Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Book Review: Dust by Arthur Slade
That, and that the beautifully drawn cover promised something magical, and I love magical stories.
It also helped that on the day I bought it, the Kindle edition of Dust sold for $1.49. Little did I guess - till I began to read - what a bargain it was.
The story began with a boy, Matthew Steelgate, seven years old, walking a dust-bowl era country road into town, where he would buy candy and meet up with his parents. By the end of the chapter, I knew the gut-chilling reason why he wouldn't get there.
What I didn't know and never expected was what would happen next: how his parents and the rest of his small farming community would succumb to the charms of a man who proposed a project that would bring rain to their parched land and glossy perfection to their lives. I wasn't entirely surprised to learn that the only one with the clarity and wonder needed to save Matthew and the several other children who'd gone missing was a child himself.
I was surprised at how artfully Arthur Slade had written this story, how the villain frightened me most chillingly when he was most gracious, how Slade wrote of evil and terror in a hopeful, adventure-smitten way that made me love life for its mystery and beauty. Ray Bradbury? Close. Wonderfully close.
I'm dying to tell you about the last chapter. I could so easily type for you the words I highlighted and would have drawn stars around if my Kindle allowed such things. I could riff on the soul-less cult of Perfect, and I could ...
But I won't. I don't want to spoil a thing for you.
But after you've read it, I'd love to know which paragraph you highlighted in Chapter 26. Or anyplace else for that matter.
Oh - the price for the Kindle edition is now $3.99. An ever-loving miraculous bargain. Go get it.