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Dream Angus: The Celtic God of Dreams

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,182 ratings  ·  295 reviews
Dream Angus comes to you at night and bestows dreams—you may spot him skipping across the hills, his bag of dreams by his side. Just the sight of him may be enough to make you fall in love, for he is also the god of love, youth, and beauty. Divine Angus is cherished by all but fated to love only the beautiful Caér, swan maiden from his own dreams.

Crafting an ancient myth i
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Published October 23rd 2006 by Brilliance Audio (first published 2006)
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Penny Definitely. It's very sensitive and thought provoking ... a gentle collection of connected stories around the myth of Dream Angus.
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Average rating 3.26  · 
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 ·  2,182 ratings  ·  295 reviews

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Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, library
Part of the myth series (contemporary retellings of myths), this one tells the story of Aengus , the Irish god of dreams, love and youth. Alexander McCall Smith intersperses his versions of the original tales with stories set in modern times with similar themes. It started quite blandly I thought, but then I really got into and quite enjoyed it particularly the latter stories “is there a place for pigs there?” And “I dream of you”. Angus falls in love with a girl in his dreams, she’s a swan alte ...more
Mar 16, 2009 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
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
Ruth P
May 10, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
AMS is a prolific writer...but I hadn’t read anything by him before as the books had never appealed...I have not changed my mind after reading this.
A short ( thankfully) book about a Scottish mythological creature interspersed with modern day tales..all a bit pointless and sorry to say,boring.
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
Jan 11, 2009 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
Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader

I hadn't read any works by Alexander McCall Smith before this if I'm going to be entirely honest, I'd heard about his books, was interested but hadn't gotten around to it until now.

Thank you to Canongate Books for sending me a copy of this, I was so excited as I love takes on mythology.

Dream Angus gives us an interwoven work of short stories that spans the ages to give us a more modern day retelling of the Celtic God of Dreams, Angus.

One thing that i
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like poetry. I loved this book and how it interspersed the retelling of Dream Angus with modern stories, which were parallels or companions to the myths. I loved the emotional resonance that carries over from the myths into the modern stories, and their psychological realism, even though they, too, didn't seem quite real, as if they also belonged to the realm of the mystical, seeming altogether larger than life. What a gorgeous, wonderful experience.

I read this on the heels of reading Gilgamesh
Sep 18, 2014 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 it
Ancestral Gaidheal
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
May 01, 2008 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 information. And I loved these lines by Smith in his introduction (and felt that they could speak to those readers of Atwood's The Penelopiad who seem 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 b
Lisa Cole
Apr 16, 2013 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
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
Sep 12, 2008 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
B. Asma
Oct 23, 2011 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
Jun 01, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As much as I absolutely love Alexander McCall Smith, this book was a little too weird for me--I can see why I found it at the dollar store. It was really short and I guess it's part of a longer series, each one about different myths. It's based on the myth of Angus, Celtic God of Dreams, and the stories about him are bizarre--but no more so than the crazy stories from Greek Mythology.

McCall Smith retells the myth, but adds a few stories of his own--well-written, but too short--I wanted more deta
Aug 22, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
"Dream Angus comes to you at night and bestows dreams -- you may see him skipping across the hills, his bag of dreams by his side. Just the sight of him maybe enough to make you fall in love, for he is also the god of love, youth, and beauty. Dream Angus is cherished by all but fated to love only the beautiful Caer, swan maiden from his own dreams.

"Crafting an ancient myth into stories fabulously and irresistibly new, Dream Angus is a wonderful example of Alexander McCall Smith's renowned storyt
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"... everyone we resent is ultimately just like us" reflects a character after feeling annoyed that people have parked in front of her cottage to go shopping down the road.

The profound and the mundane come together in this most mystical of McCall Smith's books, as they do in all of them. It is one of his gifts -- to see the universal in the everyday -- and always in the direction of kindness.

The book connects aspects of an ancient Scottish myth with short contemporary stories centered on love an
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Another installment of the Canongate myth series, Dream Angus is McCall Smith’s reinterpretation of the Irish mythological figure of Aengus, god of love, youth, and poetry. I’m not very familiar with Irish mythology (working on it), and appreciate how McCall Smith juxtaposed snippets of the Aengus myth with his short stories to provide context and thematic consistency.

