The Law of Dreams by Peter Behrens
A Novel

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Synopsis

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.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Peter Behrens

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Peter Behrens is the author of The Law of Dreams (which received Canada's Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and was published around the world to wide acclaim) and Night Driving, a collection of short stories. His stories and essays have appeared in many publications, including The Atlantic and Tin House. Honors he has received include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University's Creative Writing Program.
 
Published July 8, 2009 by Steerforth. 408 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Law of Dreams

Kirkus Reviews

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When Fergus breaks a promise to Molly by climbing the mast to spot land, she makes a wager with fur-trader Ormsby, who wants to enlist Fergus as an apprentice, that will later cause Fergus to abandon her.

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The New York Times

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This debut novel follows an Irish boy trying to escape the horrors of the potato famine in the 1840s.

Dec 10 2006 | Read Full Review of The Law of Dreams: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Screenwriter Behrens follows his 1987 story collection, Night Driving , with an ambitious epic that follows a hapless wee lad from the rotten potato fields of 1847 Ireland to a New England horse ranch.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Charles Foran Newsday 4 of 5 Stars "Fergus’s Atlantic crossing is one of the great set pieces in The Law of Dreams, all the more remarkable because we’ve seen it before, in almost every chronicle of the Irish diaspora.

Aug 22 2007 | Read Full Review of The Law of Dreams: A Novel

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