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Thread: Charles De Lint

  1. #16
    I was gallavanting through Waterstones the other day and came across a display promoting the works of De Lint. I've never read anything by him before, though the style and Urban content interested me, i'm going in the direction of Forests of the Heart or maybe Wild Wood, or Moonheart, i'm not sure where would be the best to start, to a great exent i've read and liked works that others in this thread have considerd similair, i.e. Holdstock, Mckillip, Gaiman, Dunsany.

    So which of the above books should I order, considering i've never read anything of his before, or maybe non of them, and something else entirely? Any more opinions of his books, his style, maybe something on his recent books, like the Blue Girl.

  2. #17
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithfânion View Post
    A de Lint story which at least mixes the gender of the main characters somewhat, instead of some of his stories which just feature all-female casts.
    Why, Mith, does that not surprise me in the least? Try Trader. I worried that De Lint couldn't tell a story from a male perspective until I picked Trader up and it really is very good. Otherwise I would choose The Little Country if going for Celtic Mythology - it is his only UK based story (I think). I haven't got round to looking at other similar authors yet, too many books not enough time!

    And Gildor, I started with Moonheart, which was great, but you can pretty much start from anywhere you like with De Lint, he enmeshes so many lives into his tales with crossovers in Newford. It is worth choosing a book and then following the stories around from there. For example, if you like a short story with a particular character, chances are they have a major part to play in another book. Bit confusing but also pretty good fun.
    Good places to start would be:

    Any short story collection
    Moonheart
    Some Place to be Flying

    Books to avoid until you have read a few

    The Onion Girl (Jilly Coppercorn rules)
    Spirit Walk (follows on from Moonheart)
    Memory and Dream (which is just heartbreaking and you have to build yourself up to it imo)

    Hope that all helps. Kudos to the display organiser at Manchester Waterstones, which a friend of mine raved about when she lived there a few years ago as having a great sf/fantasy section.
    Last edited by Leiali; February 22nd, 2007 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Must not use the word 'wow' now I am over thirty

  3. #18
    Great, thank you. I was leaning more towards Moonheart.

    Yes, the Waterstones does have a very nice SF/F section, I think the displays and tables of books really make it stand out, lots of offers and the often juicy and exotic imports to glean through. I don't buy from there too much as Amazon often wins out, but I cant help myself on occasion.

  4. #19
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I'd recommend Moonheart to start as well. It's one of the older ones and you can follow it without having to know who a lot of the regular characters who pop up in his city stories are. It's the first one of his I read, as well.

    I have been very frustrated with De Lint's website, because what I would like from it is sort of a chart or character glossary which lists regular characters, because they pop up in a book and I think I know that one, but can't remember. But the good thing is, you don't really have to remember. Each story, with a few exceptions is pretty much self-contained, and they are similar in feel on the setting, but very different in the tone of the different stories.

    There are lots of guy characters in De Lint's books, though he does like female protagonists, so I don't know what Mith is going on about.

  5. #20
    The only de Lint I've read is Moonheart. I didn't really care for it finding the writing flat. Since it's one of his earliest books I expect I'll eventually get around to reading something else of his to see if his style has changed.

  6. #21
    Prefers to be anomalous intensityxx's Avatar
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    I'm really glad to see this thread. He's one of my favorite authors, when I'm in the mood for him. A common question with de Lint's work is where to start. In case anyone here is wondering, here's my response, which I keep handy for such opportunities:

    I was a member of Charles de Lint's yahoo group for several years. I originally joined it to get an answer to the question: where to start with the Newford books? After weighing many considered opinions, I prefer this order for the beginning: first, Dreams Underfoot and then, Someplace To Be Flying, and then resume de Lint's own recommended order. DU is a short story collection, but his short stories are loved by most people who hate short stories. STBF will let you meet the famous Crow Girls and most of the main shape-shifter residents of Newford.

    His standalone novels, such as Moonheart and The Little Country, are memorable too.

