Ever read a book set in a world just like ours, and then boom, all of a sudden something crazy and fantastic happens in the story—like people start flying or books start floating off the table all crazy-like? Don't panic. You're not going insane. Chances are you're just reading a work of magical realism.
In magical realism, an author combines realistic and fantastic or magical elements to create a wonderful mish-mash. That is, totally everyday normal stuff takes place right alongside weird, out-of-this-world events. The results can be awesomely surreal and dreamlike.
If you're a fan of the magical-mundane mixture, check out One Hundred Years of Solitude. Marquez was a master of the genre. And if that only whets your appetite, we've got learning guides on Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits and Vladimir Nabokov's Spring in Fialta, too.