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Dream Angus (Canongate Myth Series)

3.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,661 Ratings  ·  239 Reviews
If he's in the right mood, divine Angus might grant you the 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 place of the gods from his father, turning his enemies into pigs etc - until he is trapped by his own romantic games.
Paperback, 173 pages
Published 2006 by Canongate Books
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 12, 2009 Jaemi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
I don't actually know anything about the myth of Angus, had never heard of The Dagda, so I had nothing to draw on in terms of comparing this telling to the myth itself. Therefore I can't say how it compares, or even if I was missing anything by having no prior knowledge.

One of the titles in Canongate's The Myths series, Dream Angus centers around Angus, a God of Love and Dreams. Born to Boann, after she was tricked by Dagda, Angus is quickly stolen from his mother and handed off to one of his ki
Richard Derus
Rating: 3.5* of five

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
Nesa Sivagnanam
Feb 29, 2012 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Angus is the illegitimate son of the head of the Celtic gods, The Dagda (referred to here as just Dagda). Like Zeus, Dagda has a wandering eye for women. The river spirit Boann catches his eye one day and he proceeds to set up a successful seduction.

From the moment Angus is born it is obvious that he is a gentle spirit and will be universally loved. Songbirds circle his head to serenade him to sleep as he rocks in his cradle, and the wildest hunting dog calms when in his presence.

Dagda steals A
Conosco poco la mitologia celtica/irlandese e non avevo mai sentito parlare di Angus, dio dei Sogni, dell'Amore e dell'eterna Giovinezza. Questa mia lacuna avrebbe potuto incentivare un giudizio più largamente positivo per questo libro, che racconta la storia della divinità. Tuttavia, il piacere di scoprire un nuovo mito - e non saprei dire quanto ci sia di rielaborato, da parte dell'autore - è stato macchiato da una scrittura un po' troppo infantile - tale parrebbe essere il target del libro - ...more
Asma Fedosia
Dec 17, 2012 Asma Fedosia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Born of the water spirit Boann and the powerful god Dagda of Irish-Scottish mythology, Dream Angus, Eros, the god of dreams, love, youth, and beauty figures in these ten stories. The modern setting in "Is there a place to go", set at a research centre which uses genetic engineering to make replacement tissue for humans, raises an ethical issue in the treatment of animals. In "My brother", a younger sibling realizes his older brother's companionship must eventually bow to change. In "Another boy ...more
Mar 17, 2009 Veronica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Alexander McCall Smith, Celtic myth, or dream studies.
Shelves: 2009, adult-fiction
In this interpretation of a classic Celtic myth, rewritten by Alexander McCall Smith of mystery novel fame, we discover the life and times of Angus, God of Dreams. A clever, lovely young God with a penchant for birds and pigs, Angus is a bringer of happiness. In McCall's version, Angus's ancient myth is presented alongside contemporary fictional tales of his influence on several individuals. The stories are touching in and of themselves, but the way in which they are interwoven with the very tra ...more
Roy Elmer
Dec 19, 2015 Roy Elmer rated it really liked it
I love the Canongate Myth series, but finding one that was written by the gent behind the Number One Ladies Detective Agency had me doubting the quality a little, and the curation of the series as a whole. Margaret Atwood, yes, Jeanette Winterton, definitely, A.S. Byatt, sure. This guy? Hmm.

I was wrong. There's a little bit of magic in these pages. So much so that I read the just shy of 200 pages in a couple of hours this evening. I never do that. Ever. Alexander McCall Smith has hit an almost p
Pamela Scott
Dream Angus: The Celtic God of Dreams is a library book. I’d heard of McCall Smith and his famous No I Ladies Detective Agency novels but I had never read him. Dream Angus: The Celtic God of Dreams is part of the Canongate Myths series. I’ve read two of these, The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christi and The Fire Gospel and intend to read them all eventually.

I really enjoyed reading Dream Angus: The Celtic God of Dreams. McCall Smith writes this very short novel in the form of a series of fa
L'idea di partenza di questo libro era davvero interessante - la rinarrazione del mito del dio irlandese Angus - peccato però per l'esecuzione.
Lo stile é quello un po' acerbo di chi é alla propria prima opera e su questo si potrebbe anche sorvolare se non fosse che in certi punti diventa un po' paradossale, vista la mancanza di logica e consequenzialitá nelle azioni dei personaggi, é come se fossero blocchi di lego accostati piuttosto che un insieme. Questo non solo fa diventare il tutto strano
Oct 07, 2014 asp_ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthologies, hardcopy may sleep now,
For Dream Angus leaps light across the heather,
And the name upon his lips is your name,
And the gifts that he bears are gifts for you...

