Reviews for Tapping the Dream Tree
Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 November 2002
Whether you call them urban fantasy or magical realism, de Lint's collections of his stories grow heftier. You also have to call them good, and note that this time he moves some of them out of his customary setting, Newford, into the hill country around it, especially to the north. He also brings back a good many of his--and probably his readers'--favorite characters, such as the Crow Girls, and does everything with his usual clarity of language and lucid transfiguration of folklore and myth into fantasy tales. A good many of these stories, such as "Freak" and "Making a Noise in this World," appeared in anthologies compiled by prolific editor Martin Greenberg; others were originally limited-circulation (sometimes barely visible) chapbooks, such as "Pixel Pixies" and the short-novel-length "Seven Wild Sisters." Some are better than others, but none are bad, and de Lint's loyal readers will be pleased to see this set of them on library shelves. ((Reviewed November 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 2002 September #2
More urban fantasy set in and around de Lint's all-purpose North American city, Newford (The Onion Girl, 2001, etc.), but not, as the blurb seems to promise, a novel: 17 stories, one of considerable length, drawn from anthologies, 'zines, and chapbooks, 1998-2002, plus one, "The Witching Hour," original to this collection. As usual, a variety of dysfunctional characters fumble their way to new beginnings, helped or hindered by a familiar coterie of magical beings, musicians, writers, and artists--the Crow girls Zia and Maida; Jilly Coppercorn; Christy Riddell; Meran and Cerin Kellady, among others--not to mention trees (the Tree of the title; the witchy Bottle Tree; the Tree of Tales), creatures good or evil, the quick and the dead. Predatory werewolves and fallen angels scour the dark streets; ghosts and spirits lurk in abandoned tenements; tiny folk, once birds, yearn to regain their ancient forms; murderers get their comeuppance, though never in any expected fashion. Vicious pixies from the Internet emerge through a computer screen to wreak havoc in Holly Rue's secondhand bookstore and annoy its unsuspected tenant, a shy but valiant hobgoblin. In the dreamworld, the witch Granny Weather, captured by malevolent bogles, summons the aid of Sophie Etoile, in whose veins runs faerie blood. Need to learn how to make your dog capable of speech? Consult TheWordwood.com, a Web site in an imaginary city in a world reached only through dreams.Newford may be an acquired taste, but if the lack of a new novel causes any disappointment, it will surely be assuaged by the quality and variety of the material here. Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved
Library Journal Reviews 2002 November #2
The 18 stories in de Lint's latest collection portray a modern world touched by magic of many kinds. Most of the stories take place in de Lint's fictional city of Newford, the setting for The Onion and other novels. "The Witching Hour," original to the anthology, tells the macabre tale of a ghost's revenge on the serial killers who murdered her, while "Seven Wild Sisters," first published in a limited edition, is a magical story of some remarkable siblings who cross the border into the fairy world. Gracefully told and filled with unforgettable and convincing characters, this collection, containing several stories published only in periodicals, belongs in most libraries. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 October #4
When de Lint's magic is working, his characters shine with folksy charisma (The Onion Girl; Moonheart), but a preponderance of the 18 stories in this collection have the familiar denizens of fictional Newford wandering passively through their own tales. The better yarns have the protagonists taking an active role in earning their magical rewards, as in "Granny Weather," in which Sophie saves her boyfriend, Jeck, by using lucid dreaming, personal sacrifice and good sense. However, many of the stories unfold with little drama or conflict. "Ten for the Devil" rambles from field to barroom and back, until the devil is finally foiled by kindness; while in "Big City Littles" and "Second Chances," the right mystical word spoken by Meran Kelledy immediately fixes things. Then there's de Lint's bias against ugly men and petty thieves. Without the mitigating love of a good woman, these men are punished ("Freak," "The Witching Hour"), sometimes even after death. Pretty girls, however, can do no wrong. All the female denizens of Newford appear to have artistic gifts. Just a modicum of good manners and a little spunk earns most of these ladies rich rewards ("Masking Indian," "Trading Hearts at the Half Kaffe Café," "Seven Wild Sisters"). While some of de Lint's niftier conceits are well utilized, such as the faerie realm created by lucid dreaming, more is to be expected from this World Fantasy Award-winning author than this collection of hazy, lazy tales. (Nov. 14) FYI: "Seven Wild Sisters" was published earlier this year by Subterranean as a separate book, with illustrations by Charles Vess (Forecasts, Feb. 18). Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.