Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review: "The Law of Dreams" by Peter Behrens

From Goodreads:  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.

My Thoughts: This is going to be a short review because I am not quite sure what to say about this book.  It wasn't a bad story by any means, it was just different than most books I normally read.  The writing was good and the story kept me interested it was just kind of like getting slapped in the face with extreme poverty and hardship.  The story starts in Ireland during the famine and moves through poverty-stricken parts in London and ends in Canada.  Behrens shows no mercy in his tale of Fergus and his struggle to survive and the story is 'nasty and brutish' (to paraphrase Thomas Hobbes).  Death and violence are ever present and Fergus' tale is a really sad one.  Behrens made it clear through the story that sometimes things were done in order to survive and because of the extreme poverty his characters faced, the reader shouldn't judge them.  One thing I didn't love, there is a lot of sex in this book.  That doesn't normally bother me but at times, it seemed really unneccessary to the rest of the story.  Overall, an interesting read.  It definitely left me thinking and I feel like I am still thinking it through.  3 stars.

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