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Trader (Newford #4)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,379 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
A novel of loss, identity, and, in the strangest of places, hope.

Leonard Trader is a luthier, a maker of guitars. Johnny Devlin is chronically unemployed. Leonard is solitary, quiet, responsible. Johnny is a lady-killer, a drunk, a charming loser.

When they inexplicably wake up in each other's bodies, Johnny gleefully moves into Leonard's comfortable and stable existence, l
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Orb Books (first published 1997)
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City of Bones by Cassandra ClareMoon Called by Patricia BriggsHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingVampire Academy by Richelle MeadMagic Bites by Ilona Andrews
The Best Urban Fantasy
168th out of 2,919 books — 10,251 voters
Someplace to Be Flying by Charles  de LintThe Onion Girl by Charles  de LintMoonheart by Charles  de LintDreams Underfoot by Charles  de LintThe Little Country by Charles  de Lint
The Best of Charles de Lint
7th out of 49 books — 36 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 04, 2013 Ambrosia rated it really liked it
Charles de Lint is rapidly becoming one of my new favorite authors - frankly, given how long I've enjoyed similar urban fantasists like Neil Gaiman, I can't believe it's taken me this long to come across his stuff. And his handling of this premise makes it slightly horrifying and definitely compelling enough to overcome its slight shop-wear.

This particular volume was recommended to me by a fellow musician, as proof of de Lint's fine grasp of what it means to be a musician. I must say, in that s
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Max Trader is a luthier who wakes up one morning in a body not his own. After the initial panic and a little further investigation, Trader finds out that charming, womanizing rake, Johnny Devlin, has wished for a different life and somehow they have traded bodies. Devlin has no intention of trying to switch back. He gets a fresh start while Trader tries to navigate his way through the wreckage of Johnny's life. While learning about Johnny, though, Devlin learns a few things about his own life an ...more
Nov 01, 2009 Drew rated it really liked it
Charles De Lint isn't a perfect writer from a literary standpoint, and every time I read one of his books there are a few moments where I find myself restructuring his sentences in my head, or changing some wording around, to make it all flow more smoothly. Despite all of this, I adore his books. He goes so far beyond making up for slight weaknesses in his style that it seems petty to even bring them up. The characters in his books are more like real people I actually know than any other literar ...more
Aug 16, 2007 Kelly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: do you know? I'm not sure.
This book was slightly more mature for De Lint. It still brings up his favorite "don't overlook the spirits in homeless people!" theme a lot, and his sentimental view points of emos, goths, slackers, and all those other disaffected groups. He finds redemption in them. Which is sweet on some level, but again. He tends to beat it to death. The device for this one is about two vastly different guys who get their bodies swapped and their lives changed. One's a horrible guy and one's a good one. The ...more
Apr 13, 2008 Amanda rated it really liked it
I finished my book, I finished my book, I finished my book, I finished my book!!! I love it when I finish a book.

Good ol' Freaky Friday kind of story. The good guys win.
Stephen Gallup
I was casually browsing the book sale table at the library when this title caught my eye. "Trader" -- my first thought was that it might be about trading stocks or futures. Picking it up, I realized it was a fantasy -- way over at the other end of the spectrum, although on second thought the ambitions of your average trader probably do border on fantasy. But never mind that. I bought it anyway.

Nominally about Max Trader, a renowned but introverted maker of fine guitars, the story shows what hap
Aug 21, 2007 Mark rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Neil Gaiman
Shelves: dark-fantasy
Charles de Lint is probably one of the most brilliant writers at making you feel wretched one minute and then tremendous the next. He is not well known, but has produced an admirable body of work, all of which I'd term as Dark Fantasy. Many of his books center around the archetypal town of Newford (which I've always thought of as in Canada, for some reason) where dark and dangerous things always seem to happen. This is not horror, but a shadier side of fantasy. Reminds me a lot of Neil Gaiman, ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rutebega rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
A nerdy guitar-maker wakes up in the wrong body. He's been body-swapped, against his will, into the body of a douchey man-whore. Other people are drawn into his drama. Pleasant and readable with likable characters. Dialogue is a little clunky, first chapter is super over-written (it gets way better immediately after), very, very little happens, but I was pulled along anyway. Also, a Magical Red Man who was a cool character, but needed to be balanced out with other indigenous characters. de Lint ...more
Иван Величков
Jan 17, 2016 Иван Величков rated it really liked it
Shelves: градско
Вече имам чувството, че си изчерпих суперлативите за новия любимец.
Прекрасен роман, не знам защо. Сюжетът във всяка книга писана от друг автор би ме приспал на десетата страница, но Чарлз де Линт ме държи на ръба на стола до края. Авторът отново нарушава повечето правила в писането на успешен търговски продукт. Имаме поне 8 главни героя, действието минава през очите на всички, дори и на някой от второстепенните, има множество ретроспекции и ретроспекции в ретроспекциите, които би трябвало да нак
Kirk Macleod
Jun 17, 2016 Kirk Macleod rated it really liked it
Charles de Lint's Trader (1997) was, for me, a pretty great way to use fantasy elements to tell a story about starting over. The novel focuses on a luthier (stringed instrument creator) named Max Trader who wakes up one day inhabiting someone else's body. The story follows Max as he tries to come to terms with what has happened, attempts to put things back the way they were and tries to stop the man who seems to be ruining his old lie.