    The official answer from his website is:

    The books have all been written in such a way that you should be able to pick up any one and get a full and complete story. However, characters do reoccur, off center stage as it were, and their stories do follow a sequence. The best place to start is the collection Dreams Underfoot. From there they go pretty much in this order:

    The Dreaming Place
    A Whisper To A Scream (originally credited to "Samuel M. Key")
    I'll Be Watching You (originally credited to "Samuel M. Key")
    Memory And Dream
    The Ivory And The Horn
    Trader
    Someplace To Be Flying
    Moonlight And Vines
    Forests Of The Heart
    The Onion Girl
    Seven Wild Sisters (also available in Tapping the Dream Tree)
    Tapping the Dream Tree
    Spirits in the Wires
    Medicine Road
    The Blue Girl
    Widdershins

    The Dreaming Place and The Blue Girl are YA novels. A Whisper To A Scream and I'll Be Watching You are, respectively, a horror novel and a thriller; they're darker fare than the other Newford books and aren't really that integral to the underlying, ongoing backstory that takes place off center stage in so many of the books and stories.
    Last edited by intensityxx; February 22nd, 2007 at 11:34 AM.

  7. #22
    Prefers to be anomalous intensityxx's Avatar
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    Also a reminder to fans to keep an eye on Sub Press's regular offerings by de Lint. Right now, they're taking pre-orders for Promises to Keep, a brand-new short novel from Jilly's past, and for Old Man Crow, a new Newford tale. "Joey Creel needs to decide which he is: a man, dreaming he’s a crow, or a crow, dreaming he’s a man. Ruby McCaulay, the young musician he’s mentoring, is sure she knows the answer, but in Newford, things are never quite as they seem."

  8. #23
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
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    Intensity - Moonheart isn't standalone as SpiritWalk is its sequel and the house turns up on conversation in Newford, and Angel too...Or have I got confused? Hmm...Too complex a web he has weaved. Thanks for the links.

  9. #24
    Prefers to be anomalous intensityxx's Avatar
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    You're right, Leiali. What I meant is that Moonheart isn't set in Newford, and is a complete story on its own.

  10. #25
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    I bought Widdershins a while ago because that seemed to be the most interesting one. Maybe not the best place to start but I think it'll be good. Guess I'll find out if De Lint is an author I can dig into.

  11. #26

    Charles de Lint

    I just finished The Little Country by De Lint. Can anyone recommend more like it? I was pretty happy with this read.

  12. #27
    looking for coffee redhead's Avatar
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    Little Country is a wonderful book. so wonderful in fact, that i lent my one and only copy to an aquantaince without a second thought, and never saw the book again.

    If you're just getting started w/Charles deLint, give these titles a try, they are some of my favorites of his:

    Greenmantle
    Yarrow
    Drink down the moon
    Into the Green
    Jack of Kinrowan (short stories)

    those also have that mythology/celtic mythology feel to them. i just peeked at DeLint's Wikipage, and he's got about 20 more books i haven't even heard of!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_de_Lint

    my only beef with DeLint, is after a while his books seem to all blend together. maybe he's gotten away from that in the last 10 years, i'm not sure. but his older stuff (1995-ish and older), felt like the same story of "normal person falls into mythology world" over and over again, just with the character;s name's changed. hoepfully he's gotten away from the one-trick-pony-ness in his newer stuff.

  13. #28
    Forests of the Heart and Moonheart are good follow-ups.

    redhead,

    Most of his books are tied in with Newford and I personally think it is to his credit that he has been able to set up such a consistent setting and tone in all these books - I see all the Newford novels to be episodes of a single saga.

  14. #29
    looking for coffee redhead's Avatar
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    Most of his books are tied in with Newford and I personally think it is to his credit that he has been able to set up such a consistent setting and tone in all these books - I see all the Newford novels to be episodes of a single saga.
    ah. that makes sense.

    but some plot lines repeating themselves still got on my nerves. i find i can read one DeLint book per year or so. if i get on a kick with him, and read 5 or 6 books of his back to back, i tend to end up dissapointed. even if they are all connected.

    Bridge of Birds, ignore everything i said, because he's a great author! his scene building and worldbuilding is wonderful, his expositions and characterization is top notch. i enjoy his works, i think i just overdose on them sometimes.

  15. #30
    Registered User Niniane's Avatar
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    Someplace to be Flying and Forests of the Heart are favourites of mine. Another, is the first CDL book I ever read, The Ivory and the Horn (anthology).

    I love Newford and Charles de Lint's mythic imagination. There are things I have started to dislike, though. One, he doesn't vary his storytelling style after awhile. Two, it gets way too didactic. Three, he namedrops too much. I think he's resting on his laurels and that's a bummer. Still, I'd rather read him than a great many other writers.

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