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The Very Best of Charles de Lint Paperback – July 15, 2010
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The selections for this collection of de Lint’s short pieces were made by both the author and his fans. It was a labor of love for them all.The stories, retold fairy tales and the modern doings of mythical beings, were published between 1984 and 2005, and include “Into the Green,” “Crow Girls,” “The Conjure Man,” “The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep,” “A Wish Named Arnold,” and 24 others. A must for de Lint completists and fantasy/myth lovers. --Frieda Murray
Halifax Chronicle Herald
Charles de Lint is the modern master of urban fantasy. Folktale, myth, fairy tale, dreams, urban legendall of it adds up to pure magic in de Lint’s vivid, original world. No one does it better.”
An outstanding and widely varied collection of 29 tales.... Long-time fans and newcomers alike will fall in love with de Lint’s graceful, poetic language and characters.”
[de Lint] is a master storyteller.... [I]n every storyand I do mean everyhe manages to pack an emotional wallop, and a sense that the fantastical could be very, very possible if only we choose to believe it so.”
More than 400 pages of the finest urban fantasy fiction of the past three decades.”
The Very Best of Charles de Lint truly is Charles de Lint at his very best.”
Lovely and quite diverse...[t]his is a collection definitely worth picking up.”
San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review
These are stories for those who love reading.”
De Lint is prolific, and if you’ve resisted picking him up because you’re not sure where to start, this is an excellent way to get a feel for his polished prose, his deep empathy for his own characters, and a wondrous world that may be filled with danger but is no less beautiful because of that.”
Top customer reviews
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If you are new to de Lint's work, this book is a terrific entry point. If you are already a fan, this is a great way to keep a collection of his best-loved stories (as voted by fans) close to hand.
However, that tag is not quite right either. Most "Urban Fantasy" is dark and gritty or has vampires. And, although a number of the stories here are rather sad & melancholy, the over all tone is more lighthearted and whimsical- romantic without a lot of what today is considered "romance", if you get what I mean.
In other words, Charles de Lint writes stories like no one else, stories which are hard to categorize. Many of the stories here are set in "Newford" a town reminiscent (to me, anyway) of Seattle or Vancouver.
Here's a complete list, courtesy of the publisher:
In Which We Meet Jilly Coppercorn
Laughter in the Leaves
The Badger in the Bag
And the Rafters Were Ringing
Merlin Dreams in the Mondream Wood
The Stone Drum
A Wish Named Arnold
Into the Green
The Graceless Child
Winter Was Hard
The Conjure Man
We Are Dead Together
Mr. Truepenny's Book Emporium and Gallery
In the House of My Enemy
The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep
Held Safe by Moonlight and Vines
In the Pines
Many Worlds Are Born Tonight
Pal o' Mine
That Was Radio Clash
Old Man Crow
The Fields Beyond the Fields
All of these were previously published, but many in limited edition "chapbooks". So unless you're a super Charles de Lint completist (in which case you're going to buy this anyway), quite a few will be new to you, and others will be old friends.
My personal favorite is Mr. Truepenny's Book Emporium and Gallery.
Now one line that appears often in book reviews is a warning for new readers- "Don't buy this book first- start reading with ....". But I am going to say just the exact opposite- if you are new to Charles de Lint, this book is an ideal place to get to know this fine fantasy author.
I'm going through hard times just now, and wish my favorite writers were not so damned hard on their characters. Fitz and the Fool ... they could have lived happily ever after. GRRMartin ... gosh. Not to mention Terry Pratchett, whom we have loved and lost.
So here is Charles de Lint, believing in magic and sharing the wonder of the real world where yes, there are bad people, and bad things happen to people, but that is not the point of the story.
OK, escapist literature, but, renewed and refreshed, I can round up my troops and go back into the fray.
Facebook is a good place to do this, and I should beFriend this nice guy, as he has requested.
The Best of Charles De Lint is an almost life changing find for me. I have always read to escape the trials, adversities and vicissitudes of life. Consequently I searched for found books that were captivating but unless you perhaps joined a very enthusiastic book club that investigated and discussed the authors intentions in symbolism and imagery to the full extent most of the themes were just generic adventure and innocent "good vs evil" . I thought that this is what I would be doing with this collection of highly praised pieces by Charles De Lint. I was absolutely thrilled to find that this was absolutely true ... at first. This compilation of stories is an escape to childhood; to where dreams come true and magic is possible. However slowly as the stories, I instantly loved, ended and new ones began, there emerged certain undertones and connecting themes that took this collection of completely separate and unique stories and ideas melding them together as one. While I was escaping the world around me through this compilation it was increasingly more evident that I was also actually getting closer and becoming more intimate with the human condition and the facts of life. Through characters that became to be friends and inspirations, I learned to confront what I have been running from, denying, and even hoping was not a reality.
Most of the stories are safe to read to children as fairy tales or bedtime stories, perhaps some are more suitable around a campfire. That being said however, the most important ones, for me at least, I would not recommend for younger readers. There are adult themes expressed in a select few of the stories however it is tastefully done though very direct. They were not in any way to be focused on the actions but more on the effect they have on the individual and community. I have flagged this as "some sexual content" because of the expert way that it was written, however it does not beat around the bush or use childish euphemisms. Charles De Lint has a talent for showing that same beauty in life that one seas in a forest after a fire: rebirth, new growth, and wonder that comes much from the beauty of life but also the juxtaposition with the ever present knowledge and memory of what has been.
Through this work I matured emotionally, intellectually and socially. During reading and upon finishing this collection of brilliant works, I became inspired and empowered to see and act upon the truth . The truth that our lives can be full of darkness, pain, and regret but nevertheless we can overcome; we can be whole and we can see that magic truly does exist. There is a magic in human interaction and relationships, even magic where we would least expect it.
Most recent customer reviews
Unfortunately, like "the lady or the tiger", some of the tales left this reader with questions.Read more