Thursday, February 12, 2009

Third Wish by Robert Fulghum

936 pages, Becker & Mayer Publisher, ISBN-10: 1603800433

In fairy tales, the third wish is the last one left when the first wish was foolish, and the second wish was used to undo the first wish. Now the remaining wish must be used wisely and well--with the help of co-conspirators.

The main thread of Third Wish--like Ariadne’s string guiding Theseus into the labyrinth with the Minotaur--begins at a table on a terrace on the Greek Island of Crete, winds its way into the center and back out to the same table, passing through Greece, Japan, France, England, and Seattle. Its main characters are Alice, Max-Pol, Aleko, Wonko, Zenkichi, Polydora, Alice-Alice, and Dog.

Woven into the fabric of the novel are cultural history, art, philosophy, archeology, poetry, theater and music. The mode of the novel is contained in the words Slowly, Surprise, and Witness. More than anything else, Third Wish is a long love story--not in the usual sense--but the story of people who love life and will go to great lengths to find a flourishing Way onward.
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