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Dream Angus(CD)Lib(Unabr.) [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Alexander McCall Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 3 2006 The Myths Series
Dream Angus comes to you at night and bestows dreams - you may spot him skipping across the hills, his bag of dreams by his side. Just the sight of him may be enough to make you fall in love, for he is also the god of love, youth, and beauty. Divine Angus is cherished by all but fated to love only the beautiful Caér, swan maiden from his own dreams. Crafting an ancient myth into a tale fabulously and irresistibly new, Dream Angus is the epitome of McCall Smith’s prose, beautifully weighted, sensuous in its expression, deliciously serene. Five exquisite fables of modern dreamers unfold alongside Angus’s search for Caér. Mesmerically weaving together the tales of the Celtic Eros and his contemporary alter egos, Alexander McCall Smith unites dream and reality, leaving us to wonder: what is life, but the pursuit of our dreams?

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Angus is a god of dreams and love, and the Celtic mythology spun around his life and acts is cherished in both Ireland and Scotland. Clearly aware of the ramifications of taking sides, Page delivers his narration in a studiously neutral British voice. However, it is no surprise that the Scottish Smith, who currently writes two Edinburgh-based series, sets the five contemporary stories that parallel Angus's life in Scotland. For these sections, Page rolls out a hearty Scottish brogue and performs the characters in a lively fashion. Page is less successful with the narrative voice itself. The story is told from the perspective of Angus's mother, Boann, a water nymph. The peacefulness and sweetness of mother and son, combined with Page dropping his voice for the end of each sentence, might lull the listener into the dream state so favored by Angus. Nevertheless, this is one audio the entire family can listen to: it's perfect for a long winter evening by the fire with some hot cocoa. Simultaneous release with the Canongate hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 21).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

Review

“Lyrical. . . . This slim, elegant volume is further evidence of [McCall Smith’s] consummate ability to blend wit, wisdom and heart.”
Booklist (USA)

“May well be the most enjoyable of the [Myths] series to date. . . . McCall Smith brings to the Angus story a sly and deceptive simplicity, combined with a charm that has a line of tight, sharp wire running all the way through it.”
The Guardian (UK)

“[A] gem-like piece of work, slim and polished.”
National Post


From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Angus, we are told, is the Celtic god of dreams. He is the son of the warlike Dagda and of a water spirit called Boann. If he is the right mood, he might grant you a sight of your true love in a dream; you might even fall in love with him but it won't be reciprocated. Angus is far too busy making mischief: stealing the palace of the gods from Dagda and turning his enemies into pigs. Until one day he is trapped in his own romantic games, and transforms into a swan to be with the woman he loves.

Against this retelling of an ancient myth, part of an oral tradition, are a series of short stories set in 20th century Scotland. Angus's troubled alter ego searches for his real family, and there's a psychotherapist who helps people to understand their dreams. These stories become a modern version of Angus, for in myths, anything is possible.

In Celtic mythology, Angus has a number of roles. He is at his best both as trickster and dream-giver in this book. I read this in one sitting and enjoyed the journey.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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4.0 out of 5 stars Spans Myth and Reality from Yesterday to Today June 3 2008
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I find Alexander McCall Smith's stories about Africa and her people to be fascinating. I wondered what his story-telling gift would make of the Celtic god of dreams. The structure surprised me, as the stories moved back and forth between the mythical God and the role of dreams in real life. On occasion, the connections between the stories were wrought with almost sublime irony and meaning. My favorite story in the book is I Dream of You which connects past and present, myth and reality in a most enjoyable way and describes the role that dream therapy can play in helping us.

The sentences in the book often sparkle with wit and wisdom that will leave you thinking about their wider meaning, rather merely wanting to continue reading the story: "They shouted to one another, words of encouragement, words of dismay at missed chances, urging others to run faster, to outwit the other group." That sentence has more imagination, meat, and insight in it than many novels that I read.

I found that the book was overly tied to the myth of Angus, the god. Mr. McCall Smith is much better with writing about people than writing about gods. With a shift in emphasis toward the current world, this would have been an outstanding, five-star book. As it is, the "current world" sections are terrific.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream to Read! Sept. 30 2006
By Amy Graham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am not all that familiar with Celtic mythology and had actually never heard of Angus (god of dreams and love), so I was a bit worried that some bits of the story would be lost on me...but I need not have worried. Dream Angus is a quite a wonderful retelling of this myth. After doing a bit of research, I find that McCall Smith has kept the bones from source material and dressed them up in contemporary garments and he has, I believe, done it a very likeable and compelling way! Like a couple of others in this series, we are presented with vignettes which weave back and forth between ancient mythological settings and more contemporary ones; giving us the opportunity to hear Angus tale from birth to finding his own true love while also being given a glimpse of how he is still relevant in the modern world...for Angus, it seems still bestows upon us his precious and wonderful dreams! We find that Angus touches the lives of someone in each little story, and each is compelling and beautiful in its own way. I was particularly amused to see Angus cast as a psychotherapist using lucid dreaming to help his patients...a nice little twist! I would definitely recommend this as a light, but amusing retelling of Angus, Celtic God of Dreams, I don't think you'll be disappointed! I'm certainly glad to have read this and I'm looking forward to seeing more in this series!
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Life is but a..."? Aug. 7 2007
By Patricia Tryon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Perhaps you are owed the disclaimer that I will read with pleasure almost anything written by Alexander McCall Smith -- some titles with more pleasure than others, but anything with his name on the cover is practically guaranteed to provide gentle humor, sharp but never acerbic insight about people, and a view into worlds I have not previously been drawn.

"Dream Angus" hits all those marks and one more: it looks at the playful serious curious business of dreams and the purposes to which they might be put.

There are all kinds of serious words that can be delivered about a little book like this and probably there are treatises about whether Smith has written down the "One True Angus" or the one that he has simply invented. But I am not an aficionado of myth. What I recommend with some fervor is this optimistic invitation to open oneself to possibiliities offered by the good, but perhaps unconventional scenarios of our dreams.

Your minister or mother or physician could issue this invitation (or imperative) to you, but it would not be as much fun.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dream Angus is no Dream May 29 2008
By Gypsi Phillips Bates - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Dream Angus is part of a multi-author series, "The Myths", in which contemporary authors retell various myths. Loving Smith's other works, and being fascinated by Celtic mythology, I thought this would be a winner. I was wrong.

Smith's format is to tell the myth of Angus side by side (actually chapter by chapter) with short stories. Each short story has an incident, theme or something else connecting it to the previous chapter about Angus' life.

While the idea was stunning, the result was very unsatisfying.

There is only one memorable character, Bodb; he is the only one in the myth that is given any personality. So many lovely opportunities to flesh out a myth, to make the gods human, is missed. With the exception of Bodb, it reads more like a straight telling out of a Bullfinch type anthology, instead of a retelling.

The accompanying short stories are drab and, though emotion is intended, they just don't fulfill that promise. The ending, again intended to be emotional and fulfilling, quite frankly left me cold and disappointed.

Overall, it was a poor effort on Smith's part--in a hurry to meet the deadline?--and I was glad this is not my first time reading him, or I wouldn't again.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical Oct. 7 2007
By J. R. Hartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book was happy and sad at the same time. You really could not put it down when you started.
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointed Oct. 15 2013
By M. Katzl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I am used to enjoying the authors wonderful series like 44 Scotland St., the Ladies' Dectective Agency, and several more. This one seemed too disconnected.
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