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Dreams Underfoot [With Headphones] (Newford #1)

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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  5,449 ratings  ·  264 reviews
I have spread my dreams under your feet: tread softly, for you tread upon my dreams... So said Irish poet William Butler Yeats, and so Charles de Lint has done. He has spread before us the wondrous fabric of his dreams in this tour de force of modern urban fantasy. De Lint, today's leading writer of urban magical tales, has created the imaginary city of Newford and peopled ...more
Published September 1st 2009 by Playaway (first published April 1st 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Irene
Copied from the author's website, I thought this would be a handy guide for myself (since I lost track of which ones I've read and who knows in what order). * for the ones I have/read.

Q. Where do I start reading the Newford stories?
A. 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 collectio
...more
Ambertronic
I was just a wee freshman in high school when I discovered Charles de Lint, and my addiction to his characters and fictional world of urban mythology all started with this book. It has been 14 years now and I'm still a huge fan.

The first edition paperback of this book actually has an oil painting by Terri Windling on the cover of a celtic looking woman with deer horns, a flute, and an oak leaf tattoo over her eye. I want to say John Jude Palencar has been doing the reprint cover art as these ant
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Stephen
3.5 stars. I liked this collection and certainly would recommend it to fans of de Lint but in all honesty I was expecting to like this collection more than I actually did. I had previously read Moonheart (which I loved) and Memory and Dream (which I thought was excellent, though not quite as good as Moonheart).

First, this is not really a short story collection as much as a group of individual tales all set in Newford and involving many of the same characters (and often building on events that o
...more
Werner
May 23, 2008 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of urban ffantasy
All but one of the 19 stories in this collection take place in de Lint's favorite setting, his imaginary city of Newford, Canada and its environs, and they furnish a great introduction to his characteristic urban fantasy. (Strictly speaking, two of the stories here don't actually have a supernatural element; but they fit right in with the rest.) Newford is home to such creatures as mermaids and fairies, skookins and Bigfoot (along with some more sinister entities), as well as to a gallery of lik ...more
Michael Havens
Jun 20, 2008 Michael Havens rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love Urban Fantasy and Myth
Charles de Lint seems to do what many New York Times Bestselling authors fail to do; he is able to tell simple (Note: I do not mean simplistic) stories, and keep the “meat and potatoes” in place. What do I mean? There is nothing more irritating to me than a story which is more a sketch than a story, where characters are given the thinnest of descriptive lines, where the plot is as thinly unveiled as the characters, are given to long dialogs that meander in order to get that extra pages in so th ...more
Juliet
Charles de Lint was writing urban fantasy well before the genre's current wave of popularity. In fact, his work sits outside what people mean by urban fantasy these days - it eludes classification, falling somewhere between magic realism and folkloric fantasy. Terri Windling's introduction to this edition discusses the difficulty of trying to pin such a book down to a single genre.

I'm currently attempting to read through all Charles de Lint's Newford books in order of publication. Dreams Underfo
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Zoe
In every urban fantasy, in every fictional story where our world intersects with the unreal, there is a moment where the protagonist must somehow transition from "this can't be happening" to "could this really be happening?" to finally "I have to remove the singing frog from the belly of the evil dragon." Dreams Underfoot is basically just a collection of this same moment rewritten a dozen times over.

The pages do not turn but laboriously and with great effort, knowing that all that awaits me is
...more
Arielle Walker
Absolutely stunning. I'm still somewhat mesmerised by this book, under its spell, having a hard time not picking it straight back up and reading it again (and only stopped from doing so because I lent it to someone else with the insistence that they read it immediately).

This book doesn't really fit neatly into "genre". It's not quite a novel, but then not quite short stories either. Short stories, I suppose, in the sense that each "chapter" can be read independently of any other, and in fact wer
...more
Kaila
This review is also available on my blog, Stumptown Books.

