What are the best magical realism novels?

asked by Anonymous
327 contributors
37 solutions
  1. 34

    #1Eva Luna

    Eva Luna

    Eva Luna is a young adult fantasy novel written by New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende. It is considered one of the finest examples of magical realism as it is about a girl who can tell amazing stories from simple facts of life.

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    Dennis Stephens
    Written on March 19, 2018
    "a perfect suggestion for the category."
  2. 33

    #2Everything Is Illuminated

    Everything Is Illuminated

    Everything is Illuminated is a young adult novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. It is considered as a piece of magical realism. It is about a guy who had a colorful journey while looking for a woman who saved his grandpa from the Nazis.

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    Benito Ortega
    Written on March 17, 2018
    "Good story that got me thinking. Starts off slow but it's a great little magical realism which is something I enjoy reading. A lot."
  3. 32

    #3One Hundred Years of Solitude

    One Hundred Years of Solitude

    One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, tells the story of the Buendía family, generation after generation, living in the mountain town of Macondo. Magic and reality interweave to create one of the most rewarding reading experiences of the 20th century.

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    Rebecca Silva
    Written on April 10, 2018
    "This was a delightful tale with magic and reality blended perfectly. I fond it slow to get into the book, but soon found myself captivated by the plot. Its one of the best books I have read thus far. "
  1. 29

    #4Ficciones

    Ficciones
    Ficciones is a collection of 17 short stories by the famous Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges. These stories are inquiries into the labyrinthine nature of the human mind.

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    Moisés Sánchez
    Written on March 16, 2018
    "Although not for everyone, I really enjoy short stories. This is a great collection of ones that are both funny and deal with the unknown. They are captivating and all hold your interest. A really fun read. "
  2. 27

    #5Midnight's Children

    Midnight's Children
    Midnight's Children is a Booker Prize-winning book by Salman Rushdie. It tells the story of Saleem Sinai and a thousand other children who were born on the stroke of midnight on the day of India's independence. 
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    Billy King
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Very cool and different approach into magic and how it works. Set in an alternate world in India, all the main characters have cool and special powers."
  3. 24

    #6The Peach Keeper

    The Peach Keeper

    The Peach Keeper is a young adult fantasy novel by Sarah Addison Allen, the New York Times bestselling author who wrote The Girl Who Chased the Moon. It is about a woman named Willa and her attempt to restore glory to her family name. 

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    Albert Howell
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This fits the question. Good suggestion. "
  4. 24

    #7The Night Circus

    The Night Circus
    The Night Circus is a young adult fantasy novel written by Erin Morgenstern. It is about the Night Circus, a nightly place of entertainment that is actually a competition for magicians in which only one can stay standing.
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    Jorge Luis Gálvez
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "Top choices in this genre continue to be One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and the popular Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. The Night Circus rises to the top of many people's favorites after reading it but some think the plot character development is too small but the descriptions of the circus itself leave marks."
  5. 21

    #8The Sugar Queen

    The Sugar Queen

    The Sugar Queen is a young adult novel written by New York Times bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen, who authored the famous book titled Garden Spells. It is a story of a 27-year-old woman who found out that the local waitress is a fairy godmother.

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    Stephanie Boyd
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen starts off very slow but I'm glad I kept reading because it gets very delicious a few chapters in. The characters and the story are captivating, unusual, hopeful, and magical. The downside is that this feel good story left me with a serious craving for sugary foods. "
  6. 17

    #9Daughter of Fortune

    Daughter of Fortune

    Daughter of Fortune is a historical romance fiction novel written by Isabel Allende. It is first published in 1998 and nominated in Valle Inclan for Margaret Sayers Peden. 

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    Roger Ellis
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "Another "magical realism" novel with no magic. This just seems like a big adventure for a growing girl, and meeting interesting characters."
  7. 16

    #10Beloved

    Beloved

    Beloved is a multi-award-winning historical fiction novel written by Nobel laureate for literature, Toni Morrison. It was first published in 1987 and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988.