I’ve only read two of McCall Smith’s works before this (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and his retelling of Emma), and reading
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
After completing Alexander McCall Smith's "Dream Angus: The Celtic God of Dreams" audio book, I have made it my goal to see what other twists the fellow authors of the series have made to the legends and myths of lore.

One would think that a book about dreams, heard early enough on a morning commute, would cause one to want to fall into a deep slumber themselves (either due to the imagery that comes to mind while listening along, or due to the narrator's voice). This was not the case, and in fac
Ella (The Story Collector)
A retelling of the Celtic myth of Dream Angus; a god of love, beauty and dreams.

This has to be one of my favourites of the Canons myth collection. I don’t know any Celtic mythology, so it was great to read a story I wasn’t already familiar with, and it’s a really good one. The tale is simple, and Alexander McCall Smith has presented the ancient myth alongside contemporary stories, almost like different reincarnations of Angus and the effect he has on the individuals in each story.

Smith’s writing
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I either wasn't in the right mindset to read this book, or it's just not that good. I hope it's the former.
The reading slump continues, but what I do have to say about this books is that, even though gorgeous both in writing and storytelling, it often felt forcedly lyrical, as if pompous and profound phrases were the main tools used to write this book. Some parts I really enjoyed for their beauty, but the others were kind of annoying.

Some parts of the stories felt rushed and pointless and eve
Oh, dear. Not a book for women who want to see ourselves with any kind of agency. In the myth portion, women are raped, have their resulting children kidnapped by the father, have no power over their lives, are objectified and desired to be possessed because of their beauty and are then given away by their fathers with no thought about their own wishes. In the contemporary portions, women ore economically or emotionally dependent on distant, boring or cheating husbands. And all this is described ...more
Eeeeennhhh. I was super excited to start reading the Canongate Myth Series, and this was the first one I could get my hands on. It wasn't exactly what I hoped. I expected a more modern interpretation, or any kind of fresh take. This read like a standard synopsis you'd find in a textbook. There wasn't anything wrong with it, it just wasn't anything particularly exciting. Some parts of it worked (interestingly enough, the bits talking about Angus' influence on people's daily life were the best), b ...more
Shirley Brown
I thought this was going to be another easy enjoyable read. It was not anything that I was familiar with. I recently finished another story, "The Penelopaid by Margaret Atwood, and I must say I enjoyed this myth more. I may venture into more of the Myths series. I'm not sure I understand all the myth had to offer, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It shows the breadth of Smith's writing abilities.
Iman Maity
The whole book is like a dream. You sometimes found yourself in between a situation. Most of the time it closes suddenly.
Though the actual Celtic mythology part is very small, I liked it more than the modern stories.
Modern stories are influenced by Angus and Celtic mythology. Most of the time they are not so interesting and some times I didn't get them.
I may have to read it again to understand it better. But not now, may be after reading more Celtic myths.
Beverly J.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An utter delight. I ran across this at a little book sale, such a lucky find. Written as vignettes, there are multiple incarnations of the Celtic god Angus. Alexander McCall Smith did a great job which this one. It is apparently part of The Canongate Myths series which are short novels in which ancient myths from myriad cultures are reimagined and rewritten by contemporary authors. I will definitely be trying to find more of these.
Jess Hill
Not much of a thinker, and I easily digested this book in a few short sessions. Sadly I don't think I really have any emotion towards the book as a whole, but I like the premise of the fable-esque chapters - even if the characters could have been developed a little further (especially Angus, who I don't really understand - perhaps I'm not supposed to?) and the slightly random accompanying 'present day' stories.

Short, sweet and simple to read, but not sure I would recommend.
Sarah Eagle
I liked that the myth of Angus was interspersed with ways that he meddles with people’s lives in modernity. The prose was very prettily written. However, I wish that the non-myth stories were more closely related. A lot of them felt random, and only one of the stories went anywhere, and loosely at that.
Marie Winger
Aug 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book is based on the Celtic God Angus who brings people dreams. It alternates between retold myths of Angus and original short stories. The later are supposed to reflect on the myths. The myths were ok but I felt the original stories were mean spirited. If it hadn't been so short I would have stopped reading it.
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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

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