Saturday, 30 May 2009

Charles de Lint

OK, I know this may not be of interest to most of you but I wanted to write about this....

Charles de Lint is an author who writes mostly fantasy books. His characters live in our world but their lives are linked to a magical other world in some way. Often set in the city of Newford his stories weave a gentle spell....

I avidly devoured every book of his my bookshop stocked and then he fell silent. His books vanished. I began looking on Amazon and discovered that this wasn't true. he had been very prolific in fact. I also found his website and began to realise I was missing out on a lot.

Charles de Lint is a folk musician and loves art as well. He often writes short stories which he has published as chapbooks with art to go with them. These little books are not surprisingly, more expensive than the books generally stocked in my bookshop and a little more specialised.

The stories in these books slowly make their way into collections or they get grouped with other stories about a character and grouped in one book. Consequently working out what you have and haven't read can take a little time.

Working out what you can afford to buy is rather easier. As many editions are rare and stories in one form may have appeared in a cheaper less collectible form, prices vary a lot. The most expensive one I have found is a story called Paperjack in an unknown binding which is going for £534.09 on Amazon. The interesting thing is that this story appears in one of his collections!

I used to own quite a few of his books but had lent them to a boyfriends sister and when we split I lost contact and was unlikely to travel tog et them back. Some of these books I have replaced but not all.

This morning I have gone through his list of published works.... I have discounted books I own, or own in another form as well as the five I have just ordered and this is what I have found...

21 books that are easily affordable
1 in Flemish
3 over a £100
4 between £50 and £100
7 between £20 and £50
2 that are very rare and completely unavailable at present
1 that I could not find even registered on amazon

This gives a total of 39 books!

There are 30 books I either own or own the stories in another form so don't need to buy.

I am glad I added in that little proviso to my target of owning and reading all his books... the one that gives me a get out clause for the expensive one.

Maybe if I become rich one day, I will get to read all his stories....


  1. 39???? oh geez. It was hard for us to find "The Onion Girl" after I had read "Widdershins". (I know, I read them backwards.. lol). For some reason, Chapters here and in BC haven't been carrying them- and I hate ordering off the internet.
    I think I will take your advice and check out some little local bookstores :)

  2. It will be the internet for me... I live in an out of the way part of the UK and it is a long way to any specialised sci fi / fantasy book shop. Not that I leave Cornwall very often... I don't why bookshops only stocked some of his titles.... It's kind of annoying...

  3. So funny that you should post this today....on your repeated recommendations I looked him up on Amazon yesterday when I ordered my Wreck This Journal....and now have two on their way. I have no idea what order I'm supposed to read them in but I did order the (supposed) first one that was extremely successful - Moonheart - and another that I like the look of...both were under $10 from the "Used and New" section....

    Ooooh...we can have a bloggy book club....


    PS The idea of *having* to read 39 more books would make me dizzy with delight...

  4. I hope you like his books! Moonheart is an early book and was the one that started it all off. What is the other one? There isn't an order as such to most of his books....

    I can't say as I have any problems with having to read so many books by my favourite author. *laugh* I do however struggle a little with the thought that to read all his works I will need a lot more money than i currently have.... Still there is a lot I can afford to buy...

  5. Really? Moonheart you say??? I must convince Andrew to order it from the internet for me (as I am internet jinxed) hah. :)

    The questions WORKED :) They are fantastic Rose! I will be answering them hopefully tomorrow (if moving a friend goes as planned...). :)

    We SHOULD have a bloggy bookclub- I LOVE bookclubs!!!!!

  6. The Wreck This Journal bookclub will be my first....

  7. Ooh, I have heard of the author but have never read anything of his by the look of the website. Will check him out further.

  8. Could you recommend his best one? I'll return here to read your answer. :)

  9. Best one... I think that would be pretty personal. Moonheart was one of his earlier books and although very good, his style has developed since then I think. I think Memory and Dream and Forests of the Heart are two of my favourite.

    However, he writes a lot of short stories and many of his longer stories started as short stories and are either pieced together from several short stories or are short stories that grew too long. If you like short stories then you would perhaps get a better idea of the range of his writing from one of his collections such as Moonlight and Vines, The Ivory and the Horn or Dreams Underfoot.

    Bear in mind that there is an awful lot of his stuff I haven't read!

  10. The other one I ordered was Wildwoods (?) simply because I liked the name and the piccy on the cover....;) There were just SO MANY to choose from....*sigh*

  11. I have that one on order right now too! So it will be a first for both of us...