he really is and why he exists.

Both a novel of constantly surprising entertainment and a tale of breathtaking literary power, Magic Street is a masterwork from a supremely gifted, utterly original American writer—a novel that uses realism and fantasy to delight, challenge, and satisfy on the most profound levels.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It’s a great read, Card’s take on his characters as sure as ever, his narrative rock solid, his dialogue crackling and authentic.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “Card’s clever tale comes with sharp writing and crisp dialogue.”

    Tampa Tribune

  • “A fascinating tale, well constructed and with strong dialogue.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “The ways that the mundane and fantastic intersect are completely believable, and the characters crackle with personality and attitude. Crisp, clean writing creates a vivid sense of place and plugs readers into a story they won’t want to see end.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Mirron E. Willis takes charge of this urban fantasy from the first word to the last…Willis has a grand time with street talk, straight talk, and sweet jive talk. He makes strong use of cadence, tone, and timing to bring this neighborhood to life.”

    AudioFil

  • “Card has constructed a suspenseful fantasy thriller that, during the race to the last page, has one mulling over myth, morals, salvation, and will.”

    Booklist

  • “The author’s always elegant prose and storytelling talent add a dimension of grace and morality to his work, which results in a modern fable that belongs in most libraries.”

    Library Journal

  • “If Orson Scott Card wrote a book about a snail moving under a plant in a garden, we would probably all marvel at the character development, be enraptured by the pacing of the story and how the plot develops, and empathize with the moral dilemmas the snail must face! This excursion into urban fantasy, while not what we’re used to from Mr. Card, still gives us what we value in his writing…beautifully translated into an audiobook format that is well worth your time.”

    SFFAudio.com

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie McCall | 2/20/2014

    " Great story. Lots of humor alongside powerful demonstrations of real relationships. How people work together and against each other. How one person can influence deep feelings of many others - there were more than a couple examples of that in the story. What must have I missed, though, was the reason why the bad guy had to be let out of his cage only to be re-caged again by the queen. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Katie | 2/18/2014

    " I don't like giving out ones, but I just can't give this book any better. The book starts out extremely strange with no explanations, which I can't say I hate, I was just hoping it was going somewhere. I got a little over half way through the book and have now given up. It just keeps getting more and more strange and not in an interesting good way. It's torture to keep going, so I'm going to stop now. I don't really care what happens because there are no really interesting characters that I care about. Sorry to give it such a bad review because I love the Ender Series by Orson Scott Card, but I just couldn't make it through this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alice Paterra | 2/16/2014

    " Good story, but would have been better if we hadn't been reminded that the action takes place in Baldwin Hills or that the characters are black on every. single. page. I didn't really see how race had anything to do with the actual story, or the Shakespeare it was based on. Still, a fun story with an appropriate ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Moss | 2/16/2014

    " An often overlooked work of Card that is a lot of fun, if perhaps not quite as compelling as Ender's Game. But what could be? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly | 2/13/2014

    " After reading Ender's Game and The Lost Gate, I was looking forward to reading yet another spectacular novel from Orson Scott Card...and was severely disappointed. The first half of the book is intriguing and just the right amount of disturbing (thoughts of killing the baby in his hands? A woman giving birth after only one hour of pregnancy, and the baby being taken away in a grocery bag?), though a lot of it does seem random. Other aspects are odd as well; namely, the extremely sassy black community, where Card again and again emphasizes the fact that they are black. Halfway through the book, however, the intriguing, promising world Card has woven becomes just...stupid. I hate to use that word, since I was so impressed with his writing before, but that's the only word that perfectly fits it. It seems so random and childish. One of my personal pet peeves is when the main character has been trying to unravel the mystery the plot circles around for the entirety of the book, and one character just appears and tells him, all at once, everything he needs to know. A much better angle would be for everything to piece together, not at once, but slowly, eventually leading to a revelation. But no; everything that made the plot interesting suddenly vanishes when one character enters and describes everything, repeatedly, as though Card is desperately trying to get his audience to believe and buy into the plot. After that, the book loses all of the mystery and intrigue that had kept me reading it, and delves into a world of fantasy that is utterly ridiculous. It is as though Card changed his mind halfway through and had to go back and rearrange some of the main points, making them all fit unnaturally with one another, and not lead up well to the next half at all. All in all, it was a disappointment, and not worth reading. All geniuses fail at least once, however, and I guess this was his one fail. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben Crowder | 2/7/2014

    " I loved the premise and the characters. The ending wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped for, though, and there's quite a bit of language. But if you like urban fantasy and can handle salty tongues, give it a try. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linnet | 2/4/2014

    " not my favorite Card.... won't recomend "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachael Heiner | 2/2/2014

    " I had a little bit of a hard time getting into it, but once I got a few chapters in I was hooked. The story works in Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and becomes totally fantastical and magical beyond what you see in the beginning. I was also super impressed by Card's ability to write characters so well who are not really... in his life too much? I mean, he's a Mormon from Utah and this book takes place in a black neighborhood in L.A. I thought that the characters were really authentic. I am constantly amazed by the things that Card is able to come up with. I hadn't read any of his stuff before meeting my husband, and now I have made my way through a good portion of it and it contains some of my favorite books. This is a departure from the Science Fiction genre, and purely in the realistic fantasy realm. I'd highly recommend it for anyone who is a fan of Card, or who is just looking for a really good story. I listened to the first half of it on audiobook, and really enjoyed the author's voice (sometimes that's a sticking point for me). I also enjoyed reading the afterward of the book, where Card credits friend Roland Bernard Brown with goading him into writing a novel featuring a black hero, which seem to be a little lacking. Very interesting, and a good read. This would be a great one for summer reading! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/18/2014

