“Muse and Reverie” by Charles de Lint

“Muse and Reverie” by Charles de LintMuse and Reverie by Charles de Lint
Published: 2009 by Tor
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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This book is a collection of thirteen of Charles de Lint’s short stories.  The stories in this collection are set in the American city of Newford, which could just as easily be Pittsburgh, Boston, or even DC.  Newford is a rather ordinary city, but one where fantasy blends into reality.  There are elves, fairies, Native American spirits, and other whimsical creatures that mingle with everyday people when they are least expecting it.

I thought that this collection was charming and quite beautiful.  The author writes like a creative writing prof (not surprising, considering that he is one).  That being said, my one critique is that he possibly uses too many artsy characters to be entirely believable.  I love artists, but every other character is either an artist or a musician.  Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for fantasy that reads more like fairy tales than Tolkien.

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5 comments

  1. I read Charles de Lint’s “Dreams Underfoot” years a go and loved it so much. I agree there a re a lot of artists or rather musicians in his stories but I didn’t mind it. I think Dreams Underfot was the first in his Newford series.
    I also wanted to say thanks for visiting. It is nice to “meet” someone new who may like similar books.

  2. Thanks! The artists and musicians thing bothered me in “Muse and Reverie,” but now I’m reading “Forests of the Heart” and not having as much of a problem with it. There are still a lot of artists and musicians proportionate to the amount of characters in general, but I can overlook it because the writing is so good.

  3. I think that is a valid criticism, although in my (limited) experience creative folks like this tend to hang around with other creative folks. Any author who is also interested in art, music or what-have-you that puts a lot of that in his/her stories can be rightly criticized for that sometimes. I actually enjoy it myself, but again I can see where it might tend to bend believability a bit. I have heard the same criticism leveled at Audrey Niffenegger’s characters in The Time Traveler’s Wife and for Diablo Cody’s in the film Juno, but I personally kind of like the fact that these characters are possibly slightly more artsy or more “cool” than I am just because I learn so much about them and gain new interests and/or a renewed passion for interests by reading/watching them.

    1. I’ve actually thought about spending an afternoon youtubing all of the musicians he mentions. I know a lot of them are old jazz or punk, but most of them are things that I haven’t really heard of or listened to before.

  4. I can’t recall now if I’ve ever done that with de Lint or not, but I do know other authors have caused me to do that, and I’ve discovered some really good music because of it. That and on author’s blogs.