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Memory and Dreams [Paperback]

Charles De Lint
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 July 1996
As a student of the cruel but gifted painter Vincent Rushkin, Isabelle Copley discovers her power - to create images so real that they come to life. But when the forces she unleashes bring tragedy, Isabelle is forced to leave Newford. Now, 20 years later, the power of Newford is calling her back.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; New edition edition (12 July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330339591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330339599
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11.8 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 770,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The city streets will never lack magic again. 28 May 1999
By A Customer
A fan of Charles De Lint's Newford short stories, I was pleased to find a copy of 'Memory and Dream' in an obscure corner of my local Forbidden Planet (they can never make up their minds whether to file him under 'D' or 'L'). I stumbled into Newford a few years back, when my mum brought me a copy of 'Dreams Underfoot' back from the USA and, quite simply, it was a magical experience. This book is too. Once again De Lint creates a powerful tale involving memorable, not to mention convincing, female characters. The plot involves the relationship between art and magic, as a young artist finds her talent can summon otherwordly spirits who take on the forms her imagination conjures on the canvas. Just as she begins to revel in the joy of literally 'breathing life' into her work, the true responsibility of her talent comes crashing home when her 'offspring' are threatened by a parasite who feeds on their lifeforce. Like his main character, Charles De Lint has almost managed to give his characters the life they need to climb from between the pages. The main characters are all well-drawn and the supporting cast more purposeful than mere window-dressing. His villain is a demon in every sense of the word (reminded me of Coppelius from Hoffman's 'The Sandman' for all you German-translation literary buffs). The use of 'flashback' narrative added real depth to this novel, moving beyond the 'action-movie' cinematic style of 'Moonheart' or 'Mulengro', or perhaps just a different kind of cinematic. Perhaps the best compliment I can give this novel is that its magical characters seem as 'real' as the more mundane ones - to the extent that you could find yourself turning your head as you walk through the streets of your City and wondering whether a little bit of magic just hasn't escaped from a painting somewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intriging, exating and educating. 11 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Isabell Copley is a young artist in serch for a mentor.
By accident she meets Rushkin and he helps her develope her ability.
He helps her to her first artexhibition whitch turns out well.
Rushkin teaches her how to give the paintings life in a way that Isabelle couldn't imaging.
What she piants come to life by her ability.
Soon strange things happens and some of Isabelles painted figurins are missing. In search for the missing "people" she discovers that someone is tearing her paintings apart. She tryes to find the one who has done this and what she discovers is not what she had hoped for.
I strongly recomend this book to eveyone who likes fantasy. It's a winner.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shows us the world is a magical place 1 Oct 2001
By wysewomon - Published on Amazon.com
After I read _Memory and Dream_, I stumbled around for about a week just thinking, "Wow..." De Lint's work often affects me that way, but this book did it to me even more than usual. I think it's because the characters who populate De Lint's stories are so much like people I know. Most people don't tend to write about people I know, or people who think the way I do.
The story is a deceptively simple one of an artist who is going through a change in her life being forced to own her past and her power. But although the theme is one that is seen often, De Lint makes it real in a way that no one else can. He has a very good heart knowledge of the true pain of life and he presents it in a way that neither minimizes it nor romanticizes it. He does the same with his urban settings; this is not a clean or perfect world, and stories are just as likely to happen in an alley as in a mansion.
Because the settings and the characters are so real, it is easy to believe in the fantasy elements. De Lint's work often deals with the lives and experiences of artists, musicians, and storytellers. Their work is a kind of magic anyway; all De Lint does is make the magic more vivid. He really shows us how the world is a magical place, and when everyone else is saying real magic is dead that's a message I want to hear over and over again.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For all who search for magic and recreate enchanted reality. 31 Oct 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
As a book is read and moved from shelf to bedside and back
again, it always gathers signs of how much it is loved. My
own copy of Memory and Dream, a creamy hardcover, has now
obtained a large watermark, countless bent and rippled pages,
and worn edges that speak ofhow much love it. Memory and
Dream is a book for anyone who wishes for a little magic in a
world which can be such a cruel and bitter place. The story
follows an artist, Isabelle Copley, who is brought back
suddenly into her own past, jolted by a letter from a long-
dead friend. As Isabelle went through her life, she
unconciously developed the self-protective habit of rewriting
her memory, creating a story of her past that is what she
wants it to be rather than what it was. As she is slowly
forced to confront the truths of the past and her own part in
the events which drove her to her solitude, her past comes
back to haunt her in many ways. The tale is also told by a
variety of characters, from Isabelle to her friends and
loves both past and present. The narrative travels back
and forth between present and past, each timeline following
its own progression until they collide in a revealing and
extraordinary finish. The book is full of the excitement and
danger of magic, the joy of creating, and characters who
become people you know and care about. The emotional trip
through the story is not a kind one, the desriptions of the
beginning slowly building into a spiral of emotion and action
that is haunting by the end. As with all of Charles de
Lint1s novels, it ends as so often stories end in real life,
bitter-sweet, something to be remembered and pondered over.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing 31 July 2000
By HH - Published on Amazon.com
This book starts out with a chance meeting between Isabelle, an aspiring artist, and Rushkin, a famous painter. Rushkin offers to take Isabelle on as a student and begins teaching her the finer points of his art. As Isabelle begins to discover, one of the finer points of Rushkin's art is the ability to bring faerie creatures to life through the paintings. These creatures would "cross over" from "the before" to take up real lives in Isabelle's world. But soon after Isabelle discovers the pleasure of bringing these creatures to life, she has to deal with the grief of losing them because somebody is preying upon these faerie creatures. Isabelle must fight to save them from destruction.
This was the first novel I've read by Charles de Lint and it certainly won't be the last. My favorite part of the book was the way everything was tied together and chance encounters brought quick results. It seemed like every action of every character was somehow part of the big picture, and it tied things up into a very neat little package. I loved the interactions of the characters, especially the faerie characters. Every person seemed vibrant and alive, like I could meet them outside of the book.
Although I don't see this book as being one that epic fantasy readers would get excited about (it was a relatively short book and not very deep) it might be good for a break between epic novels. I would definitely recommend it to people who like light fantasy or people who enjoy books where our world collides with a more mysterious one.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pages Full of Magic 1 May 2008
By Stephanie Toland - Published on Amazon.com
"Katherine Mully had been dead for five years and two months, the morning Isabelle received the letter from her." Now that's a great way to start a novel!! Isabelle Copely and Katherine Mully were college roommates. Not just roommates, but best friends and kindred spirits. Izzy was an art major and Kathy was a writer. They lived in a Bohemian style section of Newford, where the arts are celebrated and life was good. Until Izzy met Vincent Rushkin, one of the greatest artists to ever hail from Newford. His work was celebrated, although the artist himself was somewhat of a recluse. But when he met Izzy, he offered up his expertise and took her on as a protege.