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    Anthony Banks
    Written on May 10, 2018
    ""Beloved" is bleak but powerful. The elements that make it a work of "magical realism" include supernatural occurrences as well as a sort of impressionistic and dream-like quality to parts of the narrative. It tells the story of the post-slavery period in America through some differing perspectives that are just begging to be heard. It is not an easy read for a number of reasons, but it is quite an important book."
  8. 15

    #11Practical Magic

    Practical Magic
    Practical Magic is a paranormal fantasy fiction and the first book in Practical Magic series written by Alice Hoffman. This chick lit novel is first published in 1995. 
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    Megan Salazar
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Follow the story of Sally and Gillian’s life from childhood to adulthood. The main characters in Practical Magic, sisters Sally and Gillian find themselves orphaned with only the aunts to turn to. The aunts also took over the "family business" of magic...creating potions, remedies and the art of spell casting that has been passed down from generation to generation. "
  9. 9

    #12The Master and Margarita

    The Master and Margarita

    The Master and Margarita is a satire about the devil visiting the godless Soviet Union in the 1930s. Mikhail Bulgakov wrote the book during Stalin's regime and can be regarded as a response to political repression.

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    Eugene Olson
    Written on March 13, 2018
    "The Master and Margarita is a good magical realism novels "
  10. 4

    #13Love in the Time of Cholera

    Love in the Time of Cholera

    Love in the Time of Cholera is a standalone historical fiction novel written by Gabriel García Márquez which follows the love story between lovers Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. 

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    Chan Wang
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "Love in the Time of Cholera is the single most definitive magical realism novel. There's never a wrong time to read this beautiful classic."
  11. 3

    #14Like Water for Chocolate

    Like Water for Chocolate

    Like Water for Chocolate is a romantic magical realism novel for young adults written by bestselling author Laura Esquivel. It was first released in August 2002. It was adapted into a an award-winning film. 

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    Frank Jenkins
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "I'm addicted to these novels. But sadly this book almost killed my addiction. This has some of the worst writing I have even seen. It honestly makes me want to puke. Why is this so highly rated?! I'm sooo disappointed."
  12. 1

    #15The House of the Spirits

    The House of the Spirits

    The House of the Spirits is a classic historical fantasy fiction novel written by Isabel Allende. This magical realism book is first published in 1982. 

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    Janet Harper
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "I love magical realism books and this may be one of my favorites. It is as fascinating as it gets and will keep my interest for hours. It is also beautifully written."
  13. 1

    #16The Autumn of the Patriarch

    The Autumn of the Patriarch

    The Autumn of the Patriarch is a nihilistic, magical realism novel for young adults written by famous Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It is about realizations of a dying tyrant about the disturbed world he helped create.

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    Douglas Armstrong
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "The Autumn of the Patriarch is one of my all time favorite YA magical realism book. The world is captivating and intricate and you'll love the characters."
  14. 0

    #17Censoring an Iranian Love Story

    Censoring an Iranian Love Story

    Censoring an Iranian Love Story is a contemporary romance fiction novel written by Shahriar Mandanipour. This magical realism book is first published in 2009 by Knopf. 

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    Alan Nguyen
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "GOOD"
  15. 0

    #18The Red Garden

    The Red Garden

    The Red Garden is a historical fantasy fiction novel written by Alice Hoffman. This magical realism book is published in  2011 by Crown Publishing Group (NY).

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    Olivia Wheeler
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Alice Hoffman just keeps producing one great novel after another. I was extremely pleased with The Red Garden, and it promises to set the stage for a series that will be entertaining for years to come. I'm really looking forward to seeing more by this author."
  16. 0

    #19Paganism

    Paganism

    Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions is a comprehensive guidebook written by River and Joyce Higginbotham. It is a pagan book published in May 2013 and deeply discusses the practices of paganism.

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    Michael Baker
    Written on April 10, 2018
    "I had always heard about Paganism but wanted to know more about it. What is magick? How do pagans see the world around them? This book gives very detailed answers to those questions. You could try to look the topic up on Wikipedia but this book gives way more detailed explanations."
  17. 0

    #20Second Nature

    Second Nature

    Second Nature is a fantasy romance fiction written by Alice Hoffman. This magical realism book is about Robin Moore and first published in 1994. 

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    Brian Larson
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "Magic books are some of my favorite. This book has great pacing, and the characters are great. Very impressed with this author."
  18. 0

    #21Bless Me, Ultima

    Bless Me, Ultima
    Bless Me, Ultima is a young adult classic historical fiction written by Rudolfo Anaya. This magical realism novel is first published in 1972. 

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    Carolyn Ward
    Written on April 15, 2018
    "I love all the cultural details. really good book"
  19. 0

    #22Of Love and Shadows

    Of Love and Shadows

    Of Love and Shadows is a historical romance fiction novel written by Isabel Allende. This magical realism book is first published in 1984. 