    " This is probably my all time favorite fantasy book. I don't like other-world/dimension books; this one takes place here and now, but adds a great layer of fantasy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 9/12/2013

    " This book was very different.... but it was an interesting read. I would suggest reading Enders Game and the rest of that series before reading this though in case you get turned off from Orson Scott Card. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheri | 7/22/2013

    " Interesting connections to shakespeare and very creative, but i'm starting to tire of creativity for the sake of creativity. Maybe i've read too many of orson scott card's books to be inspired by him now. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amanda | 6/29/2013

    " I didn't get it. Maybe because I'm not black. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caroline | 6/19/2013

    " Mixes Shakespere's Midsummer's Night dream with reality. Intersting story, but I like some of his other stuff better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy Steingraber | 5/31/2013

    " Pretty solid urban fantasy set in LA, worth a read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tonya | 5/26/2013

    " I like some Sci-Fi and this was pretty good, though a bit weird. Orson Scott Card is a fascinating writer to me...I love his editorials on his website and his weekly essay in the Deseret News, but I don't always love his books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edenedits | 3/17/2013

    " Modern fantasy w/ a bit of swearing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenica | 1/13/2013

    " Eh. Maybe I'm no longer in love with OSC... this one was not my favorite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine Hathwell | 12/25/2012

    " A fun book. Again, a weaving of fantasy and reality with skill and imagination. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jodee | 10/16/2012

    " Good Book. A little wierd and crass at times but good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Asher | 10/7/2012

    " One of the bad cards, not terrible, simply not good either. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eric Diehl | 5/8/2012

    " I just don't seem to hook up with Orson Scott Card, though I was OK with Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. Just a matter of personal taste, I suppose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca Aho | 10/25/2011

    " I love most of what Card has written but not all of it. This was just OK. A modern day Midsummer Night's Dream, sort of. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah Joyner | 8/6/2011

    " Orphaned in a middle class black community, Mack Street is known as the "bag baby." Found in a grocery bag near a park drain, he has been raised by the community and knows every family. More than that, he dreams their dreams. If he's not careful, he even makes them come true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina | 7/13/2011

    " Amazingly seamless combination of Shakespearean mythology and modern day Los Angeles via an African American changeling of a main character. I liked it because it was truly unique and different. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica | 5/16/2011

    " A modern story about fairies. It was entertaining but kind of strange.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 5/10/2011

    " Very intersting perspective of a black superhero. Not corny, which I appreciated. The afterword helps bring this book into the perspective in terms of why it was written. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rob | 3/28/2011

    " He considers it his best work - which it might be for its literary qualities and portrayal of a culture/world that is foreign to him, but lacked for me the deeper attractions and pull of the Alvin Maker series or the novelty and insight to familiar stories that comes from teh homecoming series "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 3/25/2011

    " Eh. I tried to like it. There were some good ideas, and the dialog crackled nicely. But I just couldn't get into it, and every so often I'd get irritated about something. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 3/15/2011

    " I love most of what Card has written but not all of it. This was just OK. A modern day Midsummer Night's Dream, sort of. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Traci | 2/23/2011

    " OSC normally rocks. But this is the worst OSC book I've ever read. To even attempt to enjoy it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joy | 2/14/2011

    " An urban fantasy set in an African-American neighborhood in Los Angeles. Mack Street, a boy of mysterious origins and strange powers, discovers a parallel world in his neighborhood. Lots of fun, some unexpected twists. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rio | 2/10/2011

    " One of the best sci-fi authors writes another great book. This book is unique from his other writings. It has a shakespearean vibe and an Africean American hero. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 R | 1/27/2011

    " So far I'm not sure this lives up to Orson Scott Card's ability but will give it a chance.

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 1/18/2011

    " Started a bit slow but after the first 100 pages very enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 1/11/2011

    " Read it because it is Orson Scott Card, but it is definitely strange. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 1/1/2011

    " An enjoyable, but disturbing modern fairy tale. Clever, if not totally original, twist on 'what if you were actually granted your most intimate wish'. I love the addition of mythological characters to this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy | 12/24/2010

    " Pretty solid urban fantasy set in LA, worth a read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Roger | 12/1/2010

    " Lots to think about as you conquer challenges in your life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaimie | 11/30/2010

    " This was a funky book! I love Orson Scott Card's book Ender's Game so I thought I'd try another of his books. This one is a trip! There are characters from Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream so someone might enjoy it for that. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Relyn | 11/27/2010

    " As usual Orson Scott Card's characters just suck me right in. I loved the story in the beginning, but just couldn't sustain my interest. Not sure why - but this one didn't do it for me. I usually love magic and urban fairy tales. "

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About the Author
Author Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card, the author of the New York Times bestseller Ender’s Game, has won several Hugo and Nebula awards for his works of speculative fiction. His Ender novels are widely read by adults and younger readers and are increasingly used in schools. Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy, American-frontier fantasy, biblical novels, poetry, plays, and scripts.

About the Narrator

Mirron Willis—actor of film, stage, and television—is the winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2012 and a finalist for the Audie in 2015, as well as the winner of four AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook recordings. He has worked extensively in film and television and on stage with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Houston Shakespeare Festival, and the Ensemble Theatre, among others. He has recorded some 150 audiobooks, including the Smokey Dalton series by Kris Nelscott and My Song by Harry Belafonte. He resides and records audiobooks on his family’s historic ranch in East Texas.