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Tapping the dream tree
Charles De Lint
Adult Fiction DE LINT

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From Publishers' Weekly:

When de Lint's magic is working, his characters shine with folksy charisma (The Onion Girl; Moonheart), but a preponderance of the 18 stories in this collection have the familiar denizens of fictional Newford wandering passively through their own tales. The better yarns have the protagonists taking an active role in earning their magical rewards, as in "Granny Weather," in which Sophie saves her boyfriend, Jeck, by using lucid dreaming, personal sacrifice and good sense. However, many of the stories unfold with little drama or conflict. "Ten for the Devil" rambles from field to barroom and back, until the devil is finally foiled by kindness; while in "Big City Littles" and "Second Chances," the right mystical word spoken by Meran Kelledy immediately fixes things. Then there's de Lint's bias against ugly men and petty thieves. Without the mitigating love of a good woman, these men are punished ("Freak," "The Witching Hour"), sometimes even after death. Pretty girls, however, can do no wrong. All the female denizens of Newford appear to have artistic gifts. Just a modicum of good manners and a little spunk earns most of these ladies rich rewards ("Masking Indian," "Trading Hearts at the Half Kaffe Caf," "Seven Wild Sisters"). While some of de Lint's niftier conceits are well utilized, such as the faerie realm created by lucid dreaming, more is to be expected from this World Fantasy Award-winning author than this collection of hazy, lazy tales. (Nov. 14) FYI: "Seven Wild Sisters" was published earlier this year by Subterranean as a separate book, with illustrations by Charles Vess (Forecasts, Feb. 18). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The 18 stories in de Lint's latest collection portray a modern world touched by magic of many kinds. Most of the stories take place in de Lint's fictional city of Newford, the setting for The Onion and other novels. "The Witching Hour," original to the anthology, tells the macabre tale of a ghost's revenge on the serial killers who murdered her, while "Seven Wild Sisters," first published in a limited edition, is a magical story of some remarkable siblings who cross the border into the fairy world. Gracefully told and filled with unforgettable and convincing characters, this collection, containing several stories published only in periodicals, belongs in most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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