This book is part of the Canongate myths series, which is focusing on the retelling of some myths and fables, and features some pretty big names. Some of the books that are part of this series include The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (the story of the Odyssey from Penelope's point of view), Weight by Jeanette Winterson (about Atlas and Hercules), The Helmet of Horror by Victor Pelevin (Theseus and the Minotaur), Lion's Honey by David Grossman (the story of Samson), with more books coming from authors like Donna Tartt and Chinua Achebe. More details can be found here.
Dreams to see, find dreams to sell...
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 lose your heart , for he is also the god of love, youth and beauty. Divine Angus is adored by all, but fated to love only the beautiful Caer, swan maiden of his own dreams.
Five exquisite fables of modern dreamers unfold alongside Angus's search for Caer. Mesmerically weaving together the fairy tales of the Celtic Eros and his contemporary alter egos, Alexander McCall Smith unites dreams and reality, leaving us to wonder: what is life but the pursuit of our dreams.
Enough about this series, and more on the book! Angus is apparently a big deal in Celtic myths - the god of dreams and love. This story tells the story of Angus' birth to a water nymph who is tricked into making love with a god, and then from his childhood through to his own romantic chase the lovely girl Caer, who is cursed into turning into a swan. Interspersed amongst the stories about Angus, are 5 short stories which feature people whose lives have been touched by Angus in their dreams. Sometimes his influence is subtle, but other times not. The stories themselves are almost fable like - a young lady who falls in love with a man who works in a test laboratory and he refuses to let one of the pigs be killed, a tale of love gone wrong, another of two brothers separated through circumstances.
As I was thinking about what to write about this, I thought that an Alexander McCall Smith, no matter what it is about, is like a glass (or bottle!) of good red wine. It is a smooth read, and it goes down easy, and this book is no exception. It is very short but very well written. I am hoping that I might read more in this series in due course!
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