Short stories, I have decided, are simply not my favorite medium. They don't offer up enough satisfaction or closure, and there's that obscurely frustrating first couple pages of a story when you don't know what is going on, and that happens over and over again. Thankfully all the stories in this case take place in one area, the city of Newford, with a cast of characters that show up repeatedly. Jilly is a great character and I can't wait
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Jammies
Good reviews are always harder for me to write than bad ones. This book just sings to me--I love the sparse, clean prose; the engaging, three-dimensional characters; the twisted but familiar storylines and the city of Newford. I love that de Lint sets his urban fantasies in a Canadian city, which is a welcome change from the UScentric urban fantasy I usually read. I was sad to close the book after reading the next page, and I want more.
Althea Ann
A collection of short stories that actually works very well as a 'novel.' They all share a setting and theme - that of troubled, often creative young people encountering myth and magic in the imaginary city of Newford. Having never been to either city, for some reason Newford conjures up a sort of cross between the Seattle and Vancouver of my mind.

Some of these stories are very, very good. I'd say some of them are some of de Lint's best work.

However, around the second half of the book, it began
...more
Kerry
I've been familiar with the name of author Charles de Lint for a number of years, but I've never really got around to reading his books. I read Moonheart many years ago and remember being very impressed with it (to the point I bought the audiobook from Audible last year and hope to get to listen to it this year), but I never read anything else.

de Lint writes urban fantasy. Somehow, in the years between the late 80s/early 90s when people like de Lint and Emma Bull and were writing it and now, th
...more
Lazy Seagull
Thoroughly unimpressed.

Maybe this wasn't a Lint book I should've started with. Or something. I guess it just didn't work out for me. Anthologies, unless really compelling, don't roll with me in the first place, and this just...didn't. At all. The stories were really discombobulated and disorganized and I mean you could've arranged them throughout the book in whatever order you wanted but why did you choose this order?!

...ugh. I dunno, guys.
Claude
This is the first of Charles de Lint's works that I have had the pleasure to read, and I have to say that it is as marvelous piece of work!

Yes, it is not perfect, and there are other anthologies out there with far more intriguing tales to tell, but Dreams Underfoot has a certain way with words and creating a new world right at our doorstep that I appreciate, if not adore entirely. First, it makes a unique stand as an anthology of stories based on the same universe and city, with the same people,
...more
Krys

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. Along with a few peers de Lint’s work launched the concept of fantasy elements merged with contemporary time periods and modern settings. 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 really enjoyed
...more
Paul Eckert
After the first two stories of Dreams Underfoot, I knew that I had found a new author to call one of my favorites. Welcome to the club, Mr. Charles de Lint.

Dreams Underfoot is a collection of short stories that are based in the town of Newford, a melting pot of a city where there exists every demographic extreme and everything in between. Unbeknownst to many of the residents, there are also fairies, spirits, mermaids, goblins, and other fantastical creatures lurking just out of sight. And somet
...more
Books-treasureortrash
Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes

Magic, gemmins, mermaids and ghosts are just a few of the characters we are introduced to in Dreams Underfoot. Each story revolves around a unique and special entity from Mr. de Lint’s imagination and each story is entertaining and well told. This is a universe filled with creatures of urban fantasy.

The Newford series has a different twist on contemporary fantasy. There are no vampires, werewolves, etc, but there is magic which is a melding of Native American spiritu
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♥Xeni♥
This is another one of those books where I just have to say 'How does one review something this special, this odd and this wonderful?' I can't. I can, though, try and tell you why I love this anthology so much.

It's the second of de Lint's works that I have read. The first was The Blue Girl, which, when I started it, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This anthology really connected some dots about Newford for me, though.

The characters in here are just magical in that they are totally
...more
Stephanie Swint
I read this out of order and it may have had some effect on my review. I read The Onion Girl recently and it was my first De Lint novel. I love Newford and the characters. His faerie world he has built is fascinating and is a non juvenile take on urban fantasy. Don't get me wrong, I read and enjoy YA novels, but its also nice to read a more complex and fleshed out version of fantasy/urban fantasy as well.

This book introduces you to many of the characters I learned of in The Onion Girl and I was
...more
Kellyann
These stories are not only about magic; they are magic. They describe the Otherworld and its intersections with our world so compellingly that you find yourself believing in fairies, animal people, and daughters of the Moon. Most of the tales are connected; well, all of them are connected, only some more directly than others. Jilly Coppercorn, whom I've met as a cameo in some later Newford books, is a major character in several of these stories, and I found her much more likable as her character ...more
Jefferson
Terri Windling's Introduction to Charles de Lint's Dreams Underfoot (1993) accurately describes the “urban magic” infusing the collection of nineteen short stories as using “the tools of myth, folklore and fantasy” to “record dreams,” mixing “ancient folklore motifs and contemporary urban characters.” Most of the nineteen stories in the collection are set in Newford, de Lint's fictional American city of subway and alleys, parks and rivers, cafes and clubs, university and library, cathedral and r ...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
"Every time it rains a ghost comes walking."

