Completion Date: April 3, 2012
Reason for Reading: Buddy Read With Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings.
Part 2 of our 2 Part Discussion. You can read Part 1 here.
At a popular Newford online research and library Web site called the Wordwood, a mysterious crash occurs. Everyone visiting the site at the moment of the crash vanishes from where they were sitting in front of their computers. Christy Ridding's girldfriend Saskia disappears right before his eyes, along with countless others.
To rescue their missing friends, Christy and his companions must journey into Newford's otherworld, where the Wordwood, it transpires, has a physical presence of its own...1. This book made several references to incidents that happened in other stories. Were there any in particular that stood out to you?
One of the first things I observed about this book was how it chronologically falls between The Onion Girl and Widdershins. I have read both so I knew where they were coming from, but I also knew where they were headed. I actually liked that this book filled in a bit of the in-between time. It wasn't a Jilly story, but it still contained characters like Christy, Geordie, Holly, etc. I have always been interested in Christy because he has always been a secondary character in the other novels that I have read by de Lint. It was interesting to see the full picture of who he is as a character. It was also interesting to learn more about his Shadow because she has popped up in other books, but again as only a secondary character. The other story that came to mind was the one about Holly and the Pixies. That is a short story that we read last year and it was referenced several times throughout the book. It was interesting to see the story almost developed upon for a novel. I am not sure what came first, though. The novel could even have came before the story.
2. Suzi and Aaron were certainly the most distrusted characters as the story progressed. What were your feelings about them throughout the story and were they any different when all was said and done?
Yes, Aaron. I wanted to talk about him this week anyway. Can we say 'wow'? What a huge turnaround he went through during the course of this book. I was a bit sceptical to be honest, but then the end happened and I thought it was believable. I actually sort of expected him to do something amazing to change impressions of him. I also think he was believable and now I want a book about him and Suzi because I think there is more to look into there. I didn't get caught up in Suzi as much, though. I don't think we could really appreciate her strangeness because we didn't get enough background. I did think it was strange she was there at all, though. She sort of came out of no where, but again it all worked out in the end.
3. Charles de Lint wrote some chapters from a first person point of view and others were not. How did you feel about this back and forth style of storytelling?
It didn't really bother me at all. I actually paused for a moment and thought 'He did?'. I thought it worked really well for the type of story that he was telling. There were times when first person point of view wouldn't have worked and then there are times when first person point of view worked the best. I think he figured out the best way to tell the story.
4. As the story came to a close, which character(s) were you most drawn to? Which one(s) did you make an emotional connection with?
Well, I want to see more from Holly, Geordie, Christy, Aaran, Saskia, Christiana, and Suzi. I think they all have more stories to tell and I want to know more. Some I have read about a lot, but others I feel like we have just scratched the surface of who they. Geordie of course features prominently in Widdershins, so we know where he is headed. And, Christy and Saskia are still together, so we know that much, but they are all great characters and through them we experience even more great characters.
5. We seem to ask some version of this question whenever we discuss his works: what makes Charles de Lint's stories so special? Or to bring it down to just this particular story, what, if anything, makes Spirits in the Wires a special book?
I love Charles de Lint because he easily takes the unbelievable and makes it believable. When I visit Newford I feel like I could entirely go there and visit with Jilly or see Geordie making music on a street corner. It just seems like a real place. I want to go there each and every time I read about it. I read a lot of books each year, but there is just something about Newford and the characters that inhabit it that sticks with you long after you have closed the pages of the book that other books don't seem to have. I constantly want to read more from there, but at the same time I want to go back and revisit ones I have read before. There is just something special about this series. As to Spirits in the Wire, I was happy to visit with old friends. These names have come up or have been explored in detail, so it was nice to see a name I knew and experience a new chapter in their life. It's almost like the adventures they get into are secondary to the great characterizations that de Lint comes up with.
6. Any other thoughts you would like to share about Spirits in the Wires?
um-mm... This book is another example of why everyone should rush out and read de Lint.