Although a brilliant artist, Rushkin was prone to fits of rage.....mostly taken out on Izzy. He was always critical of her. Never accepting anything that he deemed unworthy. One minute he would be incredibly sweet, and then out of nowhere, he would completely lose control and become violent. But from her perspective, the pros definitely outweighed the cons because Ruskin's instruction was enhancing her art to new levels.

But when Ruskin tells Izzy the secret about her art, things change. One of the things that Ruskin had seen in Izzy was her ability to become a "maker". If Izzy put her spirit into her paintings, she could bring the subject to life. Her paintings were the gateway from "the other".....the spirits that she would paint could physically manifest themselves into the real world.

""And it's just people that come across?" Izzy asked.
"Beings," Ruskin said. "Yes. However, they won't necessarily seem like people. They have the same source as legend and myth, Isabelle. When the ancients first made their paintings and sculptures of marvelous beings -- dryads and satyrs, angels and dragons -- they were not rendering things they had seen. Rather they were bringing them into being. Not all of them, of course. Only those with the gift.""

And Izzy DID bring across some beings. Only Kathy knew the secret of Izzy's work. As a writer, she understood the concept. But when things fell apart, Izzy exiled herself to her family's home on Wren Island. Kathy's death a few years later caused even more division between Izzy and her old friends and lifestyle. But when Alan, an old friend from the past, wants Izzy to illustrate a new book containing some of Kathy's unpublished work, the past and the present come together in a way that no one could have predicted.

This story moves flawlessly between the past and the present. Each section gives just enough information to keep the reader constantly wanting to know more. Izzy's ability as a maker has changed her in so many ways, leaving her responsible for the lives her numena, the name she has given to the spirits she brings across. They are frightened of Rushkin, the "dark man". A man they consider a monster, who feeds on them to sustain his own life. But Izzy can't seem to reconcile her feelings towards him, and certainly doesn't think he is a monster.

This book is about memories that aren't always real, but dreams that can be. It's about magic and art, and the intertwining of the two. And it's about love and friendship....two things a person should never be without. Charles de Lint is a genius at opening a world in which all things are possible. His writings flows from page to page with ease. And from page one, I was completely under his spell. De Lint is a master storyteller in every sense of the word. His characters are incredibly deep and well-written. Each one is flawed just enough to seem completely real.

But what I loved most about this book was the idea that magic can really exist in the world today. When real life seems to be bogged down with so many problems and concerns, all you have to do is open a book by de Lint to see that magic really exists. If not in our heads, but in our hearts. I recommend this book 100 percent. It is beautifully written and it's a little piece of magic all by itself.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book 3 Sep 1999
By Stephanie Zuercher - Published on Amazon.com
This rates on my all-time favorites list, near the top. The book basically explains the past and present of a painter, Isabelle (Izzy) Copley, and how it is affecting her now. The basic idea of the book is the relationship between the artist and their creation: does the artist have to protect their creation, or should they bless it, release it, let it go? And on the side, it explores the ability we all have to rewrite reality -- when has it gone too far, and are we living in a world of our own creation instead of facing life? The book is very symbolic, can be read on many levels, and is a must-have for anyone who likes literary urban fantasy.
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