Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Book: Dreams Underfoot

Technically speaking, I'm not generally a fan of short stories. I get too disappointed when I fall in love with one and it's so short, and then there's no more. I really hate it. So generally, I don't read short stories.

However, I'm currently on a Charles de Lint kick, and have decided that I want to read everything my library system has by him, starting as far back as possible. So, this was next. Even though it's sort of a short story collection.
Although, it's not really. It's more just a collection of stories about one place, with characters interweaving and themes emerging. So, it is and it isn't. I still get to have the continuity that I like, and I get to learn more about recurring characters, but I don't have the disappointment of only getting 10-15 pages of something that I'm enjoying. For a short-story avoidist, this is the best of both worlds!

So, of course I really enjoyed this as well. Set in fictional Newford, with a few characters I remember from Memory and Dream, this collection explores mostly the intersection of the down-and-out, artists, and the other world that exists right alongside our own. Something I really appreciated about this collection was that de Lint clearly does not shy away from harsher realities and disappointments in life. People make wrong choices, regret decisions, even die. They believe or don't believe in the faeries that show themselves. They are addicts, hookers, abused children... and each one has a story to tell.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this, but as I've read more and more, I've really gotten very attached to this book and was sorry to see it end. However, my respect for Charles de Lint as an author grew immensely, and I already loved his work.

I don't know what my favorite story was, because they were all fascinating. I did like learning more about Jilly Coppercorn, a side character in Memory and Dream. My impression of her from that book was, apparently, completely wrong, so I was glad to get to know her better.

It seems like it took me a really long time to read this, but I was just reading a few stories a night... I guess working on other things takes up a lot of valuable reading time! Must rectify that, post haste.

1 comment:

Nymeth said...

I need to read more De Lint! I've been told that this collection is the perfect introduction to Newford, so after I read The Little Country I'm getting it. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!