What I really loved about the book was how it showed the inte
Frank Taranto
Sep 13, 2009 Frank Taranto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
DeLint shines as usual. A wonderful and interesting tale about a man who shifts minds with another and his travails in finding a soltion to his probelm. Placed in his city of Newford, and using some of his long term characters, he again shows us a world of supernatural bordering and interacting with our world.
L.M. Cooke
Jan 27, 2016 L.M. Cooke rated it liked it
On occasion, Charles de Lint comes across as a little sanctimonious. Generally, this can be overlooked as his prose, his description and the myths he brings to life more than make up for it. This was certainly one of those occasions. The villain was a little too cartoon-villain-y, the hero too reverential for the natural world; but the texture in this work meant I was willing to overlook this. A good, interesting book, with characters familiar from many of de Lint's other works. Worth a read if ...more
Nov 03, 2009 Jeannine rated it it was amazing
Another one of my favorites!
Adela Bezemer-Cleverley
Jul 20, 2016 Adela Bezemer-Cleverley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-stars, wish-list
Love it. Love love love it. It's a body-swap story, but not campy or silly. Just improbable, and then afterward, perfectly inevitable. The best story of soul-switching I've ever heard of. And that's about all I really need to say. Here are some quotes I liked:

"This is a perfect world," Jilly said. "The only things wrong with it are those we screw up." --pg. 143

What kind of a world are we living in where this kind of thing can just happen?
I wonder if the world's getting worse, or if we're just p
Ronan Palmer
Jan 03, 2015 Ronan Palmer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bruce Nordstrom
I loved this book, and I think it is one of the best books de Lint has ever produced. It begins when a man wakes up in a body that is not his own, and when he tries to his body back, the body thief does not want to give it back.

This is the kind of thing that can only happen the Newford.

The plot becomes more involved, and complex. Twisting so you never know what is happening next. Ends in a journey beyond the end of the universe, and then it has to come back.

Lovely. Well worth reading.
Andrew Dyer
Apr 07, 2011 Andrew Dyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was intresting and keeped my intrest through out the whole book. This book out of most I have read really gave me a suprise through out the story with not only looking through the life of Leonard Trader but the different perspectives of other chaters as the story played out. "trader" realy gets enjoying to read whihle looking at a situation of a person how has swithed bodys with someone else and brings in other perceptions as you coutinue to read.Mostly Lenard Trader was try to find a ...more
Apr 10, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: like-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 16, 2013 Olivia rated it it was amazing
Though I only just read it, I can't describe my feelings for this book as anything other than intensely personal and deeply rooted. It's been on my bookshelf for years, and I've always known I would love it. But for some reason I kept reading only the first few pages, and when I'd see it in my shelves would remember how glorious they were. I kept wanting a "perfect" time to read it - just as I did with Wuthering Heights (which I kept thinking of as a "winter book" and eventually read in mid-summ ...more
Elizabeth Giosia
Jul 22, 2011 Elizabeth Giosia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I began reading Trader, I honestly wasn’t sure what to think. Most people I’ve spoken with about de Lint’s writing tell me that he’s urban fantasy, so I was waiting for werewolves lurking in the hedges or vampires tromping down the sidewalks, interspersed with more sexual encounters than one could shake a stick at.

De Lint does none of this, and I must say: I am so much happier for it. Unlike other novels I’ve read in the urban fantasy genre, de Lint creates a town that is seemingly normal,
Marie Browne
Mar 18, 2013 Marie Browne rated it liked it
This book starts with a good boost for me because I really like the way DeLint writes. Trader is another of his urban fantasy books that brings back a lot of his favourite characters such as Jilly and Geordie but introduces us to some new players as well.

As usual the action has a musical/arty theme and his characters tend to be a little boho and 'alternative'.

