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Reading Log: Trader


I frequently forget that Charles de Lint is my all-time very most favorite author in the whole world. Trader is the story of two men who wake up one morning in each other's bodies. Max Trader is a quiet, well-mannered luthier, a maker of fine guitars. Johnny Devlin, on the other hand, is a smooth talking lady killer who can never take any responsibility for his own life or anyone he touches.

In true de Lint stile, though, the story is far more than the exploration of body switching. He takes up the question of what makes us ourselves, not the least of which is how we treat others. The story also emphasizes the importance of knowing who we are, but also in knowing who our friends are. In some of the scenes I love the most, the now homeless-Max-trapped-in-Johnny's-body befriends a stray dog who stays with him for the remainder of the book and eventually saves his life. How can I not love that story?

I only recognized a few characters from other stories, but they seem to be in most of de Lint's books: Jilly, Geordie, Sophie, and Bones. My all time favorite de Lint is The Little Country, but I don't really remember who shows up in that story. My next favorite, though, Memory and Dream, is completely about Jilly and Sophie, so I feel I know them pretty well.

One of the things I like best about de Lint is that almost all of his stories are based in Newford, yet he has so many different stories to tell. And the fantasy part of the urban fantasy is absolutely fantastic. (But I may be a little biased since I love these books so much.) :-)