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    Summer Xia
    Written on April 28, 2018
    " Isabel Allende is such a wonderful writer. This book is just another example of why she is so popular. The collision of Rose's real and dream lives is the start of a journey of self-discovery that I loved sharing. Beautiful writing, as always"
  20. 0

    #23Enchanted Glass

    Enchanted Glass

    Enchanted Glass is standalone young adult fiction novel written by Diana Wynne Jones which centers on Andrew Hope who is trying to find why he has a deep connection with Aidan Cain.

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  21. 0

    #24The Night Counter

    The Night Counter
    The Night Counter is a magical realism and a modern adaptation of the Scheherazade tales written by Alia Yunis. It was first released in July 2014 and is about an 85-year-old lady trying to make the best out of her last days on Earth. 
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    Russell Gutierrez
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This book really touched me. It made me think about a lot of things like mortality and morality. Very well-written, too."
  22. 0

    #25Ruby Holler

    Ruby Holler

    Ruby Holler is a fantasy novel for children written by award-winning author Sharon Creech. The novel was awarded the Carnegie Medal in the year of its publication, 2002. It tells the story of orphaned twins and the couple who adopted them.

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    Guillermina Solís
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "Ruby Holler may have been a book about a magical place but it was so much more. This book is about finding your place in the world and the people who care about you. Even when you are born an orphan, there are good people in the world who can love you. Ruby Holler was a heartwarming book. I'll probably read this one again."
  23. 0

    #26Lost Lake

    Lost Lake
    Lost Lake is a contemporary fantasy romance fiction and the first book in Lost Lake series written by Sarah Addison Allen. This magical realism chick lit novel is first published in 2014 by St. Martin’s Press. 
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    Jesse Contreras
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "Bought this book for my girlfriend at she absolutely loves it. Keeps her on the edge of her seat. As a man, I stray away from these magical lovey dovey novels but I got her it for christmas and she read it in a month. From what she says, I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole but she even had dreams about it. The storyline had an incredibly arch she said and if she could, she would leave me for the main character Eby Pim."
  24. 0

    #27The Dress Shop of Dreams

    The Dress Shop of Dreams

    The Dress Shop of Dreams is a contemporary fantasy romance fiction novel written by Menna van Praag. This magical realism chick lit novel is about Cora Sparks. It is first published in 2014 by Ballantine Books. 

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    Christopher Arnold
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "The Dress Shop of Dreams stands out largely because of some sweet romantic themes mixed with plenty of magic going on. The book’s approach to magic is particularly refreshing because it presents things that exist in regular life such as labs and numbers, as magical. While it’s not a perfect read in every regard, I think it has a solid plot and characters for magic lovers to enjoy."
  25. 0

    #28Bewitching (Regency Magic)

    Bewitching (Regency Magic)
    Bewitching is a paranormal historical romance fiction and the first book in Regency Magic series written by Jill Barnett. This magical realism chick lit novel is first published in 2014 by St. Martin’s Press.
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    Mildred Gardner
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "Okay if you're looking for the romance angle, but as "magic realism," I want the magic to be more than set dressing."
  26. 0

    #29Dreams Underfoot (Newford)

    Dreams Underfoot (Newford)

    Dreams Underfoot is an urban science fiction fantasy and the first book in Newford series written by Charles de Lint. This book is about the people in Newford. It is first published in 1993 and Orb Books reprinted it in 2003. 

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    Miguel Córdova
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "It's often hard to find things that walk the line of magical realism very well, but this one does. You'll feel drawn into the city and want to move there. Note though that while this introduces a lot of characters whose paths will cross, it is a collection of short stories, not a novel per se. That said, it reads rather like a novel. Highly recommended as a starting point in this series. "
  27. 0

    #30Earth, Air, Fire & Water

    Earth, Air, Fire & Water

    Earth, Air, Fire & Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic is a book written by Scott Cunningham and first published by 1997. This witchcraft book contains the basic tools of natural magic. 

