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The Dust that Falls from Dreams by [de Bernieres, Louis]
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The Dust that Falls from Dreams Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 164 customer reviews

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Length: 530 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"A feast of a novel … This book is very much a hit" (John Sutherland The Times)

"Louis de Bernieres is in the direct line that runs through Dickens and Evelyn Waugh... he has only to look into his world, one senses, for it to rush into reality, colours and touch and taste" (Evening Standard)

"This, [De Bernieres]’ eighth novel, proves that he can and is still producing Good Things" (Fiona Wilson The Times)

"A richly rewarding read" (Vanessa Berridge Daily Express)

"De Bernieres is an astute observer of the human heart, and his account of an idealistic young woman learning to live in the real world is beautifully observed" (Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

An epic story of love and war, and of England in the first half of the twentieth century, from the bestselling author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1832 KB
  • Print Length: 530 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; 01 edition (2 July 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00U88FH0W
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 164 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #685 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Writing a review for this book is going to be tricky because after finishing it I really wasn't sure if I had enjoyed it or not! It seemed very long and never really became very engrossing, it has quite a slow pace. Each chapter is quite short and from a different person's perspective each time. I was undecided as to whether this was really confusing or very clever! I've not read anything else quite like it, it felt more like reading a soap opera or someone's diary! Some parts were very interesting, the graphic description of life in WW1 trenches was awful but fascinating too. Some parts were just boring and this was where I was also confused, who was this book aimed at? At times it seemed directed at women, and at others much more towards men. There were many characters which made it hard to remember who was who as each chapter was about a different person/storyline. There were red herrings thrown in where you thought the story may go but in the end didn't, this was quite clever... I think.
This book has elements of brilliance but it just didn't quite engage the reader enough. The main storyline wound it's way through the book and then just fizzled out towards the end in a quite unmemorable fashion. Nevertheless, I really liked the good parts so overall am glad to have read it.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was looking forward to reading Louis de Bernieres’ latest book, having loved Captain Corelli several years ago (granted I haven’t read any of his others inbetween!). I’m sad to say I was somewhat underwhelmed.

The story focuses around the McCosh family in the early years of the 20th century (with the inevitable tick-list including WW1, suffragettes, Spanish flu and spiritualism), and in particular the eldest daughter Rosie. Personally, I found Rosie to be an extremely dull and pious character, which is probably why I struggled so much to maintain my interest in the book. The most memorable and involving parts for me were those set during WW1, with Rose and one of her sisters volunteering to nurse the wounded and their childhood friends serving in the trenches or flying aircraft. Inevitably there are casualties and after the war the surviving family and their friends are left to pick up the pieces.

What follows is a protracted battle for Rose’s affections which almost had me throwing in the towel in frustration. It’s quite a long book (500+ pages) and I found the second half really dragged. I also found that the mixture of the horrors of war and some eccentric/whimsical (and sometimes frankly irritating) characters didn’t quite work for me. Rose’s middle sisters Ottilie and Christabel were much more interesting, but unfortunately they very much take a back seat in this instalment of the family’s story. I say instalment because I understand de Bernieres is planning a series of books featuring the McCosh family, but sadly I’m going to bow out after this one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to this, having loved everything LdB has put a hand to so far. But this was SO disappointing. There is a real sense of something not being right from the start. I can only guess that it was rushed, forced or it was written at a bad time in his life because it's awkward, clumsy, flat, tedious and without any significant story or substance. I gave up. There is also an annoying sense he has just picked up a lot of 'factoids' about WW1 on the web and has sprinkled them around at random, just because he can, regardless of whether they make sense to the overall narrative. This is neither a sound novel nor a relevant reference work on the time. Don't waste your time.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had an interesting relationship with this book. Getting into it was difficult, with the narrative jumping erratically around between characters and events, before it settled into a middle that was moving and compelling. But the last third threw me out again - the pacing was lost and the story spent a long time deciding what it should do. I found myself continually looking away and feeling like putting it down. At the very least the book should have been edited down more so that it focused only on the entangled lives of Ash, Rosie and Daniel.

de Bernieres' prose is unfailing as always, and poetic in places, drawing laughter and sadness in turn. His characters feel real too, but often the things that happen to them don't - most distractingly, the way that every man who visits the McCosh household falls in love with one of its members, and vice versa. Life is never so neat and tidy. The trite plotting of the romances jars with the the unflinching reality of fighting in WW1 which, although the war as a period takes up a minority of the book, is the most memorable part. I've certainly never read a WW1 story which talks about the soldiers having to use their love letters as loo roll.

The detail of the story was very immersive, with the war slang and the experiences of flying (aircraft fans will love all the technical detail), but the story itself was often not; it stretched itself too thin. From the afterword, it sounds like de Bernieres has an entire saga planned beginning with this book, but I don't feel the need to continue it.
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