The Money Plot
Sam Lipsyte, Elif Batuman, Mary Gaitskill, and Mike Albo
by Gustave Flaubert
$18.49 List Price
Stanley Elkin’s The Magic Kingdom is about a man’s efforts to take a group of terminally ill children to Disney World. Published in 1985, it is about as unsentimental and hilarious a chronicle of the indignities of life as I’ve ever encountered. The language and wit of the narration, and the detail lavished on the wretchedly afflicted children, keep what is now a familiar trope—the Make-A-Wish phenomenon—very fresh.