-- Page 173, Dream Angus by Alexander McCall Smith

I found this book completely by random in the bargain section of the local Barnes & Noble. I wasn't even really looking in the bargain section, but this book caught my eye for some reason as we were walking by. I found myself picking it up to see what it was. And then I found myself buying
Such a deceptively simple book. I rated this so highly because I put myself in McCall Smith's shoes and I could not have pulled this off so effortlessly. The telling of a myth without making it a bore. Success. Then the songs in the key of the myth; each their own self-contained interlude. Blockbuster.

I found the stories to be great short stories and I loved their relation to the myth. Then top it all off: it's about dreams. I will be reading this again and sharing it with others. A perfect lit
I love the idea of this series of retold myths and this book in particular. But McCall Smith failed to bring any distinction to the Celtic myth of the Angus. It pretty much sounded like a Greek myth with the story of a god coming to earth and falling for an earthling (in this case a water sprite.) This results in a son, the god of dreams and love, Angus. The story of Angus is interspersed with modern day stories about dreams which serve to take most of the magic away. Not a spicy Celtic tale at ...more
There are two main reasons that I didn't particularly like this book:

1) It wasn't what I expected. That's my own fault; I thought it was going to be all about Dream Angus, the god. I thought it was going to follow his life with himself as the main character, like how a book about Coyote would include many stories of his mischief. Or an epic, like how a book about Achilles would follow his life from birth to death. The beginning of the book had a couple stories about Dream Angus, but the rest wer
Apr 23, 2014 Ria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating yet surreal account of the folktale of Dream Angus, the bringer of dreams.
Cleverly interwoven with modern vignettes of love and dreams the author magically brings myth, folklore and the modern world together.
A must for anyone into legends and tall tales, this volume has something for everyone though due to the here and now slant of modern day life and problems that people face.
An interesting read with a different, small bubble of another story contained in every chapter.
Well worth
Ancestral Gael
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
Lisa Cole
Apr 16, 2013 Lisa Cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved Dream Angus by Alexander McCall Smith. It was a quick read which kept me engaged, and Smith weaves words and sentences and stories together so beautifully; it's wonderful.

McCall Smith weaved stories of Angus (god of dreams) together with the modern tales of people who need his assistance. There was the story of the young newlywed wanting to know her husband better; the story of the two brothers; the story of Ginger and her son Mark; the story of the animal keeper at the science ce
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 ...more
Mike Clarke
Nov 08, 2012 Mike Clarke rated it it was ok
Angus, the Celts' god of dreams, youth and general gorgeousness, is the occasional hero of McCall Smith's commission in Canongate's bold Myths series. It's a powerful, affecting legend - I remember my mother singing the traditional ballad to me as a lullaby: 'dreams to sell, fine dreams to sell...' I was 41 at the time mind you...if you want to hear a modern take on the song then Barbara Dickson's rich contralto breathes life into it on her Full Circle album.

This then is a dreamy sort of book, i
"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 Smith

Sigh. 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 an
Marianne Søiland
Etter 8 bøker fra samme forfatter i serien "Damenes Detektivbyrå nr. 1", en fantastisk "feelgood krim" plassert i Gaborone/Botswana, så jeg virkelig fram til å lese denne boka som jeg fikk av Line - en helt annerledes bok av Alexander McCall Smith basert på den keltiske myten "Angus the Celtic God of Dreams". Boka er forøvrig bok nummer 6 i Myteserien. Myteserien er en internasjonal bokserie som kommer ut i over 30 land. En rekke anerkjente forfattere fra forskjellige deler av verden har skrevet ...more
Tracy Terry
The re-telling of an old Celtic myth, I'm still unsure what exactly I thought of this.

Combining (literally chapter by chapter) the story that is Angus (God of dreams and love) with a set of short contemporary stories each of which somehow connects with the previous, I'm just not too sure how well, if at all, this worked.

A short read (only 173 pages) my first problem with the book being that the author didn't quite seem to know at which age to aim the book, the mythical elements seemingly aimed a
Jun 27, 2013 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm used to reading Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, so this was a nice change of pace. In many ways, it's more substantial reading than the Ladies' series, in part because it's a modern retelling of the Celtic myth about Angus, the god of dreams, youth, and love.

