Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Short Story Monday - The Very Best of Charles de Lint Part 6 & 7

At turns whimsical, dark, and mystical, this extraordinary collection of retold fairy tales and new, modern myths redefine the boundaries of magic. Compiling favored stories suggested by the author and his fans, this delightful treasury contains the most esteemed and beloved selections that de Lint has to offer. Innovative characters in unexpected places are the key to each plot: playful Crow Girls who sneak into the homes of their sleeping neighbors; a graffiti artist who risks everything to expose a long-standing conspiracy; a half-human girl who must choose between her village and her strange birthright; and an unrepentant trickster who throws one last party to reveal a folkloric tradition. Showcasing some of the finest offerings within the realms of urban fantasy and magical realism, this essential compendium of timeless tales will charm and inspire.
Today is technically the 6th and 7th edition of my buddy read of The Very Best of Charles de Lint with Carl.

Stories Read This Week:
"Mr. Truepenny's Book Emporium and Gallery"
"In the House of My Enemy"
"The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep"
"Crow Girls"
"Held Safe by Moonlight and Vines"

Part 6: Questions that Carl Asked

1. If you could visit a place like the store in "Mr. Truepenny's Book Emporium and Gallery", which books/authors would you hope to find and read?
I just wanted to start by saying that this story is one of my favourite stories ever that I have read by de Lint. I was so happy to see it included in this collection. I think if I had the imaginary books that she had, I would be thinking about authors that I wish had written more books and series/trilogies that I really want to know how they conclude. Instead of waiting for the author, I would just do it myself. I do it myself now when I think of possible endings and such.

2. "In the House of My Enemy" is a pretty heavy, though well-told story. No question that I can come up with feels adequate in the face of the tale other than to simply ask what your reaction to this story was.
I had also read this story before, so I expected the outcome. It doesn't mean that the story still didn't bother me knowing what was going to happen, though. I truly believe that Charles de Lint captures the 'difficult' parts of life very well. He might add in some fantasy here and there, but sometimes it is all about the people and their stories. It gives depths to his characters that you cannot help but feel for even if you only meet them for a short time. This story will stick with you, but it is also a story about a problem that many young women face.

3. This is kind of the "Inception" question. As you read "The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep", do you fall on the side of it being real or being just Sophie working out some of her issues, or do you not really find yourself choosing a side, so to speak?
I am with Jilly, this is a true story. I believe that Sophie really is the daughter of the moon. It is written so well you don't sound crazy when you think like that. I thought it was a touching story, too, and that it gave closure to Sophie. I still think it is true, though.

Part 7: Questions that I Asked

1. In the story 'Crow Girls', there is an exploration of the effect the girls have on everyone that they meet. How did they make you feel reading about them?
The Crow Girls are believed to make people happy when they are around them. It is true when you read about them, too. You cannot help but smile at their antics! I look forward to them in every book because their enthusiasm jumps off the page.

2. The story 'Birds' has a young woman wanting to block out all of the painful memories from her past by hearing the sound of birds constantly (a very dulled down description of what the story is about). Do you ever wish when something bad happens you could use magic to block it all out, or do you think it is better to remember?
There are some things I wouldn't mind forgetting, but I just thought that this story sounded like it would be annoying. Listening to birds in your head constantly doesn't sound like it would be wonderful for all that long... I enjoyed the overall story, but this just seemed bizarre to me.

3. If you had a 'safe' place when you were a child, what would that be? (Even if you cannot actually relate to the experiences in 'Held Safe by Moonlight and Vines')
Since I am not really an outdoorsy person, my safe place would probably be similar to Sophie's bookstore. I know that when I have a bad day, a bookstore often makes me feel calmer, so an imaginary bookstore I can visit in my dreams sounds about right.

Previous Weeks:

1 comment:

  1. I had read several of these before myself but thankfully it had been long enough ago that even though I recognized them I didn't remember the outcome.

    I mentioned in my review that the first three stories in this week's grouping are a trio (if put in reverse order of how they are put in the collection) would be a great place for people to jump in and experience what Charles de Lint is all about. I think I'd add Crow Girls to that list as well. I just love these characters, they are so fun. Have you read that short Christmas story featuring the Crow Girls? So much fun.

    With this group of stories, as with many of de Lint's stories, he so exquisitely captures the beauty and pain of a life, everyone's life. We all have bad things happen to us and we all have bad things happen to those that we love. Not all of us, thankfully, experience significant abuse or neglect, but it is rare that we go through a whole life not coming in contact with those who have. Overall Charles de Lint paints a positive picture of healing and of how life can be wonderful even when that wonder is born out of pain and misery. I think Crow Girls captures that idea so profoundly.

    I don't know about you, but having read Widdershins already I find it fun to see these earlier interactions between Jilly and Geordie and the others and it is also fun to see Jilly at this point of her life.

    My post is up. Guess it is my turn for next week's questions. I'll get them to you soon.


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