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Trader by Charles De Lint

Review by Tai

This book is set in a city called Newford. A place De Lint subscribes as fictitious and any resemblance to a real place is purely coincidental.

Many characters, all wonderfully believeable. I'm just truly amazed at the richness and depth of his characters in this book. Very different feel from the last De Lint book I read, Into the Green, on the same level as the characters from Someplace to be Flying if not on a higher plateau. Let me give the lowdown on them:

Max Trader: A Luthier, a very good one at that. He's a very closed person - no friends, family or relationships, you can say he's very self contained.

Johnny Devlin: A good looking man that cant hold down a job, his life is in ruins, and he's a complete jackass to everybody. Eevrything he touches or is involved in seems to go bad.

Lisa & Nia Fisher: Lisa's a lesbian who is just coming out of the closest and also having difficulties with her daughter Nia - who is herself portrayed as a 16 yearold outcast and spends most of her time in the company of Max Trader...telling him her problems because she can no longer relate to her mother.

Zeffy & Tanya - A musician/waitress and actress/waitress respectively. They are closest of friends. Tanya seems to go through a string of bad relationships, the latest one being with Johnny Devlin. She seems to be a sweet girl that keeps falling for the wrong guy while Zeffy is there to comfort her and pick up the pieces.

Some other interesting characters as well *g*

Max Trader and Johnny Devlin somehow switch bodies. Trader wakes up as Devlin and vice versa. However it further complicates matters that Devlin doesn't want to give up his new body and new life. So he leaves Trader to pick up the pieces of Devlin's broken life - a very daunting task having been evicted and then meeting Zeffy who hates Devlin with a passion. But who can he turn to? As Devlin he's hated, and as Trader he had no friends. So left alone, he begins a journey finding himself, a new life, and finding new friends in unexpected places.

Wow! Incredible! I loved this book! I started reading this book at about 1:30 am and I absolutely could NOT put it down until I had finished - which I just did about an hour ago. To say this book is a "page-turner" would be an understatement, De Lint just goads you on and on and has you you asking "what's happens next??"

When I read the synopsis I thought he would have waited til about the middle or into the book before the switch took place...but no he does it on the first page! and splashes the action right into your face. De Lint jumps around different points of view and starts to tell the stories of the characters involved - these stories are not necessarily involved with the main stream of the book but you nevertheless want to hear how they turn out.

Now some bad things: True! the beginning was great, De Lint rushes you into the book, and then he hops around a LOT...this was a bit annoying at times but I guess it was my own suspense killing me. Also I feel he dragged a part of the book longer than needed (Reminding me of reading Tad Williams scene where someone was lost under the castle for 5 chapters *lol*). I guess nothing big *g* truly great book.

4.5 out of 5

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