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Paperback, 14 Aug 2007

Product details

  • Paperback: 173 pages
  • Publisher: CANONGATE BOOKS LTD; Reprint edition (14 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676978746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676978742
  • Product Dimensions: 18.2 x 13.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,894,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world's most prolific and most popular authors. His career has been a varied one: for many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Then, after the publication of his highly successful 'No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' series, which has sold over twenty million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers through the world. These include the Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in The Scotsman, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the Von Igelfeld series, and the Corduroy Mansions series, novels which started life as a delightful (but challenging to write) cross-media serial, written on the website of the Telegraph Media Group. This series won two major cross-media awards - Association of Online Publishers Digital Publishing Award 2009 for a Cross Media Project and the New Media Age award.

In addition to these series, Alexander writes stand-alone books. 2014 sees publication of three new novels which fall into this area: 'The Forever Girl'; 'Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party'; and 'Emma' - a reworking of the classic Jane Austen novel. This year there will also be a stunning book on Edinburgh, 'A Work of Beauty: Alexander McCall Smith's Edinburgh'. Earlier stand alone novels include 'La's Orchestra Saves the World' and 'Trains and Lovers: A Hearts Journey'.

Alexander is also the author of collections of short stories, academic works, and over thirty books for children. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award in 2004 and a CBE for service to literature in 2007. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America. In March of 2011 he received an award from the President of Botswana for his services through literature to that country.
Alexander McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh. He is married to a doctor and has two daughters.

Product Description

Dream Angus If he's in the right mood, divine Angus might grant you sight of your true love in a dream; you might even fall in love with him, but he'll never love you back. He's too busy making mischief, stealing the palace of the gods from his father, turning his enemies into pigs and more. Full description

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Nov 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one of the Canongate Myth Series in which well known authors are invited to tackle and rewrite their favourite mythological story. It's a great premise and so far has yielded some very interesting work. Here, the prolific author Alexander McCall Smith, perhaps best known for his Mma Ramotswe detective novels, retells the celtic myth of Dream Angus, a kind of proto BFG figure! I enjoyed this book, but felt that at times it was a little fragmented. It is set as a series of interlinked short stories, ricocheting back and forth between telling the story of the creation and life of Dream Angus, and stories set in modern Scotland which take on themes and meaning from their entwining with both the story of Dream Angus and his mythological purpose. Some of the stories are quite brutal, others tender and lyrical, all well written, but it is sometimes hard to see where the myth fits in. Nevertheless, an interesting attempt, and one which works at many, if not all levels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Woodward TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback
Dream Angus is the Celtic God of dreams. As love is the providence of dreams, Angus breaks & mends hearts wherever he roams; according to the author, "he represents the intense, passionate love we experience when we are young but which we might still try to remember as age creeps up." But love can be cruel & while often compassionate (especially to pigs) Angus has a dark side as well...

Every other chapter retells an ancient story about Angus himself, while the ones in between tell of ordinary mortals affected by Angus in modern-day Scotland, showing how their lives correlate with the ancient stories preceding them. This is an effective structure for showing the relevance of the myths today but for the most parts, I did not find the stories to be particularly engaging. While some were rather touching, I could not relate to the people & situations in most of them, plus Angus himself was utterly unfathomable on any level beyond the most superficial. This was disappointing because surely myths should convey universal truths which apply to us all? I was also expecting a little more depth, such as that displayed by the other books in Canongates' Myth series which I had previously read.

The subject-matter reminded me of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman but there was none of Gaiman's subtlety & daring, and restricting the location to Scotland meant there was none of his creativity either. On the whole, Dream Angus was an enjoyable read but the lightest of Canongates' myths series with much less to say than Weight or The Penelopiad. A nice read but not a particularly exciting or memorable one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steve Benner TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
This slim volume is a collection of five contemporary short stories, loosely connected via the threads of an interwoven retelling of the Celtic myth of the god Angus, bringer of Dreams. The writing here is much flatter than Alexander McCall Smith's normal style, with the mythical elements being treated as a bare recounting of events which, while pointing up the more immediate handling of the contemporary stories, nevertheless leaves the figure of Dream Angus so remote and detached that he becomes nothing more than one of the interconnecting threads upon which the other stories are hung.

The stories themselves are light-weight and insubstantial vignettes; snap-shots, really, of moments in lives where dreams have provided pivotal points in some way. This gentle recounting of far from momentous happenings -- of things which are of importance only at the individual, personal scale -- is one of McCall Smith's great fortes. He almost overdoes things here, though, especially as the book is nothing like long enough to win a reader over with any gentle, sustained insistence, as with, say, the The Sunday Philosophy Club series. The volume has some value as in interesting curio with which to wile an evening but offers little beyond that.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brida TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback
DREAM ANGUS is part of the Canongate series, in which popular writers take a myth and re-tell it in their owm personal way. Although I have not read any other books by McCall Smith, or any of the other Canongate books, I was quite pleasantly surprised by DREAM ANGUS.

Angus comes from myths of Ireland and Scotland. As McCall Smith so eloquently explains in the introduction to his small novel, "Angus puts us in touch with our dreams - those entities which Auden described so beautifully in his Freud poem as the creatures of the night that are waiting for us, that need our recognition." But Angus is also the God of love, youth and beauty. Because of this, any who see him are likely to lose their heart to him.
McCall Smith decides to place Angus within contemporary Scotland. The book is made up of interconnecting stories of people that, in some way, all need to be closer to their dreams. At times, the figure of Angus may seem slightly elusive in certain stories, but ultimately they all have a common thread - that of life being the pursuit of dreams.
Personally, I enjoyed the final chapter, "I dream of you", the most. Here McCall Smith begins with Angus, the God of love who has women throwing themselves at him and yet he is not able to find one woman who he would want to settle down with. Until he himself begins to dream of a beautiful woman - her beauty is so that he is unable to eat, he only thinks of finding her. Later on in the chapter, we learn of a young woman who discovers her husband has had an affair. After leaving him, she begins to put her life back together by seeing a therpaist who encourages her to examine her dreams.

As a short, quiet read, this book serves quite well.
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