The Law of Dreams

The Law of Dreams

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Peter Behrens

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  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 198mm x 25mm | 285g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 1847670857
  • ISBN 13: 9781847670854
  • Edition statement: Main
  • Sales rank: 224,709

Product description

Ireland 1846. A boy on a life-changing journey, which lives in the mind long after the final page.It is 1846, the height of the Great Hunger, and young Fergus is forced to grow up fast. Following the destruction of his home, he loses not only his family but everything he has ever loved.So begins an epic journey from innocence to experience that takes him from the west coast of Ireland to the docks and bordellos of Liverpool, and across the Atlantic. Along his journey he will meet bandit chiefs and railway navvies, 'pearl boys' and daring girls and the willful Molly, who will teach him the ways of the world.

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Author information

Peter Behrens was a Writing Fellow of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and held a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. He is the author of a collection of stories, Night Driving. He was born in Montreal and lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and son.

Customer reviews

By Ben Kane 24 Nov 2010 5

I finished this book about twelve months ago, and regarded it as one of the finest books I have read in some years. The plot of the book is there to be read on the description, so I won't go into it. Suffice it to say that the plotline is realistic (I say this having studied the Famine in school and visited the Famine museum in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, Ireland several times), and the lyrical writing is of stunning quality. The story is tragic and extremely poignant and moved me to tears on a number of occasions.

A couple of minor errors (doves in Ireland is the one that springs to mind - they didn't reach the country until well into the 20th century) were easily glossed over in what I regard as a masterpiece. Like Shantaram, this is a book which I will give to lots of people as a present.

Ben Kane, author of The Forgotten Legion

Review quote

"* "A fabulous book - makes history real enough to smell and so powerful in its emotional impact that I had to remind myself to breathe. This is the past, but made almost frighteningly present." - Kate Grenville * "This is a novel about hunger, literal and spiritual: Behrens's prose is so evocative, you can almost taste it." - Literary Review * "A top-notch historical novel: dramatic, wincingly violent, tender and extremely well-written.' Guardian 'I wound up loving this novel. The storytelling is terrific, the writing lyrical, often startling." - New Yorker * "There are scenes that will remain, forever, imprinted upon the reader's mind. Peter Behrens is a tremendously talented writer." - Alistair Macleod, author of No Great Mischief"