Now, 20 years later, Isabelle must come to terms with the shattering memories she has long denied and unlock the slumbering power of her brush. And, in a dark reckoning with her old master, she must find the courage to live out her dreams and bring the magic back to life.
This is a tale of love, courage, and the transforming power of imagination.
©1994 Charles de Lint; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"In de Lint's capable hands, modern fantasy becomes something more than escapism. It becomes folk song, the stuff of urban myth." (Phoenix Gazette)
"[B]eautifully evokes a sense of creative community, making it almost possible to believe that the rarified aesthetic atmosphere might well be capable of conjuring up a spirit or two." (Publishers Weekly)
"[M]oves gracefully through the borders between reality and imagination, weaving a powerful tale about the relationship between an artist and her work. A strong addition to fantasy collections." (Library Journal)
Although I had heard of Charles de Lint for years and had read some of his short stories, this is my first book, so I write this to those of you who might come in cold and consider this book.
First, the book takes a LOOOONNGGG time to get started -- I had to start over a few times because I lost track of what was going on (and it's a long book). It also takes a long while before any fantasy element emerges, but the writing is so fresh and the characters so compelling, that eventually this book met my test of a wonderful audio book -- when you sit in your garage listening to it in the car because you can't wait to get back to it.
The long beginning is worth it, as this becomes my introduction into what I see now is a rich world that gets revisited in several of his books (all set in the artist community of Newford).
I rarely write reviews and, as a die-hard Stephen King fan, find few books that are as compelling, but this one sings after awhile, and is well worth the wait.
This is one of those books that you just want to love so badly, but you just don't. Charles de Lint has written about a hundred books. No kidding, his list of books is huge. I have wanted to read some of them for a long time, so I took the opportunity to listen to this one. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it, and I was glad when I was finished with it. In all fairness, I have to say that I did not know it was the fifth book in a series when I started it, but I never had the sense that I needed to read the others before I read this one. It was all right. The writing was not bad, the story was not bad, the characters were not bad, but it just didn't have that "Je ne sais quoi" that makes a book irresistible, or even engaging. I am not a huge "fantasy" fan, for one thing, so I guess that has to color my opinion of it somewhat. I have one more deLint book on my shelf that perhaps I will get around to someday, and maybe I will like it better. I hope so, but I don't foresee myself becoming a great fan.
The narrator, Kate Reading, was a good reader. I was annoyed at her voice at first, but after a while I got used to it, and I thought she did a pretty good job, but like de Lint, she will never be my favorite.
This is a book both writers and artists can enjoy. The authenticity of the lives of artists, writers, abusive childhoods, post traumatic stress disorder and depression are vividly written, but with subtle stokes. Taking the everyday joys and horrors of "real" life and adding the elements of magic mixed in with physics (the physics is not overt, but if one has heard of Projection Theory, the book seems to be littered with references) blends into a cohesive whole. The effect is enchanting and satisfies our desire for Truth while clothed in fantasy.
The concept was intriguing and once it got rolling it kept my interest, but at times it became repetitive. It felt a bit like the book had been both written and edited in sections over a longer period, instead of as a cohesive whole, so that the author and editor would occasionally forget that a point had been made very clearly in a previous chapter. The author also occasionally seemed to stray from the story line now and then, forcing topics like AIDS and the misguided fiction critics in where they didn't seem to fit. On the whole I'm not sorry I chose it, but with some tightening up it could have been far better. The narrator (Kate Reading) was excellent!
It is hard for me to review this book. I liked it, and I will read more by the author. It was ambitious, entertaining, and unique. I gave it 4 stars. However, it was also inconsistent. In the last 1/3 of the book, the author began to try and instruct and entertain in the classic style. This may have been to better illustrate one of the characters, but it was heavy handed, and seemed out of place. In his defense, he switched narration viewpoints successfully and in an audio-book, journal entries, and similar shifts are hard to narrate. Kate Redding did her best here.
The author wrote about LSD and did not seem to have a good understanding about the drug. I mention this because it caused problems with my suspension of disbelief that is so necessary in fantasy. Later, a police officer who was a "walk on" character entered the story again and became almost (my opinion) a cartoon. Kate Redding is a great narrator, and her cops stand out. She rescued the cop. He kept a shotgun under his seat. That sentence caused problems with my suspension of disbelief as well. Was his sidearm not enough fire power? Is that even possible? Why would he do that? In a dashboard rack or in the trunk perhaps, but would a police shotgun even fit under the seat of any squad car? Even if it would, the sentence bothered me enough to mention it. Suggestion: The author needs to do a ride-along with the police at some point.
I think that the failing here falls with the editor. This story was very good, and had a lot of primary characters. The editor needs to keep the final version concise because the author can become blind to this sort of problem after several drafts.
