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Dream Angus: The Celtic God of Dreams

Dream Angus: The Celtic God of Dreams

Written by Alexander McCall Smith

Narrated by Michael Page


Dream Angus: The Celtic God of Dreams

Written by Alexander McCall Smith

Narrated by Michael Page

ratings:
4/5 (16 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Oct 23, 2006
ISBN:
9781423321040
Format:
Audiobook

Description

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?

Released:
Oct 23, 2006
ISBN:
9781423321040
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Alexander McCall Smith is professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. He is also the author of over fifty books. These range from adult fiction to specialist titles, such as Forensic Aspects of Sleep, to a wide selection of children's books. In 1999 The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency was published. This book quickly became a bestseller and was voted one of the 'International Books of the Year and the Millennium' by the Times Literary Supplement. Winner of three Author of the Year awards in 2004 (British Book Awards, Booksellers' Association and Waterstone's), and Bloomsbury Publishing are very proud and excited to be re-publishing Alexander's key children's books.

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Reviews

What people think about Dream Angus

3.8
16 ratings / 17 Reviews
What did you think?
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Reader reviews

  • (2/5)
    I just didn't like this.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that McCall-Smith, just like James Doss, likes the sound of his own writer's voice, and thusly writes for the pure pleasure of hearing his own words.

    I just didn't understand the point of the stories, they were short and left me wanting so very much more. I felt they were all very underdeveloped. I also think that the stories are inter-connected with each other, but mostly I fail to see the connection with the exception of the Boys whose fathers were really not their fathers.

