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(Newford #4)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  2,707 ratings  ·  135 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,

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Tor Books
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,707 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Arielle Walker
Charles de Lint at his best is pure magic. His worlds are hauntingly believable, and surprisingly comforting despite (or perhaps because of) that.

In Trader, familiar and beloved characters mix with fantastic newcomers. A man wakes to find his body is no longer his own, and the rest of the story loosely revolves around identity: the finding of your own, and the struggles that come from not knowing who you are - whether you belong in your body or not. It's not as serious as all that, though - or r
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 16, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Wing Kee
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great 2/3s and a wonder 1/3.

World: De Lint's Newford is magical. It's dense, it's fully fleshed out, and a living breathing character in the story. The depth and tone and lived in feeling of the world is a delight. There are no info dumps, you are in the hands of a master storyteller and the world is awesome.

Story: The story on premise has been done so many times and the book recognizes this and even calls itself out. But in the hands of De Lint and the characters and the setting make this so
Maggie K
Another great Newford book!

In this story, Johnny, who is an unemployed, womanizing, party boy of a man falls asleep wishing for a more stable life has his dream intersected with Max, a man whose life is so about work that he is not even living it anymore, and they wake up in each other's bodies. This story, shaped around their quests to truly find themselves, is Newford at it's best.

DeLint's way of portraying magic as just right outside our own perceptions, excels at making the unbelievable seem
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Body swapping, Newford style. I found myself wondering if maybe I would give it four instead of five stars upon rereading, but... I couldn't put it down and stayed up too late, so...
I feel like de Lint is really hitting his stride with this one. Even though the story is told through about a dozen characters’ points of view, the shifts don’t seem to derail the story as in Memory and Dream (Newford #2). The basic plot is interesting but fairly straightforward – two very different people waking up in each other’s bodies – and most of the book deals, without explanation of the underlying cause, with the fallout and changes in both their lives. Much of the final of the book tak ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's nothing particularly special about the premise of this story--guy wakes up and, having somehow swapped consciousness with another guy, now must navigate an unfamiliar life while trying to figure out how to get back into his own body. But that isn't the reason you read this one. You read it because Charles de Lint is a masterful storyteller who creates loveable (and hateable) characters, places you wish you could visit, and has this wonderful way of bringing magic and wonder into the real ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Newford stories are always quite interesting having legends, urban fantasies and folklore threaded with social dramas. I like it as much as black humor action packed American Gods or humorous Good Omens, this series is just more feminine take on the same scene. Some situations in this might make reader uncomfortable because they touch right place and show the bottlenecks of our current social order.
Oct 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Marie Browne
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
Aug 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sas astro
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Continuing my aim to re-read all of Charles de Lint's Newford stories. It's so log since I read some of them it's as if I'm reading them for the first time. This one gripped me from the start, no one else makes the impossible seem possible in the way de Lint does. He keeps me firmly believing that there is magic in this world.
Frank Taranto
Sep 13, 2009 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.
Ronan Palmer
May 30, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another one of my favorites!
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review and others posted over at my blog.

I’m a big fan of de Lint. He’s one of the authors whose work I hoard (and sadly am very behind in reading) so it’s not surprising to me that I really enjoyed this book. He’s excellent at writing urban fantasy with a Native American twist. Trader, like many of his novels, is set in the fictional town of Newford, where the barrier between “our world” and the spirit world seems to be pretty thin. Many of his characters pop in and out of each other’s s
Daniel B-G
This is a fairly decent story held back by style. The premise feels a little cheesy if I’m honest. It almost felt like de Lint went “so what would happen if a tradesman traded places with another person” and then worked the story out from there. He even called the character Trader. That being said, the story was fun, I liked the characters, it moved along pretty well. I nearly quit though thanks to how the book is written. First and foremost, I really hate when writers mix first and third narrat ...more
miss kerris a scott
I love these books after he literally saved my life in hospital 30 years ago when he showed me a way to see the magic in the world. Being back in Newford being with some of my oldest friends

, well what's not to like ? My only complaint is he doesn't write them quick enough but I'll take what I can xx
Good! Typical Newford, nice concepts.
The body-swapping plot device here is almost shakespearean and the places it'll take you may not be where you expect.

The spiritual mashup thing that goes on in the Newford books isn't for everyone but it worked for me.

Did you like reading Stephen King 's 11/22/63? Did you find yourself unable to tear yourself away from James Franco's portrayal of Jake Epping in the mini series of the same name even though you'd read the door-stop of a book ? did the pre-ordained feeling of dread that overlay t
Alex Kuhl
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable book. I liked the premise, tie to Native American folklore, and characters. The tone at the beginning of the book--how it would feel to be someone else--was exceptionally well done.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was class de Lint. Good stuff.
Sharon Bodnar
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved every word of this book; it’s been on my shelf for about 10 years and don’t know why I’ve waited so long to read it. Must read more de Lint soon (ish).
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I hadn't read any deLint in a number of years. And this book reiterate my love of his writing.
Brian Gaston
I generally like the Newford stories but I found this to be only average.
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book.
It's doesn't exactly fit what I would call the Newford format. But I don't think that's a bad thing. A beautiful story & one I plan to reread soon
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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

Other books in the series

Newford (1 - 10 of 20 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)
“Look inside yourself for the answers - you're the only one who knows what's best for you. Everybody else is only guessing.” 83 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.” 25 likes
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