As many other de Lint fans have voinced, the man needs to stick to short fiction.
Once again the European fey realm clashes with Native American spiritAs many other de Lint fans have voinced, the man needs to stick to short fiction.
Once again the European fey realm clashes with Native American spirituality, a common theme of his stories. Not a bad thing, but it's a recurring theme of his.
His female characters get a little predicable in this novel. You know, the innocent quite gal goes for the bad boy, etc. I don't understand the formula he uses to decide which character to give center stage and which to have in the background...this is because he goes into everyones background in his novels. You can't tell which characters are supposed to be main and which are secondary. That would be my biggest complaint.
However its most enjoyable aspect was a nearly new and fresh palette of characters, most of whom had never been featured in a previous Newford short story.
At least de Lint isn't guilty of recycling the same kind of character under a different name and guise....more
Widdershins is the continuation of where The Onion Girl left off. While technically it can be viewed as a sequel (some would argue that, since SpiriWiddershins is the continuation of where The Onion Girl left off. While technically it can be viewed as a sequel (some would argue that, since Spirits in the Wires came out after Onion Girl and before Widdershins), again de Lint creates a novel that can stand alone if you hadn't read anything of his prior. You open this book and it immediately takes off after a few fill-you-in pages. So now we know how Jilly Coppercorn came to be, but what happens now? How does she cope with her physical life as well as her emotional and magical life?
It was nice to see that the book wasn't entirely about Jilly... I mean, that's what The Onion Girl was for. Granted the over all plot arc involves Jillys journey of healing herself, but her problems literally drag in some of her friends (and a few strangers as well).
The ending is a fairytale ending, of course. It was predictable but let's just say it was appropriate. It also heralds the resolution to the long standing question of whether or not Jilly and Geordie will ever hook up.......more
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 mythologyI 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 anthologies are re-released, I still love Terri's artwork better. But I digress.
This book came into my life at a time when I couldn't commit to reading novels; for some reason I just didn't have the patience for them. But this collection of stories is very palatable in length and variety...each story stands out as an individual and wanders from enchanting, to mild horror, to just plain weird. Most of the stories has some element of old mythologies from different cultures. De Lint focuses a lot on Kickaha native american ideas since Newford is a fictional town in Canada. He adds a lot of Celtic flavor as well, but I think a lot of this has to do with him being an adept Celtic musician who plays regularly in a band. Hey, write what you know, eh?
That's another thing about Newford: most of the characters are bohemian artists in one form or another, and they're all friends. They're all "fine boned" and "pixie faced" and rarely are their any actual ugly characters in his books; though I've noticed he has a penchant for writing in first person with predominantly female characters; what males he does write about have far less detail than his women. A little romantic/unrealistic but I'm willing to look over that. Anyway, his characters are all artists in some capacity or another: corner-busking fiddlers, fine artists that moonlight as waiters and waitresses, flute players, sculptors, musicians and writers. Everyone has some creative niche they struggle to live on. The characters tend to dress very punk/grunge from the '90s as well (which makes sense since his first three Newford anthologies are set in the early to late '90s). Lots of women with blue or pink dyed hair, facial piercings and tattoos, and most of them dress to reflect their income: like they walked out of a thrift store. De Lint also has a lot of homeless people in his stories. He really gives a face to those that fall between the cracks in society. Unfortunately he succeeds more in romanticizing living on the streets rather than representing the reality of people in such a position. Don't get me wrong, he makes an effort to show how sucky his hobo characters have it but it comes across as cool rather than the truly dire situation that it is.
My all-time favorite of Charles de Lint. 14 years and counting.......more
It's been about 8 years since I read the hardcover when it first came out, and I'm due to refresh myself and read it again. However, I will say I remeIt's been about 8 years since I read the hardcover when it first came out, and I'm due to refresh myself and read it again. However, I will say I remember truly enjoying this book and reserve the right to edit my review after I reread it....more
I'm about three quarters through rereading this de Lint novel. Even 13 years ago his novels had their tell-tale de Lint style of element composition.I'm about three quarters through rereading this de Lint novel. Even 13 years ago his novels had their tell-tale de Lint style of element composition. Large plot arc interwoven with multi-character perspectives that pull your attention spen thin, and finally converging upon the final resolution of the book.
It involves few to no Newford characters, though the Tamson House and some of its characters return in the sequel Spiritwalk....more
When reading this book, I kept thinking "Is this one of those books where you can send in your self-written story and they'll bind it for you?" You knWhen reading this book, I kept thinking "Is this one of those books where you can send in your self-written story and they'll bind it for you?" You know the kind, it doesn't matter was junk you have on the page, some company out there will bind it in hardcover for you for a chunk of change. No publisher or editor looked at this thing, I suspect.
This was written by someone who had some great ideas but didn't know how to clearly or creatively communicate them. I loved the research on various semi-precious stones, and some of the character concepts were kind of cool, but ultimately I didn't believe any of it. The plot, the world itself, the characters seemed forced. It's never a good sign when you experience more than three instances of "wtf?" that have no explanation or resolution. It reads like a dream...random things happen and there's not much reason given as to why. Maybe that's what bites my goat the most about this book. I was left with so many "whys".
I really don't recommend this book. I don't say that often, but it was a jumble of concepts that wasn't very coherent.
And yes, dear god, there is not one but TWO sequels to this book! Yikes....more