The writing is like a painting, bright, vivid, and haunting
Isabell because she is a flawed human who takes responsibility for her choices and becomes a more fulfilled person.
Her portrayal of Kathy made the character more interesting. She tends to portray the female lead as weak which does not always fit the character. Overall though she gives each character their own unique voice which facilitates the story.
When Isabel decided to choose to live.
This was a very hopeful fairytale!
I found this a very engaging book to listen to . I plan on reading / listening to it again. De Lindt is one of my favorites.
As a collector of Charles De Lint books, I was so excited to see an audio version. I was not disappointed. The book is set in his Newford setting that he uses for his urban realism stories. De Lint explores the role of the arts in our lives. A common theme in many of his books. Of course, he wraps it all in a lively set of stories that are interwoven and come together with a very satisfying end.
De Lint fans will be glad to listen to one of his stories and newcomers are in for a treat.
To me, this book was a sci-fi murder mystery for the female art lover. I was never able to relate to the characters much because it was so focused on life for the artsy crowd. The sci-fi aspects were mildly interesting, but tame compared to what could have been done. Again, it was focused on the artist's ultimate fantasy, to create something so real that it becomes real. The murder mystery aspect wasn't touched much either. Someone was killed, lets move on was the general tone. The female target audience perception is based on the female main characters and their conversations and reactions to the world around them. I also had trouble at times with the distinguishing characters when conversations occured between two of the main female characters. As I am neither an artist, nor that much of an art lover, nor a female, and with not much drama to hold up the sci-fi / murder mystery end, this barely rates a 3 (I almost gave up listening at one point).
Charles de Lint explores the boundaries between what is real and what is not on multiple levels in this book. It had many twists and I enjoyed it immensely. Memory and Dream is part of the Newford series, but like the other books in this series it can stand on its own and it is not necessary for it to be read in order. If you have not read any de Lint before; this is a good book to start with. De Lint explores urban fantasy meshing a modern day alternate 1980's America with the fey and Native American spiritualism. Memory and Dream delves into this but not as deeply as some of his other books.
The book is centered around Isabelle. She is a talented artist with an ability to create engaging pieces, but she also has a gift to bring to life what she paints. This was taught to her by her mentor, the acclaimed reclusive artist, Rushkin. Rushkin insists she must protect the world by destroying these creatures, but Isabelle has difficulty believing this. She wonders if she and Rushkin are crazy, and if she truly did create these creatures, why do they need to be destroyed?
Isabelle's relationship to Rushkin isn't healthy. He is a mad artist with mood swings, anger issues, and mental instability. Aside from questioning the reality of bringing life into the world by painting, Isabelle isn't sure she can trust Rushkin, or John - her boyfriend she doesn't know if she created or not.
De Lint often explores the effect of abuse with his characters. Isabelle is the product of a neglectful and verbally abusive childhood. The level of abuse is not as extreme as in some of his other books, but it does have a big impact on how Isabelle relates and deals with her life. While issues of abuse, suicide, and drug abuse are part of this book they are dealt with realistically and respectfully. There is minimal profanity and descriptions of sex, drug abuse, etc. are not explicit or graphic
Kate Reading's narration is very good. She has done all of the de Lint books I have read and enjoy the consistency. She does a fabulous job of distinguishing between her characters.
"A modern fairy tale with a twist!"
I must admit that I do like Charles de Lints books so maybe I'm biased already. I love the characters and the way you get to know them over his Newford books - you feel they are part of your circle of friends. This is a good length book to get hooked into on a long drive.
I can't say my favourite moments as it would give some things away if you haven't read it already - SPOILERS!
I wasn't sure on Kate Readings style of narration initially but after a while she seemed so right for Charles de Lints characters - a bit quirky. I recently listened to The Mystery of Grace which made me realise that Charles de Lint without Kate Reading just doesn't seem quite right! Just a bit annoying on the mispronounciation of a few words - funny how they just jump out at you and you can't forget them
I listened to this book twice in a row - I do a lot of driving and when I finished it the first time, I just hit rewind and went through it all again.
Give it a chance - its a modern urban fairy tale which in some ways seems that it could really happen. Or maybe I've just read too many of his books!!
"What a story."
Definitely. There is a lot of depth and detail in the book which would benefit from more than one read
The Outlander series by Dianna Gabaldon
A very good reader with a pleasant voice who reads fluidly She also reads according to the pace the book needs. I very much like her style of reading
It is a very long book that would be impossible to listen to in one session. However I couldn't put it down and really annoyed all my family because of the amount of time I spent listening to it. and out of touch with them .
An exciting story, well written and completely captivating.
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