Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book Review: Dust by Arthur Slade


All I had to know was that the description on Amazon  said this book was for fans of Ray Bradbury (and Stephen King, but for me, Bradbury is the boss).

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.

11 comments:

Paula Wiseman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paula Wiseman said...

Wonderful- My daughter and I are Bradbury fans and downloaded the book for the very same reason. I am so glad to hear it's a winner! I'll definitely move it up in the stack.

Marian said...

I went right to the kindle store, tracked down "arthur slade dust and among the 6 arthur slade books this one was not there in a kindle version. Boo hoo.

Marian said...

correction: "arthur slade dust"

Kathleen Popa said...

Marian, yes it is. The last words in my post, "go get it," are a link that takes you to the Kindle version.

Sharon K. Souza said...

Wow, Katy, you sold me. I'm going to get it now.

Marian said...

And it says "not currently available"

Kathleen Popa said...

Marian, it doesn't say that to me. Could it be because you live in Canada? I notice on Amazon.ca, they don't offer the Kindle edition. Rats oh rats!!! You can, however, get the hardbound for a penny, used. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.ca/Dust/dp/0385730047/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1331749425&sr=8-1

Megan Sayer said...

I love love LOVED this book! Slade painted his story-world so vividly that the colours took a long while to leave me. Amazing writing!
And you've summed it up perfectly in your sentence about how he "wrote of evil and terror in a hopeful, adventure-smitten way"...exactly! Slade walks that fine line of beauty and fear so incredibly skilfully.
Unfortunately I'm not the highlighting kind. I read too fast, which I probably should try and rectify, because Chapter 26 left me with such a profound disappointment that there was nothing more to read. Definitely one to read again.

Camille Eide said...

you sold me, I bought it. I don't have a kindle but read it on a pc app or Cloud. Sounds great, thanks for the recommendation.

Kathleen Popa said...

Hooray, Camille! You're going to love the book. Just ask Megan. Who manages to read without highlighting. How's that work?