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    Abhinav Mehra
    Written on March 31, 2018
    "I remember reading Earth, Air, Fire & Water when I was a child. I love the magic that the book contains in it."
  28. 0

    #31The Snow Child

    The Snow Child

    The Snow Child is a bestselling historical fiction novel by Eowyn Ivey, first published in 2011. It tells the story of a girl made of snow who comes to life. It was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

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    Judith Wheeler
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Having lived in Fairbanks, Alaska for 44 years, I was very anxious to read this book. It has an Alaskan theme and is touted as being written in the style of magical realism. I love literary fiction that is rich in characterization and language and this book has an abundance of both. It is bound to be one of the best books I'll read in 2012. The story is beautifully rendered and rich with metaphor. I could hardly bear to put it down. Mabel and Jack are homesteaders who come to Alaska rather late in their lives. They are both close to fifty years old when they begin their Alaskan venture near the Wolverine river way in the backcountry. The story opens with Mabel contemplating suicide. She describes Alaska after her failed suicide attempt as a place of "beauty that ripped you open and scoured you clean so that you were left helpless and exposed, if you lived at all". She and Jack are growing apart rather than closer and she misses him desperately. Slowly, they become friends with their closest neighbors, Esther and George, and this helps Mabel some. However, she says of Jack, "they were going to be partners, she and Jack. This was going to be their new life together. Now he sat laughing with strangers when he hadn't smiled at her in years"."
  29. 0

    #32A Witches' Bible

    A Witches' Bible
    A Witches' Bible: The Complete Witches' Handbook is written by Janet and Stewart Farrar. This witchcraft guide contains two books in one volume and first published in 1987. 
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    Eric Herrera
    Written on April 8, 2018
    "A Witches Bible is a great book that deal with magic. If you want something scary but yet magical, i highly suggest this book."
  30. 0

    #33The Bone People

    The Bone People

    The Bone People is a fictional novel written by Keri Hulme and illustrated by Pepa Heller. This fictional novel was published on June 29, 2010 by Penguin Books.

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    Nicholas Gomez
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "I like unrealistic books so this was interesting to me. Unfortunately I didn't care for The Bone People and had issues with the child abuse in the novel. I would not want to read this again."
  31. 0

    #34We Borrow the Earth

    We Borrow the Earth

    We Borrow the Earth: An Intimate Portrait of the Gypsy Shamanic Tradition and Culture is a historical non-fiction occult book written by Patrick Jasper Lee. It is published in 2000. 

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    Ao Zou
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "The magic in this novel is great while staying grounded. Check it out if you like that kind of thing."
  32. 0

    #35Memories of My Melancholy Whores

    Memories of My Melancholy Whores

    Memories of My Melancholy Whores is a romantic, drama, and realistic novel written by Pulitzer Prize Winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It was originally released in 2006. It is complex love story between a 90-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl.

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    Nancy Rodriguez
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "This book doesn't take any time to read. In part because it is short, but also because it is interesting enough to keep turning pages. I thought the relationship was kind of weird, but I kept reading."
  33. 0

    #36Bellefleur

    Bellefleur
    First published in 1980, Bellefleur is a gothic novel by multi-award-winning author, Joyce Carol Oates. It follows the Bellefleur family through several generations, telling tales of their eccentricities and supernatural abilities.
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    Olivia Sims
    Written on April 7, 2018
    "This is a cool book. The story and its characters are both so eccentric and intriguing, its a lot of fun to imagine what life would have been like through the family's eyes, in their bizarre pseudo-realistic world. However, it is a very, very long book, and it took me a very long time to get through. I felt frustrated at times because of this, but nonetheless, Oates writes beautifully, and this story is too interesting to miss."
  34. 0

    #37Last Call

    Last Call

    Last Call is a young adult, magical realism novel written by Tim Powers. The book won the World Fantasy Award. This is a reprint published in October 2009. It is about a one-eyed gambler who needs to win save his soul by winning a poker game.

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    Abhinav Lobo
    Written on March 13, 2018
    "Breathtaking. I couldn't' put it down. I seriously read it all in a single day. What an amazing story! Characters! Everything. What can I say? I loved it!"

Summary

Best What are the best magical realism novels
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1Eva LunaBooks 34 Paid
2Everything Is IlluminatedBooks 33 Paid
3One Hundred Years of SolitudeBooks 32 Paid
4FiccionesBooks 29 Paid
5Midnight's ChildrenBooks 27 Paid
6The Peach KeeperBooks 24 Paid
7The Night CircusBooks 24 Paid
8The Sugar QueenBooks 21 Paid
9Daughter of FortuneBooks 17 Paid
10BelovedBooks 16 Paid
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