- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Orb Books; First edition (Dec 27 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765309173
- ISBN-13: 978-0765309174
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 522 g
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #134,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Moonlight & Vines Paperback – Dec 27 2005
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“De Lint is a romantic; he believes in the great things, faith, hope, and charity (especially if love is included in that last), but he also believes in the power of magic―or at least the magic of fiction―to open our eyes to a larger world.” ―Edmonton Journal on Moonlight and Vines
“What makes de Lint's particular brand of fantasy so catchy is his attention to the ordinary. Like great writers of magic realism, he writes about people in the world we know, encountering magic as part of that world.” ―Booklist on The Onion Girl
“De Lint is a romantic, a believer in human potential, and his fiction is populated not only with creatures of myth, but with artists and social workers, musicians and runaways, all creating intentional communities based on hope and dreams and mutual belief in the magic of the world around us. To read de Lint is to fall under the spell of a master storyteller, to be reminded of the greatness of life, of the beauty and majesty lurking in shadows and empty doorways.” ―Quill and Quire on Forests of the Heart
“De Lint is as engaging a stylist as Stephen King, but considerably more inventive and ambitious.” ―Toronto Globe and Mail on Trader
“One of the world's leading fantasists.” ―Toronto Star on Charles de Lint
About the Author
Charles de Lint pioneered the urban fantasy genre with critically acclaimed novels and stories set in and around the imaginary modern North American city of Newford: The Onion Girl, Moonheart, The Ivory and the Horn, and the collection Moonlight and Vines, for which he won the World Fantasy Award. Among de Lint's many other novels are Mulengro, Into the Green, and The Little Country.
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Many writers currently seem determined to make faeries and other magical creatures very nice, very sweet, and altogether sappy. In these short stories we find nice creatures. We also find not quite so nice ones. We also find quite horrid ones, ones that would make our nightmares sit up and take notice. We find here the wellspring for artistic inspiration and the black void that leads to drug overdoses, the spirit of freedom and the freedom that goes too far and leads to madness. Here is hope, despair, and every other emotion, sometimes whispering, sometimes crying defiantly, but always with a sense that there is a truth here, no matter how much it may seem like a "mere fairy tale".
This is an important point -- de Lint is writing about reality, about real lives, about real feelings, about real emotions. There is a touch of magic to this, from the woman who doesn't want to admit that she sees things others do not, to the man who falls too in love with a photograph. What de Lint is writing about is what makes us ourselves, whether that is very good or very not good; he writes about fears, lusts, emotional expression, distrust, scams, and dozens of other human activities with a passion and an honesty that few can match or manage. In the end these works may be seen as parables, as internal explanations, or almost anything else, but ultimately they are beautiful works, very poignant, and full of sadnss, beauty, joy, and fear. They are raw expressions of all that happens in our world, coloured slightly by a dusting of the fey and the careful tread of a coyote in his moccasins.
Read, love, cry, and feel.
In as much as this is a collection of Newford stories, it was another wonderful collection of the urban fantasy that lovers of DeLint flock to. Newford is a city where dreams can walk the streets, where the past and present can touch in rainstorms, and where graveyards can be the sanctuary for lost youth and innocence given form. This is a world where magic walks hand in hand with the reality of a city, in all its glory - and its uncaring.
On a more personal note, I found that the Newford stories in "Moonlight and Vines" grew up. Not in a sense that these stories are about harder topics than previous books - for DeLint has not been shy about touching upon such difficult issues as child abuse, addiction, and the like. What I found was that the stories in this book more often figured older adults, not those on the edge of teenage years or the mid-late twenties, and also that the reappearance of the usual cast of characters (Jilly Coppercorn, for example) was not as prevalent in this collection.
All in all, I loved it. I re-read all my Newford books, and it was only with slight regret that I didn't find Jilly and the others in this book as often as I'd like. Pick this up, (heck, pick all the Newford books up)! Canada's master of fantasy strikes again.
I don't have the words to tell you how wonderful "Moonlight and Vines" is. That would be like my telling you that a baby's first steps are "wonderful."
This is a collection of short stories whose characters continue to weave a delicate connection of lace from story to story. The city is the same throughout. It's a hard city filled with gentle souls. From "I envy the music that lovers hear," the first line of the first story, I was HOOKED.
When I have time, I read a book a day. Please, look at the other books I've reviewed. I've read enough books to be able to base an opinion on what is good and what is bad. This, my friends, is the best book I have read in a long time. Best. Superlative. In our current scary times, it's wonderful to be able to escape to a place where everything sure isn't perfect, but where there are good people.
Charles de Lint is wonderful at treading that line between fantasy and realism, where we wonder right along with the characters, "what is real?" That is his biggest talent; his biggest flaw is trying too hard to insert a moral into each of these stories. They all seem to be making a point. Sometimes this is annoying; sometimes the story is so good I don't mind at all. Still, I would have given the book three stars, since the moralizing tends to place an artificial distance between the reader and the story.
Then I read "Birds". My favorite story in the anthology, it deals with two young women's search for peace of mind, and the rituals they use to find it. De Lint has captured the very essence of magic and of personal ritual. I'm a pagan/witchy type, and I've read so many formulaic lists of "spell ingredients" I could puke; de Lint's description of the women's search for certain objects of personal value is right on the money. I want to copy the whole darn story into my BOS.
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