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Trader Hardcover – February, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (February 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312858477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312858476
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #541,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

More About the Author

Charles de Lint and his wife, the artist MaryAnn Harris, live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. His evocative novels, including Moonheart, Forests of the Heart, and The Onion Girl, have earned him a devoted following and critical acclaim as a master of contemporary magical fiction

Customer Reviews

The story is about what you'd expect of a body swapping fantasy tale.
Amazon Customer
The other characters were uninteresting, whiney, undeveloped and just plain boring - way too much detail about stuff I didn't want to know.
Ms Smarty Pants
The characters are vivid, funny, realistic...very passionate as well, which is very important for me.
Kieri

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on July 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
Max, you've gone too far this time! Though he doesn't know why, one day Max Trader wakes up and realizes that he's been transported into the body of a homeless derelict, Johnny Devlin, who's now all showered and shaved and living in Max's very nice lifestyle. The two men are at a standstill, and Max realizes how tough it is to be homeless and yet, we all of us can do something to change our life, even if our "trading partner" (Johnny) isn't quite ready to give us back our own life yet. TRADER shines with all of Charles De Lint's trademark magic and color. His town is like one designed by Thomas Kinkade, the "painter of light," if Kinkade had been a Canadian citizen; you will feel you're at home right away, even if your own life has been very different than that of the perplexed, bewitched characters of Ontario.

Do you remember THE IVORY AND THE HORN? In that book Coyote descsibres the mystic little flute player, the trickster, and he says, "He's a fertility symbol, now, very mythopoetic and all, but it wasn't always that way. Used to be a trader, a travelling merchant, hup-two-three. That hunched back was actually his pack of trading goods, the flute his way of approaching a settlement, tootle-toot-toot, it's only me, no danger, except if you were some nubile young thing." I think perhaps for De Lint the concept of the "trader" was percolating in his mind lo, these many years, and only now has he expanded it into novel length. He has drunk deep from the wells of Northrop Frye and Lord Dunsany and he has fermented his own bubbly brew of identity and inspiration.

If you are looking for a place of nature inside the city, come to the world of TRADER and lie back and see the stars through the neon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ana Q on September 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
Although I can understand the other reviewers' points of view, I have to disagree. I loved this book. This is the first book I have ever read by Charles de Lint, but I thought it was entertaining and a really good read. I would definitely give it a try.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
You'll either love or hate Charles de Lint. He never attempts to do anything other than entertain, however somehow I always come away from his books feeling as if I've accidentally learned something he is a storyteller through & through, not actually a writer, although he's had to stoop to writing because he just can't make a living traveling about the world and telling stories. In any even, this here story is so well crafted, with so much emotion packed into the characters, that I
found myself dreading the ending... when I got within the last twenty pages, I started reading as slowly as possible. I wanted the story to go on... going to reread it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen Bock-Losee (jklosee@erols.com) on April 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
Charles De Lint has become one of my favorite authors, although I only discovered him a year or so ago. Trader drew me in and made me care about the characters, and it also gave me something to think about. Revisiting Newford, and meeting more more of its inhabitants (while styaing in touch with old friends) makes reading De Lint's stories more like receiving a wonderful, long letter from a friend.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Theo Logos on June 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
The fictional city of Newford, Canada is the world's capital of dark-edged urban fantasy thanks to the writing talents of Charles De Lint. With a cast of repeating characters and many odd intersections with an other-world of spirits and culturally diverse mythologies, it is without a doubt the most fully realized setting for this interesting sub-genre of fantasy. De Lint returns to it once again with `Trader', the story of unassuming, middle aged Max Trader, who wakes one morning to discover that he is inexplicably trapped inside the body and life of an unlikable and down on his luck looser, while the previous owner of the body now inhabits his body and comfortable if dull life. The story revolves around Max's attempt to get his life and body back, and the effect that this has on the people who had known both men. And of course, as this is a Charles De Lint book, the quest takes him into the odd and dangerous spirit realm, that is always lurking just a half step off from Newford's daily reality.
De Lint writes well, and perhaps has no peer in the creative ways that he explores the possibilities of urban fantasy. Unfortunately, I find a major drawback in most of his novels that significantly undermines my enjoyment of his work. That flaw is his tendency to mix his often dark edged fantasy with plots that are equal parts soap opera and after school special. In `Trader', as in many of his books, much space is taken up by teenage girls dealing with communication problems and being misunderstood and young women endlessly struggling with relationship problems as convoluted and banal as any you will find on afternoon soaps.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Max Trader wakes up to find his life gone. He's in a new body. Johnny Devlin's body. And now he's got all Devlin's problems and baggage. Max wants his life back. But Johnny likes the arrangement -- he's got it all now.
The story is about what you'd expect of a body swapping fantasy tale. But, this is Newford. No one is quite what they seem. Where better to play with many of the question that we deal with in our daily lives. What makes me ... well, me? Could I prove I was me if I was in another body? Think of your friends. Okay, how well do they really know you. How many of them do you really share your innermost thoughts and feelings with?
Max Trader had a great life. He was famous for the guitars and instruments he made but no one knew him. He didn't touch anyones life except for a young girl who needed someone to talk to and found that Max didn't mind listening.
This is a story that will stay with me for a long time. It's given me a lot to think about -- but, then deLint's books usually do give me a lot to think about.
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