Smith takes the telling in stride, giving you one or two chapters about Angus's background and then a chapter focusing on a modern-day scenario. I was afraid that Smith's "telling" rather than "showing" in the Angus chapt
May 06, 2007 liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
"Dream Angus" is one of a series of books published by Canongate that are re-workings of traditional myths from around the world by contemporary authors. We read the Penelopead by Margaret Atwood for book club and were all extremely disappointed. But I really enjoy Alexander McCall Smith, and liked "Dream Angus" a lot. Maybe just because it focuses on a Celtic god (or son of a god), Angus is a dreamgiver/eros figure. McCall Smith intersperses his retelling of Angus's life with situations where m ...more
lynne naranek
Jun 20, 2008 lynne naranek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shortstory, 2007
Never heard of Angus? Me neither! And I consider myself relatively well-exposed to Greek, Roman, Norse and some Anglo-Saxon/Celtic mythology. But no worries, Mr McCall does an excellent job of introducing us to this Celtic god of dreams.

The origins of Angus are typical: just as Zeus, king of the Greek gods, disguised himself in many different forms in order to seduce a chosen female target, the king of Celtic gods The Dagda disguised himself as a holy man and seduced Boann, a water spirit who h
May 02, 2008 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think what I liked best about this book is the introduction. I knew nothing about Angus, so was happy to get background info. And I loved these lines by Smith in his intro (and felt that they could speak to those readers of Atwood's "Penelopiad" who seemed so furious with her for her retelling):

"Purists may object to this, but myths live, and are there to be played with. At the same time, it is important to remind readers ... that if they want the medieval versions, unsullied by 21st interpola
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Myth is a cloud based upon a shadow based upon the movement of the breeze.’

Angus, we are told, is the Celtic god of dreams. He is the son of the warlike Dagda and of a water spirit called Boann. If he is the right mood, he might grant you a sight of your true love in a dream; you might even fall in love with him but it won’t be reciprocated. Angus is far too busy making mischief: stealing the palace of the gods from Dagda and turning his enemies into pigs. Until one day he is trapped in his own
Sep 12, 2008 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can do no wrong when it comes to picking books these days. My latest serendipitous choice: Dream Angus by Alexander McCall Smith. It's very different from the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Much as I liked those, I was getting a bit tired of them. I read the first of the Sunday Philosophy Club series set in Edinburgh, and it was ok, but it didn't seem to break any new ground. This though, this is really good. It's a retelling of the Scots/Irish legend of Angus, a mythical figure who brin ...more
Julie Akeman
Jan 03, 2016 Julie Akeman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first McCall Smith book I read, it was short and I was curious about what this writer was like so I picked out this book. I will have to buy it for my home library someday. I loved the writing. This was the book that got me into all his other books. The prose is beautiful and warm and it draws you into whatever world he builds. Sit back and enjoy with a mug of Earl Grey tea, it's just the perfect comfy read for a cold evening.
May 04, 2007 hadashi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up on a whim when returning a DVD to the library. This title is part of a series of contemporary retellings of ancient myths from various cultures. ("The Myth Series From Canongate.") Each one is done by a well-known, accomplished author that’s culturally appropriate: so McCall Smith, who is a Scotsman, gets Dream Angus. The chapters alternate: a scene from the Dream Angus stories, then a contemporary story. It’s a nice idea, but the problem is that you’re constantly left hanging. ...more
May 23, 2015 Lobo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Angus, az álom és a szerelem isteneként szerepel a kelta mitológiában. McCall Smith elmondja az ő történetét és közbesző néhány hétköznapibb, manapság, de legalábbis a közelmúltban Skóciában játszódó történetet, ahol mindig komoly szerepet kapnak az álmok. Elvégre a szerelem és az álmok még manapság is nagy titoknak számítanak.
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Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, and the 44 Scotland Street series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served on many national and international bodies concerned with bioethics. He was born in what ...more
More about Alexander McCall Smith...

Other Books in the Series

Canongate Myth Series (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • A Short History of Myth
  • The Penelopiad
  • Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles
  • The Helmet of Horror: The Myth of Theseus and the Minotaur
  • Lion's Honey: The Myth of Samson
  • Anna In w grobowcach świata
  • Girl Meets Boy
  • Binu and the Great Wall
  • Where Three Roads Meet: The Myth of Oedipus
  • Baba Yaga Laid an Egg

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“That of all people, it should be him; that took her aback. That the heart should settle on somebody like him; that surprised her. But she was so certain about it, so certain.” 83 likes
“Myth is a cloud based upon a shadow based upon the movement of the breeze.” 3 likes
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