The only reason I'm giving this only three stars is that, in this book, his moral message is delivered with a slightly less subtle hand th
Masha Toit
Aug 09, 2011 Masha Toit rated it really liked it
This book is a sort of fantasy equivalent of Kafka's Metamorphosis: A Max Trader, a well respected instrument maker, wakes up in the body of another man. The man who's body and life Max now inhabits is Johnny, the human equivalent of a cockroach; a nasty loser who cheats, steals and treats everyone around him with contempt. An Johnny has taken over Max's body and life.

The story follows Max's attempts to make sense of what happened to him and to regain his old life. He has to deal with the people
Aug 27, 2011 Cupcakencorset rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: urban fantasy fans
Trader is pure magic, not just in the central plot point of the story, but also in the language and world-building. The main plot involves two men who wake up in each other's bodies and have to deal with the very real possibility that they may not get back to their own bodies, their own lives, before irrevocable damage is done... if ever. Complicating the matter is the fact that only one of the men really wants his old life back. Add in a terrific group of secondary characters, a heavy dose of u ...more
Steve Haywood
Jan 08, 2012 Steve Haywood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Max Trader is a successful luthier - a master guitar maker - with a quiet, relatively contented life. Johnny Devlin is selfish, mean spirited and chronically unemployed. One morning the two of them wake up in each other's bodies. Devlin quickly and gleefully sets up in Trader's life, while Trader - friendless, penniless and about to be homeless, attempts to reclaim some semblence of his former life...[return][return]Bodyswopping - a tired, worn out science fiction cliche you might say. But this ...more
Isabel (kittiwake)
When Max Trader wakes up in the body of Johnny Devlin, a man he has never met, he can not believe that his comfortable life has been usurped by a loser who is just about to get evicted for non-payment of rent. But Max lives in Newford where the threshold of the world of spirits that most people only visit in their dreams is easily breached, and the street people are closer to the liminal zone than most, so when he finds himself living in a park with a stray dog, his new friends and the real John ...more
May 02, 2013 Clio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Amazing, inventive real urban fantasy. De Lint has a way of writing the mundane, the everyday lives and imbuing them with magic. Then when real magic shows up (in this case a body switch à la Freaky Friday), it has a poignancy and a drama that isn't present in typical high fantasy.
Loved the characters, I felt like I knew the characters. I could relate to Max, I recognized myself in Lisa, I felt for Nia and I want to see Zeffy play.
Music is woven through the plot in a subtle melody, from Max be
Jul 30, 2015 JM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting take on the "switched bodies" story. A lot of De Lint's usual cast of characters pop up here, so you'll be among friends so to speak. I think too many of his books end with people going into the dreamlands/spirit world but the dynamic between the asshole Johnny Devlin and the main character, Max Trader, was interesting enough to keep me reading.
Helena R-D
Jul 26, 2012 Helena R-D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was truly a good book. It took a bit to get into it, since it tells the story of two people switching out their lives. One is an utter jerk with no real life prospects and the other is simply detached from life. On the way to getting their lives back, they come across many other people that also end up examining and looking at their lives and starting change for the better.

I loved it, since it gave a different perspective on the journeys that people need to undertake when discovering themsel
Sep 08, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Andrew by: Jen
Shelves: fiction
Without making any specific pop culture references, this novel felt so very mid-90's. Maybe it was the repeated mention of "in-line skates."

Also, he needs to find another way to write "little say.." which I guess is a Canadian way of saying "not to mention..."
Anne Marie
Aug 28, 2014 Anne Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my introduction to urban fantasy. It hooked me. Two men trade bodies by accident and the protagonist must deal with the consequences of ending up in the body of a man who has been an irresponsible loser.
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Charles de Lint is the much beloved author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint's b ...more
More about Charles de Lint...

Other Books in the Series

Newford (1 - 10 of 27 books)
  • Dreams Underfoot (Newford, #1)
  • Memory and Dream (Newford, #2)
  • The Ivory and the Horn (Newford, #3)
  • Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #5)
  • Moonlight and Vines (Newford, #6)
  • Forests of the Heart (Newford, #7)
  • The Onion Girl (Newford, #8)
  • Tapping the Dream Tree (Newford, #9)
  • Spirits in the Wires (Newford, #10)
  • Widdershins (Newford, #11)

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“Look inside yourself for the answers - you're the only one who knows what's best for you. Everybody else is only guessing.” 77 likes
“Well, you know this world isn't perfect.' 'No, you're wrong. This world IS perfect, people just come along and mess it up sometimes.” 21 likes
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