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Memory and Dream (Newford, #5)
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Memory and Dream (Newford #5)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  3,616 ratings  ·  180 reviews
Isabelle Copley's visionary art frees ancient spirits. As the young student of the cruel, brilliant artist Vincent Rushkin, she discovered she could paint images so vividly real they brought her wildest fantasies to life. But when the forces she unleashed brought tragedy to those she loved, she turned her back on her talent -- and on her dreams.

Now, twenty years later, Isa
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Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 20th 2007 by Orb Books (first published August 23rd 1994)
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City of Bones by Cassandra ClareMoon Called by Patricia BriggsVampire Academy by Richelle MeadHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingDead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
The Best Urban Fantasy
300th out of 2,417 books — 8,955 voters
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The Best of Charles de Lint
11th out of 51 books — 30 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jalilah
Memory and Dream is richly layered, deep and thought provoking, yet at the same time captivating and enthralling.
Like so many of De Lint's novels, it's rooted in reality and the magic is hidden at first. This enables the reader to get drawn into the story and experience the magic in the same way the protagonists are experiencing it. The end effect is that the supernatural elements seem believable.
This story starts out in the early 90s as the recluse painter Isabelle Copley receives a letter w
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Greg Hamerton
Aug 12, 2010 Greg Hamerton rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: artists, creatives and wizards of all kinds
This story had a deep impact on me. It opens with an innocent sketch in a town square; it soon becomes a deeply engaging study of the act of creation and the mind of an artist.

If I took out my editor’s pencil, I’d only be able to mark one paragraph in the entire book, where a minor character is granted a bit too much page space to rant about his over-intellectualised opinions of art. It is in character though. And that’s it. The single tiny flaw I was aware of, if flaw it is. I mention it only t
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Arielle Walker
3.5
I adore Charles Lint, Newford, all the characters that fill it - everything about his world.
I just think sometimes the "magic" of his writing is a little hit and miss. Unfortunately this was the case with Memory and Dream. Parts of it mesmerised, and these parts I would happily give five full stars and claim perfection. Other parts felt overly preachy, tell not show, this is what you should feel because people are awful etc etc.

Still, the perfect moments are there, the plot is interesting and
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Stephen
4.5 stars. Beautifully written, with superbly drawn characters and a very original fantasy element. Loved it. Highly recommended.
Zanna
Nov 23, 2014 Zanna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zanna by: Jalilah
Shelves: fantasy, usa, bechdel-pass
3.5 stars

It's been a long time since I read a book like this and initially I found the image-laden realistic description style clunky, feeling that far fewer words were needed to express the ideas on offer. I was soon sucked into the story though, and after a while I realised my reading experience was very similar to watching a film, which was fun.

I found this a quick and easy read, a little cheesy and artificial, but emotionally intense and very absorbing. I enjoyed the tropes - the bohemian qu
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Jackie "the Librarian"
Sep 09, 2008 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jackie "the Librarian" by: Amanda
Shelves: adultfiction, fantasy
Okay, this is one of those books that jumps back and forth from the past to the present day. I guess that fits with the "memory" part of the title.

So far, Isabelle has received a letter that got lost in the mail for five years, mailed by her friend Kathy right before she died. That same day, she is contacted by mutual friend Alan about illustrating a book of Kathy's short stories.
But there's something weird going on with Isabelle, and with her art...

**********************Final review, with spoil
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Dorian
1992. Isabelle is a successful and respected artist when her slightly reclusive life is interrupted, first by the arrival of a letter from her dearest friend, dead these five years, and then by another friend, wanting her to illustrate an anthology of the dead friend's short stories.
1973. Izzy is a naive art student when she meets Vincent Rushkin, one of the greatest living painters of her age, and he takes her on as an apprentice...but Rushkin is controlling, and abusive, and while what he has
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April Schultz
I have a soft spot for Charles de Lint. He has a way of writing urban fantasy that doesn't feel like urban fantasy. It feels like literature. It is expansive, the ideas are greater than the book itself, the thematic elements linger with the reader long after the last page is read.

Memory and Dream is no exception. I read a review of this a few days ago that stated that the main character Izzy/Isabelle is not a sympathetic character. I find that incredibly hard to believe. The moment I started re
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Leah
I really wanted a fantasy book to read, something I could lose myself in now that the weather's turned grey and rainy, and in that sense, this book didn't disappoint.

It was easy to lose myself in Newford (although, knowing nothing about de Lint's world, I kept wondering if it was a real place or not) and in its arts scene he lovingly describes. It was also easy to lose myself in the community of characters, a kind of fantasy in itself, I suppose. These were all enjoyable things to read, and imm
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Morgan Lewis
Oct 17, 2012 Morgan Lewis rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
This may be my favourite book of all time. I am such a fan of Charles De Lint - his characters are so vivid and real, his imagery incredibly evocative, his themes magical and compelling - and this book is absolutely wonderful.

