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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Law of Dreams

by

The Law of Dreams Cover

ISBN13: 9781586421175
ISBN10: 1586421174
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Law of Dreams tells the story of a young man's epic passage from innocence to experience during The Great Famine in Ireland of 1847.

On his odyssey through Ireland and Britain, and across the Atlantic to "the Boston states," Fergus is initiated to violence, sexual heat, and the glories and dangers of the industrial revolution. Along the way, he meets an unforgettable generation of boy soldiers, brigands, street toughs and charming, willful girls - all struggling for survival in the aftermath of natural catastrophe magnified by political callousness and brutal neglect.

Peter Behrens transports the reader to another time and place for a deeply-moving and resonant experience. The Law of Dreams is gorgeously written in incandescent language that unleashes the sexual and psychological energies of a lost world while plunging the reader directly into a vein of history that haunts the ancestral memory of millions in a new millennium.

Review:

"'The Law of Dreams' is a fearsome story of such prolonged agony and unquenchable spirit that you can't escape till the final page abandons you to astonished silence. Peter Behrens, a screenwriter who lives in Maine, based this debut novel on his family's history in Ireland, but the private tragedy he describes was common to hundreds of thousands of people during the Great Famine of 1847, and the language... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Peter Behrens' superb The Law of Dreams is an emotional epic done in shadow-show, a lucid dream of the past, bearing echoes of Melville and Ondaatje, conveying scents and shimmers of a vanished world under the skin of our own." Jonathan Lethem

Review:

"All history is story and in The Law of Dreams Peter Behrens takes us into the hearts of savages, rapacious English landlords posing as gentlemen in Ireland, and shows us how the failure of one simple crop, the potato, led to the deaths, the despair and the diaspora of millions of poor Irish. Behrens is a superb storyteller and a brilliant teacher who never lets on that he is teaching us. This book is a beautifully written, poetically inspired tale of heroism, love, yes and sex, and the triumph of the human spirit over murderous greed. It's a long road that Behrens makes shorter with many a surprising turn. The Law of Dreams is one great book. I stayed up into the wee hours to finish it. I envy you this journey." Malachy McCourt, author of A Monk Swimming

Review:

"The Law of Dreams is the best literary adventure novel I've read since Lonesome Dove. Impelled by his great dream, Peter Behrens' young Irish hero survives the potato famine of 1847, an all-out war with his landlord, the brutalities of life on the tramp, a railroad encampment, nineteenth-century Liverpool, and the perils of an Atlantic crossing, to immigrate to North America. What a splendid tale! The Law of Dreams is a brilliant, heart-felt celebration of the capacity of the human spirit, fueled by hope, to prevail in the face of the worst life can offer." Howard Frank Mosher

Review:

Blending excruciating detail with the hopefulness of beauty, The Law of Dreams is a novel of struggle and fulfillment; of trust and the hollowness of betrayal. From a mountaintop in Ireland to the beckoning promise of America 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

Review:

"Inspired by his own family history, Behrens has fashioned a paean to the strength of the human spirit that illuminates a piece of history. The law of dreams is to keep moving, and that's what Fergus does, taking advantage of opportunities even as he is haunted by dreams and hurt by betrayal. Behrens tells this story in spare prose that distills ideas to their essence, making this absorbing historical fiction." Booklist

Review:

"A portrait of desire rendered in darkly lyric tones. Peter Behrens is a highly gifted conjurer; the past he evokes is as mythic as it is historic, as seductive as it is nightmarishly, gorgeously real." Heidi Julavits

Review:

"Behrens is an unobtrusively elegant stylist....One of the many fine things about Peter Behrens' stunningly lyric first novel, The Law of Dreams, is that it is emphatically a story of that 'great hunger,' a work of richly empathetic imagination that reminds us once again of how powerful historical fiction can be in skilled hands." Tim Rutten, LA Times

About the Author

Peter Behrens' short stories and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, Saturday Night, and The National Post and have been anthologized in Best Canadian Stories and Best Canadian Essays.  He is the author of a collection of short stories, Night Driving (Macmillan). Behrens was a Fellow of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and held a prestigious Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. He was born in Montreal and lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and son.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

michellemce, December 10, 2008 (view all comments by michellemce)
This book creates a reality, it's easy to connect with the characters, and especially The main character whos journey you follow. You feel excitment for the character when things seem hopefull, and you feel a pain and loss when tradgities happen. You almost want to reach into the book and help, but all you can do is read on.
simple..an amazing book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781586421175
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Behrens, Peter
Publisher:
Steerforth
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
History
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Immigrants
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20060822
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
408
Dimensions:
9.16x6.48x1.31 in. 1.51 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Law of Dreams Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 408 pages Steerforth Press - English 9781586421175 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Peter Behrens' superb The Law of Dreams is an emotional epic done in shadow-show, a lucid dream of the past, bearing echoes of Melville and Ondaatje, conveying scents and shimmers of a vanished world under the skin of our own."
"Review" by , "All history is story and in The Law of Dreams Peter Behrens takes us into the hearts of savages, rapacious English landlords posing as gentlemen in Ireland, and shows us how the failure of one simple crop, the potato, led to the deaths, the despair and the diaspora of millions of poor Irish. Behrens is a superb storyteller and a brilliant teacher who never lets on that he is teaching us. This book is a beautifully written, poetically inspired tale of heroism, love, yes and sex, and the triumph of the human spirit over murderous greed. It's a long road that Behrens makes shorter with many a surprising turn. The Law of Dreams is one great book. I stayed up into the wee hours to finish it. I envy you this journey."
"Review" by , "The Law of Dreams is the best literary adventure novel I've read since Lonesome Dove. Impelled by his great dream, Peter Behrens' young Irish hero survives the potato famine of 1847, an all-out war with his landlord, the brutalities of life on the tramp, a railroad encampment, nineteenth-century Liverpool, and the perils of an Atlantic crossing, to immigrate to North America. What a splendid tale! The Law of Dreams is a brilliant, heart-felt celebration of the capacity of the human spirit, fueled by hope, to prevail in the face of the worst life can offer."
"Review" by , Blending excruciating detail with the hopefulness of beauty, The Law of Dreams is a novel of struggle and fulfillment; of trust and the hollowness of betrayal. From a mountaintop in Ireland to the beckoning promise of America there are scenes that will remain, forever, imprinted upon the reader's mind. Peter Behrens is a tremendously talented writer."
"Review" by , "Inspired by his own family history, Behrens has fashioned a paean to the strength of the human spirit that illuminates a piece of history. The law of dreams is to keep moving, and that's what Fergus does, taking advantage of opportunities even as he is haunted by dreams and hurt by betrayal. Behrens tells this story in spare prose that distills ideas to their essence, making this absorbing historical fiction."
"Review" by , "A portrait of desire rendered in darkly lyric tones. Peter Behrens is a highly gifted conjurer; the past he evokes is as mythic as it is historic, as seductive as it is nightmarishly, gorgeously real."
"Review" by , "Behrens is an unobtrusively elegant stylist....One of the many fine things about Peter Behrens' stunningly lyric first novel, The Law of Dreams, is that it is emphatically a story of that 'great hunger,' a work of richly empathetic imagination that reminds us once again of how powerful historical fiction can be in skilled hands."
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