    So I rate this "Eh!"
  • (4/5)
    This book in the Canongate Myths series is about the celtic god of dreams, Angus. The short book comprises of tales about Angus' birth, childhood and life, mixed in with stories where dreams play an important role, and the god of dreams can be glimpsed. An enjoyable read, although I hadn't heard of Angus before so was unfamiliar with the original myths.
  • (3/5)
    The Celtic Dream god gets a modern makeover. If you are not careful, you'll miss the subtle connections.
  • (4/5)
    Why did I read it? I like the idea of modern takes on older myths and this was available as part of my subscription to an audio book site.Synopsis: It starts with the old celtic myth of Angust, starting with his parents and his birth, interspersed with Alexander McCall Smith's stories based on the myth.What did I like? I liked how it weaved back and forth from the time of myth to more modern life stories and how these new stories reflected the life of the Angus of old. Somehow, they enhanced the old tale, but I am not sure how and I feel this is a deeply personal feeling. Dreams feature in every tale and not all of them are happy ones, yet the book doesn't really have the melancholy atmosphere of the celtic storytelling tradition; at least not for me.I felt the narrator of this book, Michael Page, captured its essence perfectly, being neither intrusive nor losing my attention at any point. A perfectly balanced performance for my commute to and from work.What didn't I like? Way too short for me. This book was over in two days of commuting and this was disappointing as I wanted more.Would I recommend it? Heartily to anyone who likes good storytelling and has a fondness for the older myths.
  • (2/5)
    A sort-of retelling of the myth of Angus, Celtic god of dreams and youth and love. The chapters alternate between the story of Angus's life and more modern vignettes that somehow incorporate Angus in various forms. Though Angus is supposedly a god of love, all the vignettes were rather sad: love lost, doubt, infidelity. I felt very disconnected from the whole thing, really. The parts about Angus's life came across more like someone was describing the myth to me, while the other stories were so vague (and dreamy, if you'll forgive me) that I never quite got into them. In short, this book was decent, but did not convince me to seek out other books by this same author.
  • (4/5)
    A very interesting idea for a series, this. Retell the classic myths of the world from a new perspective, only a serious point is to be made: Myths are the stories of our collective unconscious, and can always bear updating.It works out well in Dream Angus in large part because McCall Smith is Dream Angus's little brother. He creates magical invisible kingdoms of thought and convinces the millions that they're real and they're worth visiting time after time after time (Isabel Dalhousie novels, No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency).The Irish myth of Dream Angus, the god of love, dreams, and youth, is "...a cloud based upon a shadow based upon the movement of the breeze" (p xiv, hardcover edition). (Quite a trinity to get stuck with! Obstreperous, illogical, wilful things to be god of, all three.) McCall Smith gently deflects the breeze in his desired directions, and weaves the mythic base into more modern stories of Angus's doin's in this world. I don't think he did a brilliant job of this, but it's a tough technical challenge to tackle. I rated the book down a whole star for its heterosexism. It's explicit, and it rankled me.But the lushness of Angus and of his beautiful self-aware selflessness in doing all the things he does for humanity...! Curmudges there a crusty old crab so dead to wonder and passion and love as to find this slightly arch, somewhat precious conceit anything other than glisteningly gorgeous?Gods, I hope not. And I hope not to meet him/er, either. Go on, suspend disbelief and read this book. Soon. You'll be glad you took this vacation in the land of Celtic myth.
  • (5/5)
    A re-telling of Angus, a Celtic figure who was the son of the Dagda and a water spirit Boann. Angus comes in the night and bestows dreams and this tale is a mixture of the original myth and stories of people set in our current time. Boann is married to another man when Dagda sees her and desires her. After she becomes pregnant he leaves her but returns to take Angus when he is born against her wishes. When he grows into manhood he tricks his father out of his Kingdom and later falls in love with a woman he sees in a dream. She is someon unattainable who turns in to a swan for alternate years. The ending of Angus' story is beautiful and has the two finding happiness together.The tale is interspersed with fragments and dreams of more modern people. The final story was my favourite and is of a woman whose husband has been having an affair. She leaves him and enters therapy. One night she dreams that she stands up to her husband who then reaches out to her saying he had long hoped she would come but was too afraid to ask her. Soon after she drives past their old house and he comes over to her and reaches for her through the car window. It was a beautiful tale and a lovely way to finish this enchanting short novel.This is one of my favourites so far in the series and I am definitely interested in reading more of McCall Smith's writing. Recommended for anyone with a passion for mythology or a damn good story.
  • (3/5)
    Flitting in amongst the lives and dreams of modern day Irish folk, Angus, deliverer of dreams and igniter of passions and love, takes on the persona of a therapist, a tow-headed and simple-minded youth, or the ancient regalia as the son of the Dagda, the highest of the Irish deities. McCall Smith crafts a series of delightful short stories, rife with the connections between people and the failings therein. Whether describing the beautiful beginnings of a newlywed couple or the wrenching betrayal of a damaged marriage, he tells an engaging story. Yet unlike precursors in the Canongate Myth series, the connections to the myth that beget this novel seems to hold a tenuous thread to the modernity of mythic experience that Smith never truly expounds upon. The mythic story arc, encasing the modern short stories, of the Dream Angus could be excised and leave a fine collection of short stories. I felt disappointed that the first Celtic exploration did not delve as deeply nor as soundly as the Greek tales. The myth was relegated to the hastily surmised binding offering a tenative connective tissue to the short stories, rather than the wellspring from whence they sprung. The prose is lovely and the characters have feeling to them, but I engaged this novel hoping for the resonance of mythos to carry me to the ineffable realms of imagination and creativity, but alas the flight stopped lightly at a pleasurable yarn to wile away an afternoon, leaving me grasping at a loose thread yet to be woven into cloth.
  • (5/5)
    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!
  • (4/5)
    "In my experience, dreams are unreliable, and the lovers whom people see in their dreams, well... Put it this way, I'm not exactly convinced. Far from it." - Thoughts on Dream Angus by Alexander McCall SmithSigh. I hate it when a book disappoints me, especially when I've convinced myself early on that I will love, oh I will love it so, so much. Alexander McCall Smith's Dream Angus is my fourth Canongate Myth, and even before I've started reading the series, just when I was learning about them and reading the synopsis of each title, I was convinced that this one - this book about dreams and love and all its different manifestations - would be the stand-out, that one orange among the series of apples*.Darn it, Alexander McCall Smith. Darn it.Something was amiss. No, some things were amiss. I felt it the moment I held the book: it was light, too light, like it was lacking weight and substance and something else that mattered. I told myself, no, it's purposely light, because it's a book about Angus, the Celtic mythology's giver of dreams and a figure of youth and love, and it is only right that this re-telling should seem just as unburdened. And so I read, and I read some more, and no matter how much I tried it didn't feel right at all.I tried to love you, Dream Angus, and when that didn't work I tried to at least like you. And maybe I did, a little bit, but once disappointed, you can never go back.You were, for lack of a better term, just meh.But there were redeeming qualities, the stuff that made me keep on reading. The five different stories (were they related, written without a sense of time?), despite leaving me wanting, were good. Angus was in each one of them, in various forms - an unwelcomed visitor, a shrink, and something else; my favorite was the uncle who threatened his nephew with nightmares (and maybe I liked it because it was different). There were such beautiful phrases and lines: "he drowned in the sky" and "but the gesture never came," "And he wanted to disbelieve what he had just heard because so few words could not end a world." Dream Angus was written - I hope you can forgive me if it sounds too schmaltzy- so dreamily.And maybe that is why. It felt written in haste, in a haze, at times lucid and at times not. To put simply: "Sometimes the reality is not quite so appealing as the vision, distinctly so, but let's not be pessimistic."PS. "Love and its disappointments were the bread and butter of people like him." Yes, there was love, plenty of it, and it all ended in disappointment. I'm so sad. So very, very sad. Sigh.*I like apples, but I love me an orange. My analogy sucks. I'm sorry.Originally posted here.
  • (4/5)
    A brief retelling of the Celtic myth of the Dream Angus and a series of related short stories set in the modern world. I believe I'm too much of a realist to appreciate the mythology, but the stories had a pleasantly dreamy, mystical quality that I enjoyed.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I really enjoyed this. I came across it by chance in a charity shop and as I have enjoyed Alexander McCall Smith in the past I bought it then and there. I didn't realise what it was.I love the story of Angus mac Og and Caer and so to find a volume based around this was enchanting. I think McCall Smith has captured the feel of the Irish/ Scottish story and manages to tie it in beautifully with the modern chapters. Lovely!