Dreams Underfoot introduced readers to de Lint's fictional city of Newford. Magic is on the streets of Newford if you just know where to look for it. It's usually in the most unexpected places.

Man, I love the Newford books. This book started my re-read of them all in order. They aren't really a series, so I've skipped around, reading them as I find them, but I'm curious to see my favorite characters grow in a more natural progression.

I really don't re
...more
Aaron
This collection of short stories introduces readers to the remarkable city of Newford and the equally remarkable people who call it home. Each story adds a little bit to the city and introduces readers to new characters and slowly starts to show how they relate to one another and the city itself. There is an element of fantasy and magic to each story, but the degree varies from story to story. The stories range from light and fun to very dark. I reread this book every year and every year I have ...more
Alkatraz
The start of a grand adventure through a world so beautiful and dangerous that we cannot help but read more, to be guided through such a place where the Dreamlands and the World As It Is are so close the most fantastic things will happen, if only you believe. De Lint has created, in this collection, a world of his very own that he has graciously shared with the rest of us. In his city of Newford, we see the light and dark sides of the Dreamlands and fairy.

Never does he disappoint with his fanta
...more
T.M.
I had high hopes for this book but, ultimately, I had difficulty getting through it. The nice thing about short story collections, of course, is that you can always skip ahead if the one you're reading doesn't work for you.

In this case, I found myself skipping every story once I hit the halfway point -- which made me a bit sad because I'd been intrigued by what I'd heard about De Lint's work, by the central premise of his writing, and how it dovetailed with so many of my own interests. But, ulti
...more
Debra S
This is one of the earliest works by De Lint that I remember reading years ago. These short stories eventually become the basis fro the Newford series. This also contains the short story that makes me think De Lint sees himself in Christy Riddell. I could be wrong. At the end of Talllulah he writes "I have this fantasy that it's still not too late; that we can still drive that mean spirit away and keep it at bay. The city would be a better place to live in if we could and I think we owe it to he ...more
Caitlin
The people of Newford, described by the blurb as "fey folk, magicians, hustlers, painters, fiddlers, and ordinary people" in a series of loosely connected stories. Each story can stand alone, but characters recur, popping up in one and then another, and they're presented in what seems to be chronological order. The stories are dreams in the truest sense--with hidden strangeness and magic rising to the light, and sometimes that magic is beautiful. Other times, it is terrifying, the same way a dre ...more
Rachel
This is the first Newford collection, and it's great. There are a few stories that don't quite live up to the rest, but for the most part, the stories are excellent and fun to read. Some are very dark, some are mostly silly, but they all have strong mythic qualities, and are fun to read. Plus, having read a lot of the later stuff, it's really fun to be able to go back and read the original stories that form the background for later events.
Jessie Lynn McMains
I'm giving this four stars because I would give it three stars for the writing, and five for how much I loved it. That doesn't make much sense, let me explain: the writing was a little overwrought with metaphor and simile, and there were certainly some problematic elements to some of the stories...but the stories themselves pulled me along. Like magic.
Patty
One of Charles de Lint's characters in the last story in this collection says, "My themes are simple. They're about love and loss, honor and the responsibilities of friendship. And wonder... always wonder."

That is why I read de Lint. His themes are the same as those his protagonist writes. I especially like this quote because de Lint's interest in the love of friendship is something not everyone writes about. When people write about it, it is often between women, men aren't involved. It is amazi
...more
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Sci-Fi Fantasy Bo...: Dreams Underfoot 2 21 Nov 28, 2010 07:59AM  
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Charles de Lint is a Canadian writer of Dutch origins.
More about Charles de Lint...
The Blue Girl (Newford, #15) The Onion Girl (Newford, #11) Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #8) Moonheart Memory and Dream (Newford, #5)

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“There's stories and then there's stories. The ones with any worth change your life forever, perhaps only in a small way, but once you've heard them, they are forever a part of you. You nurture them and pass them on, and the giving only makes you feel better. The others are just words on a page.” 112 likes
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