January 08, 2004

Trader by Charles de Lint

trader.jpgI read this as an ebook that I got for free in a promotion from Palm. I think they were just trying to get people over the hurdle of loading the reader onto their devices and seeing how simple and easy it is to read a book on their pocket brain. Works for me... saved me having to check this one out of the library.

Max Trader is a luthier in de Lint's fictional city of Newford. One morning he wakes up in someone else's body. He soon finds that that someone else (an unsavory character by the name of Johnny Devlin) woke up wearing Max's. Yes, it's Freaky Friday.

But de Lint makes it work (and has the characters refer to "that movie" a couple of times to show he's aware the broad outline's been done before.)

Last year we went with friends to see singer/songwriter David Wilcox in Seattle. Wilcox sings songs that are full of truths about what it is to be human. He sings about stuff that keeps you up late at night and stuff that should. When we left the show, we were walking along sharing our impressions of the show, and when it came to be my turn I jokingly said "It was cheaper than therapy!" But it wasn't really a joke or at least it was a joke that was funny because it was true. Listening to a David Wilcox song shares a lot of qualities with a good boundary-stretching therapy session. It draws you out of yourself and lets you look at the way you think and the way you feel with some detachment so you can see where you've got things all wrong or where you're refusing to admit something to yourself. It's cathartic. And since he's busy making wonderful music while he's doing these things with you, it's also a beautiful and fun way to spend some time.

Charles de Lint is the David Wilcox of fantasy writers. I always seem to come away from his books feeling like I learned something about myself. In this book it was something that I've seen a million times in sound-bite form, but it takes an artist to bash away all the layers of insulation you have around your psyche and make you see that even though you knew something was true on a fundamental level, knowing it's true about the world is a different thing than realizing that it's true about you personally in a way that shakes you up.

Posted by jeffy at January 8, 2004 10:56 PM

hi this is ajjnabeee@yahoo.com. i am reading this Max trader by charles di lint. this is first time i am reading his work. though it is fasinating and i am enjoying it, the very idea of switching bodies is not convincing for me, otherwise i am sure it makes great reading, and i think it is a good one. looking forward to read his other works. could you recommend me any of your favourite books?

Posted by: ajjnabeee at April 8, 2004 07:38 AM
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