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Finding Charles de Lint
It was one of my first forays into urban fantasy and has stuck with me ever since. The magic was still there with this reading, just a little harder to access at times. Some of the stories were amazing, some fell a little bit flat. But it did leave me wanting to read more from the series to try and find more pieces of the magi This was my second time through this collection of short stories of Newford.
But it did leave me wanting to read more from the series to try and find more pieces of the magic. Mar 22, Daniel Hayden rated it did not like it. Sadly, I didn't at all.
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Even though each individual story is short, I found it a slog to get through and definitely didn't feel in a rush to pick it back up. I kept starting each new story hoping that maybe this would be one I'd really like, or find beautiful or profound, but never quite managed it.
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If I had to put the book down midway through a story, I often forgot what happened be "There are no endings, happy or otherwise. If I had to put the book down midway through a story, I often forgot what happened before, or where I'd got to.
Each story felt formulaic and unconvincing. There was a pattern of "Person with only a cursory interest in the paranormal encounters something paranormal, spends a short time in shock or disbelief, consults a friend who either shares their disbelief OR is somehow incredibly versed on all these unwritten arcane teachings to guide them through, they instantly transition from disbelief to fully-convinced person with some sort of magical power or connection or problem solving capabilities".
The endings to each are all vague, which isn't a problem inherently, but each plot felt two-dimensional and I found most of the characters either uninteresting or flatly unlikeable, and their motivations and developments bewildering. Something about the style and description felt incredibly dated; like a writer playing with genre in the mids, so I was pretty surprised to see this was written around Each story also felt rushed, which again, was shocking considering the author spent a fair amount of time in between each novella.
Everything hinged on exposition and heavy handed simile, with the 'urban realism' phoned in with pointless descriptions on minor details, like short bios on characters we'll never meet I assume, I doubt I'll pick up anything else by de Lint. There are some repeated characters with really irritating names but I found I kept backtracking because I couldn't tell if other characters had been featured before - honestly most of the female characters felt homogeneous; only this one is free-spirited because her hair is messy, and this one is uptight because she's well dressed, and maybe this one has a mohawk.
Doesn't matter too much though. The fantasy elements felt pretty immature and tired. I kept wondering who this book was aimed at. The creatures and stories and plots all definitely felt like they were aimed at children, but then the cursing and sex and sideswipe heavy themes I'm looking at you, In The House of My Enemy were definitely very adult in nature. The more I read, the more I cringed. And despite all the description of places, I couldn't really picture any of them, or imagine how this town actually worked - when half the people seem to be grounded in the mundane working, at diners or radio stations until they get a novella that lets them figure out some ancient secret , and everyone else is some sort of wizard or fairy or paranormal archivist.
What the hell are Starbucks queues like in Newford? And I see a lot of retorts to criticisms of this book saying "You were expecting a novel!
You don't like short stories! I do read short stories fairly often, especially when I'm commuting, and I always thought I enjoyed them which is one of the main reasons I had such high hopes for Dreams Underfoot , but they should always offer either a contained plot arc, or offer some deeper meaning that gets you thinking, or feeling, or ideally both. I don't think any of these short stories achieved that for me.
Sure they might, collectively, build the world of Newford - but not in a way that makes me care about it. As for bookended individual plots - there wasn't any resolution for the characters. It felt like de Lint had several 'good ideas' for a story, and the book is a collection of beginnings - apart from maybe Freewheeling, which apart from insufferable Sue was my 'favourite' story and the least awkwardly fantastical, but this felt more like an ending that didn't have the build up for any effective emotional payoff.
But we know we're meant to be sad about the ending.
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Because we're told Jilly is sad. Great storytelling. And as for deeper meaning I honestly can't pick a single thought I sat and considered after I'd finished a chapter or closed the book entirely. There were a few messages that seemed to suggest 'stories lose their power when they're written down', which is a pretty self-defeating philosophy for an author. And everything else You'll sometimes have to pick between hope and despair?
Child abuse is bad? Be more magical, somehow? I couldn't find anything substantial enough to actually chew on. I'm sorry. I really wanted to like this, and I know my opinions will offend some of the fans of the series. But I just ended up feeling constantly aggravated by this book, and I had to jot that down somewhere. Oct 05, Krys rated it it was amazing Shelves: medium-length-book , read-in , urban-dark-fantasy-paranormal , own , series , series-i-love. Dreams Underfoot is the first book in the long running Newford series by Charles de Lint; a man partially responsible for the genres Urban Fantasy and Mythic Fiction.
Without his influence many of the popular series of today simply would not exist. I have been errant in reading him until now. Which makes me a bad fantasy fan, especially because I re Dreams Underfoot is the first book in the long running Newford series by Charles de Lint; a man partially responsible for the genres Urban Fantasy and Mythic Fiction.
excrocbanklada.tk Which makes me a bad fantasy fan, especially because I really enjoyed reading this book. Wholly and utterly in one fell swoop. Dreams Underfoot is a book of short stories woven together with a few simple themes. The stories range in varying degrees of fantastic elements, and they are very powerful. Within the pages the reader can find themselves face-to-face with gemmins and ghosts, Big Foot and faeries, and an assortment of other supernatural oddities. Both of them were perfect short stories, compelling and solid with a defined beginning, middle, and end. Both of them left me with the bright-eyed feeling of wonder that occurs when one has achieved bliss.
I am so impressed with de Lint.