I have lost track of the number of times I have read this book. I've destroyed one copy of it, just by rereading it one too many times, and my current copy (although still readable) is definitely well-loved. I have never read a De Lint book I didn't like - they are all amaz
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Lily
Did I say that each Newford book I read, leaves me craving for more?
Such touching characters human and magical, all mixes up in one and brings up memories. Through the characteristics & traits of each the reader can connect to himself, and start thinking of how to become a better person. That's what happened to me anyway. I found this book most familiar to myself and my environment, each page turned personal, but also acknowledgeming.Many quotes were what I thought but never could put correc
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Myridian
de Lint is always great at combining the mystical and amazing elements of fantasy with a present day reality that speaks to me as a reader. This book is about Isabelle Copeley and her ability to use her art to "bring across" spirits from some mysterious "before." But at a deeper level, this book is about how we perceive reality, the way our perception alters depending on our ability to reinterpret events, and the seductive dangers of allowing this to happen. For all Isabelle's amazing artistic p ...more
Margaret
This is my first de Lint novel, and I have to say, it's one of the best contemporary/urban fantasy novels I've read. Set in the fictional city of Newford, the novel follows the lives of three artists--a painter, a writer, and a publisher--friends and lovers of magic. What I love so much about this novel is how it entwines the trauma of human experience with hope and magic. Though technically the fifth Newford novel, I had no trouble starting with Memory and Dream and will certainly continue with ...more
Stephanie Swint
Charles de Lint explores the boundaries between what is real and what is not on multiple levels in this book. It had many twists and I enjoyed it immensely. Memory and Dream is part of the Newford series, but like the other books in this series it can stand on its own and it is not necessary for it to be read in order. If you have not read any de Lint before; this is a good book to start with. De Lint explores urban fantasy meshing a modern day alternate 1980's America with the fey and Native Am ...more
Jessica
I am not sure how I feel about this book. I love the idea that is the essence of this novel: that Isabelle's paintings can bring ancient spirits into this world. And yet... There were some really good parts but there were also way too many -and, a lot of the times, unnecessary- detailed descriptions that I feel slowed down the pace of the story too much. It took me a while to get into it (maybe after page 100) and, even then, I never really cared much about most of the characters, which is a pro ...more
Leah
3.5, rounding up. Loved this book in high school. I haven't read any of the others in the Newford series, but this stands on its own and depicts a fully-realized world.

The main plot concerns Izzy, a gifted painter whose pictures come to life. Her brilliant Machiavellian mentor, Rushkin, has ulterior purposes for her art. We follow Izzy from her young college years to her middle age, seeing the influence Rushkin and her own creations have on her life.

Interwoven with Izzy's story is that of her be
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Juushika
Isabelle is an artist with a unique ability: some of her paintings open a doorway between our world and the otherworld, allowing spirits from the otherworld to enter our. These beings, which she calls her numena, are their own people, with thoughts and feelings of their own. They are also in danger: her mentor, the renowned painter Rushkin who taught her to bring over these beings, poses a threat to both Isabelle and her numena. Events in the present—the publication of her friend Kathy’s posthum ...more
Mark
This story is primarily about an painter dealing with (a) her ability to perform magic through her painting and (b) her troubles dealing with the negative parts of reality.

