The Law of Dreams
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...more
The Law of Dreams is an original, classic journey story of one man's odyssey from extreme poverty and depridation and th...more
The story is brutal, but the writing is so poetic and lyrical - you are swept on by its beauty even as you wince as horrors of poverty and the bli...more
Peter Behrens, a screenwriter and author of the story collection Night Driving, characterizes a boy surviving the Great Famine as a modern-day Odysseus (or Ishmael), driven by fate and history. Critics praised Behrens's meticulous research; poetic, visceral prose; and period dialogue, and many commented that Fergus's Atlantic crossing was one of the most exciting journeys they had experienced secondhand. Others, however, felt that the novel was too cinematic and melodramatic, and opinions differ...more
I read it because The Cat lent it to me. The Cat is a colleague, so called, because he meowed during a conference call in his first week of work. As it turned out later, this is perfectly in keeping with his personality. One day The Cat appeared in my office bearing a water-logged copy of this book. Apparently, we had some prior conversation about it that I can't recall. He had read it and his sister had read it.
I pretty much hated it. It is the story of an Irish boy...more
First off, it all begins with what is an obviously tragic situation: the Irish famine. There is a whispered word that disease is spreading in the soil, but high up on their hill the farmers believe they are untouchable. Fergus is our protagonist, a poor, presumably fift...more
Both this no...more
Winner of the Governor General’s Award, this narrative brings us back to the 1840’s amongst Ireland’s devastating potato famine. One and a half million people perished throughout this little known crisis whereas survival and starvation were the on...more
Fergus was besieged with guilt for survi...more
Fergus goes through a lot, and sadly a lot of people die. I did not get attached to characters and did not really mind them dying. I did feel sympathy for Fergus,...more
it describes famine and starvation so vividly I felt guilty sitting down to a meal after reading it.
Bleak and grim its told through the eyes of Fergus a young man who watches his family die and his home destroyed, ends up incarcerated in an appalling workhouse, manages to escape, joins a gang of youngsters known as the bog boys living rough and on the verge of cri...more
It is a riveting tale in which Behrens draws the reader into this personal journey. Overall this is an excellent book, but I gave it 4 stars rather than 5 because of the ending. The...more
This was a beautiful book. It describes how a young tenant farmer named Fergus travels across Ireland, struggles to find work in England, and finally takes a ship to America. He experiences very different harsh, real lives, from a group of children turned bandits in order to survive to the ragged, quick-blooded workers building a railroad by cutting through raw earth.
Fergus doesn’t just encounter things. He breathes people. He wades through his surroundings...more