Saturday, April 25, 2009


Rating : 4.5/5
Number of Pages : 173
Series : Canongate Myth Series
Format : Mythology Retelling Novel
Reason for Reading : 999 Challenge

A re-telling of Angus, a Celtic figure who was the son of the Dagda and a water spirit Boann. Angus comes in the night and bestows dreams and this tale is a mixture of the original myth and stories of people set in our current time. Boann is married to another man when Dagda sees her and desires her. After she becomes pregnant he leaves her but returns to take Angus when he is born against her wishes. When he grows into manhood he tricks his father out of his Kingdom and later falls in love with a woman he sees in a dream. She is someon unattainable who turns in to a swan for alternate years. The ending of Angus' story is beautiful and has the two finding happiness together.

The tale is interspersed with fragments and dreams of more modern people. The final story was my favourite and is of a woman whose husband has been having an affair. She leaves him and enters therapy. One night she dreams that she stands up to her husband who then reaches out to her saying he had long hoped she would come but was too afraid to ask her. Soon after she drives past their old house and he comes over to her and reaches for her through the car window. It was a beautiful tale and a lovely way to finish this enchanting short novel.

This is one of my favourites so far in the series and I am definitely interested in reading more of McCall Smith's writing. Recommended for anyone with a passion for mythology or a damn good story.

6 comments:

Darla D said...

Ooh, this one sounds intriguing. Maybe I will pick this one for my next Canongate series book. I read the first No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book and enjoyed it.

Chris said...

I want to read this one so badly...the only one I've read in the myth series is The Penelopiad and I REALLY enjoyed that one! I have Weight on it's way to me...looking forward to that one too.

Ladytink_534 said...

Angus was the name of a Celtic king is I'm remembering correctly? I'm not that up-to-date on Celtic mythology... this one sounds very good!

Marg said...

I read this a while ago and really enjoyed it! The other myths books I have read from this series tended to all be one story, so I found it interesting that this one was more a collection of short stories.

Carl V. said...

I didn't realize he wrote books like this. I know my wife is a big fan of the mystery series. I'll have to have her look out for this one, for both of us.

Nymeth said...

Yes yes yes! I'm so glad you loved it too.