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Well, I did read [Dream Angus]. It was in the "ok" area for me until I got to the last chapter. This book has Smith interspersing the mythic story of Angus wih modern tales of people affected by dreams.This tenth chapter I found very affecting with a lucid dream that resolves the mess a couple have gotten into. It brought up memories of dreams I've had and dreamwork I've done.I might mention that dreams in this book function as an agent of change and not as a pyschological analysis of your life already lived, particularly the detritus from the previous day.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    A lovely instalment in the Canongate Myths Series. To be honest I don’t know enough about the Angus Myth to know how McCall Smith interpreted it, but I loved the juxtaposition between Angus's storty and the 'real world'. Somehow I found the story of Pig 20 really really moving. Lovely.
  • (4/5)
    Dream Angus by Alexander McCall Smith is one of the books of the Canongate Myths. I’ve only read one other book in the series, The Penelopiad, by Margaret Atwood, and I truly loved it. I enjoyed this one as well, which is a retelling of the myth of the Celtic god of dreams and love. The book starts out with the tales of how Angus came into being and grew up, and then it has separate stories, alternating between modern and ancient times, of Angus and his doings. One of the stories seemed a bit harsh, but in most of them Angus was a giver of good dreams, enabling people (and sometimes animals) to come to peace with their situations. I really enjoy Alexander McCall Smith’s writing style and I love myths, so I was very happy to read this book. Since both of the books I’ve read in this series were very enjoyable, I may branch out into the other installments as well.
  • (4/5)
    [Dream Angus] by Alexander McCall Smith is his addition to the myth stories retold by modern authors. Angus is a Celtic God who brings dreams which are prophetic, and who is an active character in these stories. They are all bound together because of Angus, and some are set in ancient times and some are modern. I enjoy McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency stories, but I liked his writing better in this book. It’s sharper, deeper, and more interesting.
  • (4/5)
    Dream Angus is the fifth in Canongate’s Myths series, where leading contemporary authors take a variety of mythological stories, and retell them however they choose.McAll Smith chooses the myth of Angus, a Celtic god of dream and love, of youth and beauty, a trickster with a benevolent heart, who brings love to others, but is fated himself to only ever love one woman, Caer, whom he has seen only in his own dreams.McAll Smith takes a two-pronged approach, alternating between chapters retelling the basic story of Angus with five fables set in modern times, each in their own way touching on an aspect of Angus’ life and story. Angus may – or may not – be seen in these chapters, but his touch is in them all. The effect works well, and while it’s less ambitious than some of the books in this series so far, it’s a gently done reworking that is full of McAll Smith’s typical charm.I have to confess I’d grown a little weary of his style, and have skipped his last few books, but this reminded me why I liked him in the first place. A good addition to the Canongate Myths, which remains a series well worth following.