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MEMORY & DREAM Paperback – Aug 30 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (Aug. 30 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812534077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812534078
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 10.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,279,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The Otherworld tends to lurk just out of sight in DeLint's (Moonheart; Spiritwalk) works, waiting for some chink to appear in the facade of his characters' lives and allow its spirits entry. This latest work is no exception; here fantastic creatures gain access to the bohemian village of Newford through the work of Isabelle, a talented young painter. Apprenticing herself to the troll-like master painter Rushkin, Isabelle learns to paint amazing creatures-creations that subsequently take on a (possibly evil) life of their own. When circumstances cause a friend's message to reach out to her from beyond the grave, Isabelle must confront her own delusional revisionist history and decide if she has the strength to use her art, and the courage to do what she must. While Isabelle's delusions and the book's implication that artists are superior beings become somewhat repetitious, DeLint is otherwise in top form here. His multi-voiced, time-shifting narrative (the story spans 20 years) beautifully evokes a sense of creative community, making it almost possible to believe that the rarified aesthetic atmosphere might well be capable of conjuring up a spirit or two.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Library Journal

Five years after the untimely death of writer and social activist Kathy Mully, two of her longtime friends-editor Alan Grant and artist Isabelle Copley-come together to publish a final edition of Mully's stories, unaware that they are about to bridge the gap between the real world and the realm that lies just beyond most humans' perceptions. In his latest crossover, de Lint (Moonheart, LJ 3/1/94) returns to the fictional Canadian town of Newford, where magical creatures coexist (for those who can see them) with ordinary citizens. He moves gracefully through the borders between reality and imagination, weaving a powerful tale about the relationship between an artist and her work. A strong addition to fantasy collections.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After I read _Memory and Dream_, I stumbled around for about a week just thinking, "Wow..." De Lint's work often affects me that way, but this book did it to me even more than usual. I think it's because the characters who populate De Lint's stories are so much like people I know. Most people don't tend to write about people I know, or people who think the way I do.
The story is a deceptively simple one of an artist who is going through a change in her life being forced to own her past and her power. But although the theme is one that is seen often, De Lint makes it real in a way that no one else can. He has a very good heart knowledge of the true pain of life and he presents it in a way that neither minimizes it nor romanticizes it. He does the same with his urban settings; this is not a clean or perfect world, and stories are just as likely to happen in an alley as in a mansion.
Because the settings and the characters are so real, it is easy to believe in the fantasy elements. De Lint's work often deals with the lives and experiences of artists, musicians, and storytellers. Their work is a kind of magic anyway; all De Lint does is make the magic more vivid. He really shows us how the world is a magical place, and when everyone else is saying real magic is dead that's a message I want to hear over and over again.
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Format: Paperback
Charles de Lint is a popular writer in the genre known as urban fantasy -stories that place traditional magical elements into a contemporary setting. In Memory & Dream, de Lint takes a fascinating look at the creative process and explores the possibility of artists who can literally create reality. The novel jumps between the present (the early 90s) and the past twenty years leading up to it. Isabelle is an artist who falls under the spell of an enigmatic mentor named Rushkin, a famous reclusive artist. Rushkin teaches Isabelle about painting, and she learns far more from him than from the art classes she takes at college. Yet Rushkin has a very dark side as well, which turns out to be much deeper than she realizes.
Through Rushkin, Isabelle learns that she has the ability to "bring across" creatures that she paints. These entities become actual flesh and blood beings with lives of their own. She falls in love with one of her own creations, an American Indian named John. This ability poses many complications for Isabelle and the people around her. She cannot quite believe that these creatures are real in the human sense. Rushkin, meanwhile, reveals ulterior motives for teaching Isabelle and is soon creating "numena" (the name given these creatures) of his own, which turn out to be evil counterparts to the ones Isabelle creates.
I think the real theme of Memory & Dream is the relationship between art and reality. Isabelle's best friend Katherine is a troubled writer, and she plays an important role in inspiring some of Isabelle's painting. So, the question arises, if a writer puts a character in a story, and an artists paints it, who is the creator?
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Format: Paperback
I picked this book up namely because a discussion group I participate in decided to read this. Our reason for reading it--Mr. DeLint will be visiting a local sci-fi/fantasy con at the end of the year and we thought it might be good to have read some of his work should we go and meet him. This being my first exposure to Mr. DeLint's work, I went in not sure what to expect.
What I found was a mostly enjoyable novel. DeLint's style of writing reminds me a lot of Stephen King novels--namely you have strong protagonists that are caught up in a odd situation and you see how they react to it. In this case, it's the artist Isabelle and her relationship with her friend Kathy, her mentor and her art. There are some other subplots thrown in to keep the plotlines advancing, but the real conflict comes from the interactions of these characters. The first third of the novel is superb and flies by. It's the middle third where things bog down a bit. Izzy's power is to create beings out of her artwork and the middle third of the book is spent debating the merits of this and discussing how she's done this. It's entertaining at first but it wears thing after the first few times. Finally, the novel picks up in the final third as the events foreshadowed and referenced in the first third begin to play out.
DeLint's strength here is his female characters. They are all strong with intelligence, wit and personality. They are all distinct and Izzy and Kathy certainly hit all the right notes. DeLint's providing of a jounral from Kathy's persepctive gives us a nice insight into her character.
The weaknesses are that the temptation by the mentor to Izzy is just put out there and then dropped. (To say too much would be to ruin large portions of the novel).
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By HH on July 31 2000
Format: Paperback
This book starts out with a chance meeting between Isabelle, an aspiring artist, and Rushkin, a famous painter. Rushkin offers to take Isabelle on as a student and begins teaching her the finer points of his art. As Isabelle begins to discover, one of the finer points of Rushkin's art is the ability to bring faerie creatures to life through the paintings. These creatures would "cross over" from "the before" to take up real lives in Isabelle's world. But soon after Isabelle discovers the pleasure of bringing these creatures to life, she has to deal with the grief of losing them because somebody is preying upon these faerie creatures. Isabelle must fight to save them from destruction.
This was the first novel I've read by Charles de Lint and it certainly won't be the last. My favorite part of the book was the way everything was tied together and chance encounters brought quick results. It seemed like every action of every character was somehow part of the big picture, and it tied things up into a very neat little package. I loved the interactions of the characters, especially the faerie characters. Every person seemed vibrant and alive, like I could meet them outside of the book.
Although I don't see this book as being one that epic fantasy readers would get excited about (it was a relatively short book and not very deep) it might be good for a break between epic novels. I would definitely recommend it to people who like light fantasy or people who enjoy books where our world collides with a more mysterious one.
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