It's dangerous these days to be a Dreamer in Walt Disney World. Not an everyday dreamer, but a Dreamer with a capital "D". The kind certain Americans don't want in Disney World—or even in the country. When dreams meet hate, the magic turns to madness.
On this April Fool's Day, there's a collision coming in the Magic Kingdom, and it's anything but a joke.
Because this day, busloads of "real" Dreamers, the kind looking not for pixie dust but for citizenship, have decided to spend the day in the Magic Kingdom, all wearing their green t-shirts, while clots of "real" Americans, as they call themselves, slink through the park, armed and dangerous, and prepared to take back *their* park, by whatever means necessary.
Can a few unlikely heroes prevent a bloodbath in the Magic Kingdom?
Reviews from the Book Jacket for Fools in the Magic Kingdom
*"Who’s been sabotaging the rides at The Magic Kingdom? Terrorists? Immigrants? Counter-culture protesters? And why would anyone want to harm the families who visit Disney? Read Fools in the Magic Kingdom and the answers will unfold in thrilling fashion as the novel propels you through some very familiar and some truly alien Disney terrain. I love this book."
– Joseph Gansrow, author of Deconstructing and Reconstructing Sentences
*"A Helleresque Masterpiece: Hartnett is a Genius"
– Joe Edd Morris, award-winning author of The Last Page
*"In Hartnett’s Disney World, subversive groups, Dreamers, documentary filmmakers, and mismatched families converge on April Fool’s Day, to challenge the illusions that are Disney and America. The racial and economic tensions that divide contemporary America seep into the seemingly sanitized theme park. It is not an indictment against the business and culture of The Mouse as much as an indictment against the culture that created The Mouse. Yet despite the cynicism, Hartnett’s characters still yearn for the magic to be real, and he leaves the reader wondering whether wanting the magic is really all that matters in the end." – Alfred P. Doblin, The Record, New Jersey
Excerpts from the more than 50 Amazon Reviews
"Hartnett has a refreshing and impressive cleverness with language, shaping his phrases and dialogue with a deft hand, at times prompting the reader to repeat them out loud before moving on. Sections are utterly hilarious as we follow Jen, Peter, Chuck, Cathy, April, Tucker, Ray, Bernice, and Marlene through the Magic Kingdom and the World Showcase in Epcot." – John Vance
*"A hilarious read that takes the reader through a satirical wonderland."– Dylan Devine
*"The pacing is brisk, the laughs are often out loud, and the writing is, well, magical." – Len Boswell
*"This book is more fun than a ride with Buzz Lightyear, and when all is said and done, the finale echoes the Disney World theme: it really is a small, small world." – Glenn H. Ickler
*"Fools in the Magic Kingdom by Michael Hartnett is a captivating satire of true-to-life undercurrents of present day American culture. Metaphors abound, striking close to home."
– Donan Berg
*"If you enjoy the humor of Carl Hiaasen and the insights of Neil Gaiman, you will enjoy this book. It is extremely well written and offers humorous but telling comments about the state of American culture as symbolized by Disney World. – Glen Ebisch
They line up in Frick Village to get on the garbage truck: the disoriented, the suicidal, the desperate, even the kid who won’t look up from her cell phone. They are Generation Dementia, high school seniors who have lost their bearings.
When a video made about the troubled teens on the garbage truck goes viral, the reality TV crews come around to repackage Generation Dementia and the trash they haul. Narrator Hash O’Connell rebels against this makeover and soon finds he and his friends are confronted with a darker underside of both his community and the cameras now framing it. Hash unearths disturbing secrets about twenty years of lost trash and the lurid tales buried with that refuse.
Ultimately, Hash encounters the corruptions off Frick’s past, revelations that will transform his understanding of his family’s legacy and allow him to emerge from the rubble he has inherited.
Praise for Generation Dementia
*"In Generation Dementia Michael Hartnett takes readers through the suburban streets of Frick, a village that replaced its traditional garbage men with high school students. One ragtag teen trio – a loner who collects garbage, another who hauls away anything not nailed down and a female violinist – become reality TV stars in a culture where students are over-programmed, over-scheduled and out of touch with what is actually real in their lives. Hartnett artfully shows us the only truly non-disposable thing in our society is our garbage. It’s an enjoyable and perceptive read from beginning to end."
– Alfred P. Doblin, The Record, New Jersey
*"You can read Generation Dementia simply for its enormously entertaining story, or for its engaging writing, sparkling images and similes, and wonderful characters. You can read it as a commentary on how trash is perhaps the most enduring and connecting thing human beings produce, or as a keen psychosocial exploration of the alienation and despair afflicting so many who are coming of age in a world full of garbage. But at whatever level you read it, I promise you this: The image in the last two lines of the book will knock your socks off." – Bill Percy, author of Climbing the Coliseum.
And now the video trailer ... Remember it's the quality of the book, not the video
“Michael Hartnett accomplishes what endless vocabulary lists haven't by presenting 1500 challenging words in a classic mystery format complete with detective, sidekick, victim and an assortment of idiosyncratic characters who will certainly resonate with high school readers. The narrator's observations—hilarious poignant and literary— are a blend of high and low comedy and thoroughly engage the reader who anxiously awaits the next outrageous pun, metaphor, malapropism or allusion.
“A modern hybrid, The Great Sat Swindle manages to explore key social, psychological and ethical issues facing adolescents while incorporating critical reading and vocabulary skills through dialogue, character, theme and clever footnotes.
“With its irreverent satire and authentic voice, The Great SAT Swindle makes mastering vocabulary enjoyable and meaningful.”
– Estelle Rankin, co-author of 5 Steps to a 5 AP English Literature & McGraw Hill’s Writing an Outstanding College Application Essay