Gian Piero's Reviews > Dreams Underfoot

Dreams Underfoot by Charles  de Lint
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May 28, 2012

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Read in May, 2012

I read in the introduction to Dreams Underfoot that it challenges any attempt at categorization into a genre. Indeed, it's urban fantasy taken to a higher literary level, with copious amounts of folklore thrown into the mix. The overall theme is about seeing magic in everyday events, as well as the eternal confrontation between believers and non-believers (both have it hard, for different reasons.) Charles de Lint is a fine wordsmith, and some of the stories in this collection are quite inspired. Others, not so much. As other reviewers pointed out, the stories featuring the regular cast of characters tend to be the better ones because they're solid, sympathetic characters and the reader has developed some measure of attachment to them.

Unfortunately, I found myself hovering between interested and bored throughout the book. My opinion kept flipping between 'this is deep and insightful' and 'this is quite bland', and I still haven't made up my mind. The setting is good, the writing is good, the characters are good - though there's really a lot of underground/punk/hippie mentality, so be warned. The problem is, there's a lot of atmosphere but not a lot of drive. The comparisons with Calvino, Allende and Garcia Marquez seem quite out of proportion. I am, however, intrigued enough that I may pick up the rest of the Newford books in the future.
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