When a mischievous spirit grants loser Johnny Devlin's wish for someone else's life, luthier Max Trader wakes up in Johnny's body, surrounded by the emotionally vacant shambles Johnny has left behind, bankrupt and farther down in the world than he has ever imagined being. Jarred from his complacent, self-contained path, Max has only his inner resources for both emotional and financial support. He wants his life back, but, as he struggles for it, he realizes that he will no longer be satisfied with things as they were. Fans of de Lint's previous work will enjoy this gently didactic story set in the fictional town of Newford's thirtysomethingish community of arty waifs and folk musicians.
From Publishers Weekly
A master of urban fantasy returns with one of his finest works. One morning, a quiet, responsible luthier (guitar-maker), Leonard Trader, wakes up in the body of charming ne'er-do-well Johnny Devlin. At the same time, Devlin takes over Trader's body. Devlin starts cutting a swathe through the money, women and liquor in Trader's circle, while Trader has to struggle for survival on the mean streets while trying to figure out what happened to him and what he can do about it. This quest takes him (as such quests have taken many of de Lint's characters) into what is in, in effect, a marvelously wrought land of Faerie. De Lint (Memory and Dream, etc.) builds his story from a succession of well-chosen and well-expressed details. He eschews herding his lead characters into some grand, eternal arena; nothing is at stake here except their personal fates. Devlin and Trader are made so sympathetic in de Lint's seasoned hands, however, that the lack of a cosmic stage for their drama doesn't detract one bit from their wholly engaging adventures.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.