[author Charles de Lint] is undoubtedly a fine writer and I like that he doesn't follow the standard fantasy good vs evil tropes. Instead, he writes about ordinary vs evil. The weakness in this is that ordinary people are, well, ordinary. Additionally in this book a lot of story is told in flashbacks, but flashbacks told after
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Liz
I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. I enjoyed this book, and found it a fast read, but there were a couple of major things that left me feeling like it could have gone from "enjoyable" to "exceptional" if only they'd been done differently. The biggest thing is that the main character, Isabelle, is presented in a way that I did not find very sympathetic, and I had a lot of difficulty empathizing with her, which made it hard to feel emotionally involved in her story; personally I found myself ...more
Benjamin Duffy
My first Charles de Lint! I'll call it a three, but really it's islands of five floating in a sea of two, if that makes any sense. Some moments of amazing beauty and emotion, and a sense of real wonder, held back by some slow pacing and characters who did annoyingly irrational things. I wonder if both those perceived flaws were due to this book being fairly early in his career. I'm definitely in the market to read more de Lint, but I think I'll be moving from this one to his more recent work, ra ...more
Aoife
Charles De Lint is my favorite author and if I was tied to a chair and forced to declare a favorite story from him it would be Memory and Dream. This book didn't just take root in my personality but I think it stirred up part of my development as an artist. The story itself is a twist filled plot about an artist who learns the skill of bringing to life the characters that she paints - which sounds like buckets of fun right? But then what happens if those newly brought into the world people cease ...more
David
Charles de Lint is quickly becoming the master of romantic urban fantasy. I'm not talking about the hack and slash detective or sparkly vampire stuff that is popular today. It is more like gothic romance of yesteryear with a mixture of Shojo manga meets Native American Spirituality meets the Grim Brothers all wrapped up in 21st century attire. While the tale and the literary tricks employed in Memory and Dream are simplistic the character development and the weave of the tale is like a warm cup ...more
Myrns
I was maybe a bit harsh when I rated this book two stars. I agree with other reviews when they say this is one of those books you want to love real bad but you just don't. I have to admit that it's well written and it could have been an awesome story if shorter. It jumps back and forth so many times it lost me. Also, there were too many unncessary parts and details making the story longer and boring at times. It had lots of great parts but maybe it just wasn't a suitable book for an ADD sufferer ...more
Jess
Aug 31, 2007 Jess rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: delint
I absolutely love Charles De Lint's work, and this is probably my favorite of his full-length novels. I've lost track of how many times I've read the book - at least once every couple of years. His plots are definitely in the world of urban fantasy/folklore - and can be pretty far-fetched to the skeptic realists among us. However, I feel that De Lint flirts with the edge of reality - his human characters and settings are all starkly realistic - and once you're in the story, it's easy to almost b ...more
Kelly
I have read this book 3 times. It still remains to be my all time favorite book. It is beautiful and filled with gorgeous imagery, characters that become very real and such intense emotion. I loved this book so much that after reading it the first time I would only read other books by Charles De Lint for a very long time. His world is very personal to me and this story in particular I connected with deeply. Every woman who loves to dream, to create art, or has had a best friend NEEDS to read thi ...more
Teresa
I finished this yesterday at 3 a.m. and I honestly think it is one of the best books I ever read. I was my first book from Charles de Lint but now I'm hungry for more. This book got me at the first few pages and I just couldn't put it aside. I love his way of describing the world and the magic that lives within it, that lives within everyone. I got totally sucked in the whole story and from the beginning I felt this close relation to the characteres. Overall it's a wonderful story and it taught ...more
Laura Cowan
This book is long, but every bit of it was interesting to me. At about the 80-90% mark I thought I knew what was going to happen because the narrative that jumped around on the timeline had already given quite a bit of information about what was going on, but there were new developments all the way to the end. This is going on my new shelf of imaginative fiction, and I will be checking out de Lint's other stuff. If you enjoy imaginative stories set in modern times about the possibilities of real ...more
Monica Davis
Creative and imaginative. Multi-layered with intersecting stories/characters; some of which could have been more deeply developed to add a richer experience but, as written, it was enough to hold my interest throughout the book. Enjoyed this read.
Shabazz
Charles De Lint is a name I feel I should know, but I don't.

I say that, just in case people are familiar with him and his work, and I am comment on stuff "everyone" knows about him.


As an artist, I really enjoyed the many philosophies shared having to do with art. I found that where I did not agree, I was at least intrigued with the principles or perspectives displayed.

The Story and characters, however, ranged from infuriating to loveably memorable. Actually, the story was infuriating and the
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Jefferson
Great Concept, Neat Characters, Irritating Action
The first chapter of Charles de Lint's Memory and Dream (1994), one of his many urban fantasy works set in the big fictional city of Newford, consists of a magical description of a painting in which a woman is reading a glowing book, while around her hover or perch myriad fairy-like figures. Are they real? "Or perhaps they are shadows only, and the summer's night that lies outside her window belongs not to memory, but to dream?"

The story itself b
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Into the Forest: Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint 51 32 Oct 04, 2014 08:41AM  
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Charles de Lint is a Canadian writer of Dutch origins. He emigrated to Canada with his parents when he was four months old. He is married and lives in Ottawa.
More about Charles de Lint...
The Blue Girl (Newford, #15) The Onion Girl (Newford, #11) Dreams Underfoot (Newford, #1) Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #8) Moonheart

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“The stronger a woman gets, the more insecure the men in her life feel. It doesn’t work that way for a woman. We celebrate strength--in our partners as well as in ourselves.” 180 likes
“I finally figured out that I’m solitary by nature, but at the same time I know so many people; so many people think they own a piece of me. They shift and move under my skin, like a parade of memories that simply won’t go away. It doesn’t matter where I am, or how alone--I always have such a crowded head.” 106 likes
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