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Someplace to Be Flying Hardcover – February, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Nobody does urban fantasy better than Charles de Lint. He has a gift for creating engaging, fully realized characters, totally believable dialogue, and a feeling that magic is just around the corner.

Someplace to Be Flying is set in Newford, a town familiar to readers of de Lint. (He set two prior novels (Memory and Dream and Trader) and two anthologies (Dreams Underfoot and The Ivory and the Horn) in Newford.) One late night, as Hank drives his gypsy cab, his reliable though perilous city is transformed. He encounters the mythical "animal people," and the experience leaves him--and the reader--questioning accepted reality.

"Hank just wanted away from here. He'd sampled some hallucinogens when he was a kid and the feeling he had now was a lot like coming down from an acid high. Everything slightly askew, illogical things that somehow made sense, everything too sharp and clear when you looked at it but fading fast in your peripheral vision, blurred, like it didn't really exist." Fans of Emma Bull and Terri Windling (as both an editor and an author) will enjoy de Lint. He can make you believe "as many as six impossible things before breakfast." --Nona Vero

From Library Journal

A cab driver and a freelance photographer come together in the town of Newford to explore the existence of the mythical "animal people" and discover the hidden world that lurks just outside their normal perceptions. The author of Trader (LJ 12/96) specializes in a unique brand of crossover fantasy that combines elements of magical realism with multicultural myths to illuminate the lives of his characters?the misfits and orphans of the modern world. De Lint's elegant prose and effective storytelling continue to transform the mundane into the magical at every turn. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (February 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312858493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312858490
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,304,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I resisted reading something by Charles de Lint for a long time after one negative review from a friend. Finally, I decided to get a book by him one day just to take a look.
I am so glad I did. This was an amazing book, and by far my favorite urban fantasy. I haven't read much in this genre before, but I certaintly plan to now, as well as read more books by de Lint. The characters were great; there's no way you can get through it without loving Zia and Maida (or laughing out loud at their dialogues), and many of the other characters. While at points, especially toward the end, the plot thinned some, and turned just a bit too much into your typical 'let's go save the world from ultimate evil and make everything good' fantasy, the characters and the great background of _Someplace to be Flying's_ world carried it through. All fantasy lovers, even those who normally stick to a less modern type, should read this.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not sure what book some other reviewers read who posted less than favorable comments, but this book was easily one of the top 5 books I've ever read. Given that I have multiple large containers of books, you will understand that I've read quite a lot. With this book, I never wanted to set it down, but I started reading on a business trip and unfortunately work kept interfering with my reading! I did; however, recommend it to some of the people I was working with while only part way through the book. I was ready to read it again as soon as I finished! The characters De Lint develops are extremely engaging as is the storyline he pursues. As someone who is interested in Native American folklore, as well as mythology and folklore in general, the ideas presented in this book were very intriguing. I found this book genuine enough, and realistic enough, that I was ready to start looking for animal people around me. The story may have shifted to different viewpoints throughout, but I had no trouble keeping up and had no confusion as to view or place while reading. My only disappointment is that I do not believe that there are any additional books with these characters as I would love to read more about their lives and their adventures. As it is, I went out and bought 4 or 5 more De Lint books to read. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
I've read this book so often that the cover is almost falling off. I've got passages underlined and used to have them memorized. This is by far the best Delint book out there. I love it.

The Crow Girls crack me up and at the same time frighten me. They can be sweet as pie and suddenly dangerous. I love how they like to smell the bacon rather than eat it. How they tried to steal a disco ball.

I also loved Coyote. he is always one of my favorite characters. Always trying to undo the things he's done. Always causing trouble.

It's captivating and beautiful. The end is interesting and sad and happy all at once. Read it. It's lovely.
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Format: Hardcover
For me, this book has all of the strengths (the great ensemble cast, the mythological background, in this case, Native American, and of course, the power of the story itself), and almost none of the admittedly few weaknesses (dialogue tends to ramble a bit in some tales at times) of Charles De Lint.
And then, of course, there are the Crow Girls. Very, very!
There's a lot going on in this story (544 pages worth in the paperback edition), and it's all deliciously satisfying for this reader. In particular, Jack Daw walking into the nest of vermin that tortured and killed his beloved is one of the more compelling and unsettling descriptions of raw violence and vengeance that this reader has encountered from this author.
One of the very best examples of "urban mythology," and if you like that, or you even think you might like that, check it out.
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By A Customer on June 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
One of life's greatest pleasures (aside from Belgian chocolates, and these two are best indulged in together!) is tracking down, then opening a Charles de Lint book for the first time. Just reading the acknowledgements sets the scene for the feast of reading waiting and the eclectic quotes and lyrics preceding the story make me wish I had a better knowledge and appreciation of those sources.
When Hank's attempt to rescue Lily from a vicious attacker turns to disaster, the intervention of a pair of almost identical "punky" girls sees the attacker killed, Hank and Lily's injuries miraculously healed, and both of them curiously calm and undisturbed by the experience. But they both realise their home town has whole other layers that each had hardly glimpsed before. Were Jack Daw's stories more than that? Separately and together, they peel back those layers to the very beginning, realising along the way that not everyone is as they seem and 'family' is not necessarily something you're born into.
Charles de Lint makes you believe in a world your rational mind never considered, but for which your soul secretly yearns. His characters are so well defined that, no matter how unique their origins, you feel you would recognise them in a room of strangers. But with the Crow Girls, de Lint's genius for characterisation goes beyond excellence. Try reading their dialogue aloud!
Don't plan on getting much sleep until you turn the last page. Even then, the story might have been told, but the experience will go on.
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