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Dreams Underfoot: A Newford Collection by…

Dreams Underfoot: A Newford Collection (original 1993; edition 2003)

by Charles de Lint

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1,664294,321 (4.15)72
Title:Dreams Underfoot: A Newford Collection
Authors:Charles de Lint
Info:Orb Books (2003), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:fiction, fantasy, urban, short stories, Newford, fairy tales

Work details

Dreams Underfoot: A Newford Collection by Charles de Lint (1993)

  1. 30
    Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint (Kerian)
    Kerian: Memory and Dream takes place before Dreams Underfoot. A difference is that it's a novel versus a collection of short stories. If you wish to continue with short stories in this series, The Ivory and the Horn is the next short story collection.… (more)
  2. 00
    Everville by Clive Barker (Anonymous user)

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» See also 72 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
This is a collection of short stories that are not quite individual of one another. They are all separate, but interconnected. The descriptions used by De Lint are rich with comparisons of art, music, etc. The stories cause you to look beyond the initial insanity of a street person and question magic as a reality. ( )
  niquetteb | Jun 22, 2016 |
A collection of short stories that actually works very well as a 'novel.' They all share a setting and theme - that of troubled, often creative young people encountering myth and magic in the imaginary city of Newford. Having never been to either city, for some reason Newford conjures up a sort of cross between the Seattle and Vancouver of my mind.

Some of these stories are very, very good. I'd say some of them are some of de Lint's best work.

However, around the second half of the book, it began to bother me in the same precise way that so much of de Lint's work ALWAYS bothers me. And this time, I pinned it down:

de Lint reminds me, exactly, of any one of a number of usually well-meaning counselors, teachers and other 'adult' figures, who, when I was a teenager, were CONVINCED that due to my 'alternative' look, creative bent, and independent, rebellious attitude, that I must be suffering from low self-esteem, and hiding some sort of dreadful trauma that had 'made me that way.'

There's even a story here where a girl tells a counselor a story of trauma and then says, "Oh, I'm lying, I just said that because I knew it was what you wanted to hear." I said "YES! FINALLY! He's admitting that sometimes counselors TRY to elicit this stuff from you whether it happened or not!" But then the twist ending to the story is that it really DID all happen to her. Ugh.

Believe it or not, some people are just creative and adopt an unusual look because it fits their personal aesthetic. Some people are eccentric without being mentally ill. Some people leave home early and go their own way because they are naturally more independent than others.

de Lint's writing makes me feel conflicted, because while people with the kind of attitude I've described are DEEPLY ANNOYING, his stories also make a reader (if the reader is me) feel guilty for being annoyed by them, because of course you have to have sympathy and empathy for any character who's been through the traumas his characters have, and appreciate people that are trying to 'help.' And bad things DO happen to lots of young people; and some of them are impelled out of the 'mainstream' due to those things.

So - I feel it's a good and helpful thing to encourage empathy and understanding of people who've been through a rough time. But on the other hand, I DON'T think it's helpful at all to encourage the false stereotype that people that are non-mainstream are always depressed, abuse survivors, or 'damaged goods' in some way. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I'll go back to this. Just wasn't in the mood for it at this point, and I'm in the middle of two others (with more waiting for me). Abandoned, but not forgotten. :)
  emblue | Jan 3, 2016 |
If you've never read any books from the Newford series, start here. This collection of short stories eases you into de Lint's magical world, letting you get to know various characters, many of whom reappear in later books in the series. The Newford series is great for those of us who never got a letter from Hogwarts, never found a portal in the back of a wardrobe or got an invitation for adventure from a wizard, but still hold on to the hope that there's magic waiting for us in the world. ( )
  WritingHaiku | Jul 28, 2015 |
O.k. I'm retiring this book unfinished. I rarely finish short story collections so I am unsure wether it was this or the audio format that did it for me. I did get most of the way through it, and liked what I read/ heard but just wasn't intrigued enough to choose it over the other books all lined up on my shelf.

Earlier thoughts.
I'm making a proper attempt at an audio book, so I thought I should use an author I know I already like. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the first story. When I heard the woman's voice on the intro, I was anticipating that this would be a painful experience, but she won me over once I heard a few characters. I could even use my hands to do some stitching while I "read" the story. Will try some more tonight. I think a short story format is good though, as I don't think I can finish an audio book as quickly as a printed book. This way I can read other books inbetween.
( )
  Karyn_Ainsworth | Dec 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles de Lintprimary authorall editionscalculated
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. --W.B.Yeats, from "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven"
First words
She would see them in the twilight when the wind was right, roly-poly shapes propelled by ocean breezes, turning end-over-end along the beach or down the alley behind her house like errant beach balls granted a moment's freedom.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765306794, Paperback)

Welcome to Newford. . . .

Welcome to the music clubs, the waterfront, the alleyways where ancient myths and magic spill into the modern world. Come meet Jilly, painting wonders in the rough city streets; and Geordie, playing fiddle while he dreams of a ghost; and the Angel of Grasso Street gathering the fey and the wild and the poor and the lost. Gemmins live in abandoned cars and skells traverse the tunnels below, while mermaids swim in the grey harbor waters and fill the cold night with their song.

Like Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale and John Crowley's Little, Big, Dreams Underfoot is a must-read book not only for fans of urban fantasy but for all who seek magic in everyday life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:28 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Like John Crowley's Little, Big and Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale, Dreams Underfoot is a Must Read book not only for fans of urban fantasy but for all who seek magic in everyday life.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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