THE MAGIC WELL by Piero Ventura


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Paradoxically, the highlight of this fuzzy, anti-technology fable is the Rube Goldberg-ish pump used by the Mechanics to move some mysterious yellow balls from the happy village of Pozzo, where they are only an overwhelming nuisance, to Mechanics City where they are used to fuel the inhabitants' robot-like mechanical houses. But the intended heroine is obviously Calenella the witch of Pozzo, who--after the pump backfires due to human error--somehow gets rid of the balls by destroying the Mechanics' computer with her broomstick. (Never mind that the computer's role in the whole business remains unmentioned.) The entire population of Pozzo (a dragon, a knight, a baker, an inventor, and a farmer are among those introduced along with the witch) can be envied for knowing what it doesn't want--neither mechanical houses nor yellow balls--and the sheer sen ness of those balls' emergence from the village well might catch kids' attention. But overall, Ventura combines the worst of both worlds in his mechanical plot and pictures and the irrational happenings that occasion all the to-do.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1976
Publisher: Random House