Review: Trader by Charles de Lint

Rating:

Trader by Charles de Lint
1997, Tor

Review Summary: Charles de Lint’s Trader is extremely well-written. Unfortunately, the pace is so sedate, and so little actually happens over its 464 pages that it is at the same time eminently forgettable.

Full Review:

Charles de Lint’s Trader is extremely well-written. Unfortunately, the pace is so sedate, and so little actually happens over its 464 pages that it is at the same time eminently forgettable.

The characters, with the exception of a couple peripheral characters, are pretty flat and uninteresting. They all have very human ideas and goals and dreams, but none of these are very interesting, unfortunately – which I suppose is very realistic in itself, but makes for a pretty poor set of protagonists and antagonists.

As mentioned above, very little happens plot-wise. There is a poorly-explained trade, a lot of angst and anguish, and a very small climax. Its something like the highest point in Iowa – other than intellectually you might not realize the significance of what you’re seeing

Thematically, the novel comes off a little preachy – live your life fully and have meaningful friendships so that someone will miss you – the actual you – if and when you’re gone. Oh, and be nice to street people.

I’d like to read another of de Lint’s novels, just to experience the writing again and see if he is able to provide a more entertaining experience given a different subject matter, but Trader itself is something of a bust.

07/09/08 CSL

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