Erin's Reviews > The Ivory and the Horn

The Ivory and the Horn by Charles  de Lint
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Dec 26, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy-sci-fi, short-stories
Read from September 01 to December 27, 2010

Charles de Lint is one of my guilty pleasures - he can be pretty cliched in his descriptions and his characters can get a little preachy. I generally don't mind the preachy tendencies because I tend to agree and there are usually other qualities in his writing that make up for it.

I read this story collection over a number of months when I just needed something quick and different for my nightly reading. By the end of it I was wondering why I read de Lint in the first place. This is a very weak book, and because of that the stories all kind of blended together for me in a non-descript mass. The things that sort of irk me about his writing were only magnified. Many of the stories in this book are also structured in a manner in which there are voices interjected in between the plot and it's not quite clear if it's someone different or if it's an internal monologue by one of the characters already introduced. I don't think this is a bad thing - it can be great for suspense and keeping one involved in the story to puzzle it out - but I found I just wasn't invested enough in the stories to do anything but skim past.

This is most definitely no Dreams Underfoot - his first Newford book and a collection that I can still reminisce about, loving all the haunting, creepy twists and turns he took with each story, successfully keeping me in suspense until the end. I believe this book had a different theme centering on artists, and perhaps that's why the stories feel like they have such a different mood to me. But while Dreams Underfoot presented a many layered world full of all sorts of creepy and odd wonders, this book made Newford seem quite one dimensional and lackluster.

Out of any of them I thought the last story was the best and presented a pretty fascinating, unresolved question to ponder in the end.
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12/26/2010 page 220
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