This book doesn't really fit neatly into "genre". It's not quite a novel, but then not quite short stories either. Short stories, I suppose, in the sense that each "chapter" can be read independently of any other, and in fact were originally published in many separate literature collections. At the same time they all fit together so it really does feel like reading a fluid story that isn't quite in order, doesn't have a plot and is all the better for it.
When I got this out at the library, the librarian raved about it, stating finally tat she would give anything to live in Newford. I now share these feelings. Charles de Lint has managed that extraordinary feat of making magic feel utterly plausible, real, normal and yet not in the slightest bit mundane. Though much of the subject matter is very dark (themes include murder, child abuse, street gangs and other violence) it instantly took me back to childhood and the tales of Hans Christian Anderson, with their bitter-sweet magic.
I honestly cannot recommend this book enough, I hope that these confused attempts at reviewing it actually convince you to read it!