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The Dust That Falls from Dreams Audiobook

The Dust That Falls from Dreams: A Novel

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Audible Editor Reviews

"A very complex and moving evocation of the war." (Alex Clark, The Guardian)

Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed author of Corelli's Mandolin, here is a sumptuous, sweeping, powerfully moving new novel about a British family whose lives and loves are indelibly shaped by the horrors of World War I and the hopes for its aftermath.

In the brief, golden years of the Edwardian era, the McCosh sisters - Christabel, Ottilie, Rosie, and Sophie - grow up in an idyllic household in the countryside south of London. On one side their neighbors are the proper Pendennis family, recently arrived from Baltimore, whose close-in-age boys - Sidney, Albert, and Ashbridge - shake their father's hand at breakfast and address him as "sir". On the other side is the Pitt family: a "resolutely French" mother, a former navy captain father, and two brothers, Archie and Daniel, who are clearly "going to grow up into a pair of daredevils and adventurers". In childhood this band is inseparable, but the days of careless camaraderie are brought to an abrupt halt by the outbreak of The Great War, in which everyone will play a part.

All three Pendennis brothers fight in the hellish trenches at the front; Daniel Pitt becomes an ace fighter pilot with his daredevil tendencies intact; Rosie and Ottilie McCosh volunteer in the hospitals, where women serve with as much passion and nearly as much hardship as the men at the front; Christabel McCosh becomes one of the squad of photographers sending "snaps" of their loved ones at home to the soldiers; and Sophie McCosh drives for the RAF in France. In the aftermath of the war, as "the universal joy and relief were beginning to be tempered by...an atmosphere of uncertainty", everyone must contend with the modern world that is slowly emerging from the ashes of the old.

A wholly immersive novel about a particular time and place, The Dust That Falls from Dreams also illuminates the timeless ways in which men and women carry profound loss alongside indelible hope.

©2015 Louis de Bernieres (P)2015 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"The Dust that Falls from Dreams will no doubt be a hit with millions of fans worldwide.... De Bernieres is adept at describing how lives can be devastated in minutes." (Leyla Sanai, The Independent )

"A sweeping historical epic of love and war, one that matches Birds Without Wings and his career-high best seller Corelli's Mandolin for sheer breadth, storytelling, and emotional intensity." (Malcolm Forbes, The National)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (115 )
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4.5 (103 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jon Crawfurd ST PETERSBURG, FL USA 12-28-15
    Jon Crawfurd ST PETERSBURG, FL USA 12-28-15
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    "As good as it gets!"

    Excellent! This book follows an English family into WWI, through the war and then after. It has all that I love in a great read: a compelling story, great characters, first person excitement and pathos, with great writing and superb story telling. Every so often, I come across an excellent print book that is even better as an audio book, and this is one. The readers bring life to the story with their narration and wonderful accents: the upper class and working class British, the French, and the Americans are brought to life with believable voices. This is one of those books I did not want to finish ... I wanted it to go on forever!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie M. 08-30-15
    Annie M. 08-30-15 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WWI-era family saga done right!"
    What did you love best about The Dust That Falls from Dreams?

    Off the top of my head, I'd have to say that I love the detail that the author has put into each character, resulting in a book of quite some length (I adore the long read!). Each character is distinctly created, even the least, such as a house maid.

    I am a fan of the era, and greatly appreciate the time the author took to create a story about pre-war England, going into post-war England. I must confess that I had moments of disbelief, particularly when returning veterans of "the war to end all wars" explained, in great detail, the horrors of the trenches and the skies over France to the primary women characters. I can't get my husband to say anything about Vietnam, so it seems highly unlikely that ladies of the times would be exposed to such tales.

    Having said that, I'm glad the details are in the book and think the author did it with great creativity and at least made sure such scenes were true to the characters.

    I should also mention that this book has very serious sections with very serious characters--and then, just as one family has many different members--the book will veer off into a hilarious scene with the delightful Sophie, a Mort Saul-type character who cleverly plays with words. The narration featuring Sophie is spot-on, and I found myself smiling, even laughing.

    All in all, a very satisfying addition to the WWI family saga. I'd put this book nicely next to my most coveted Pat Barker books, as well as the two-volume Louisa Young books, "My Dear,, I Wanted to Tell You" and "The Hero's Welcome." Fans of Anthony Doer's "All the Light We Cannot See" will also get a lot out of this story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Oh, you must love Rosie and Daniel, the true protagonists, but Sophie, the bubbly, deceptively "dumb" sister, and her husband are absolutely wonderful characters. Sophie brings a little of a Rhys Bowen whimsy to the table.


    What does Avita Jay and David Sibley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Each narrator made this book and its myriad, complex characters to life. They both "made" this listen!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I just think this is a really good, solid partner to the above-mentioned novels about this era. I will read/listen again in a few years.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Downtown Abbey, and would like to read a family sage that deeply delves into love, loss, and loyalty, you will like this book tremndously.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Ripley-Smith 08-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Tried but couldn't take the boredom"
    What would have made The Dust That Falls from Dreams better?

    I listened to 3 hours of this book before giving up. It's preachy, boring and the author fancies himself a poet, but I just couldn't stomach it one minute longer. I loved his first book and that is why I bought this one.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Last Bus To Wisdom by Ivan Doig


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila McGee-Smith Amherst, NH USA 08-23-15
    Sheila McGee-Smith Amherst, NH USA 08-23-15 Member Since 2013
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    "A Good Book, But No Captain Corelli's Mandolin"
    Any additional comments?

    The name of the author drew me to this new release. I loved his last book. I really like The Dust That Falls From Dreams but the story wasn't as compelling. If you like Downton Abbey, this book will appeal - complex drama with interweaving families during World War I.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GC 10-25-16
    GC 10-25-16 Member Since 2016
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    " A wonderf book that was a pleasure to listen t"

    so sad it's over. Very well written. The characters are marvelous. The reader of the book is extraordinary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri 09-25-16
    Terri 09-25-16
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    "Can not recommend"

    Excellent performance of a story that goes nowhere slowly. I love history and rarely meet a book that I don't like. My stubborn optimism kept me listening which turned out to be regrettable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 09-20-16
    Chris 09-20-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Perfection"

    A beautiful story beautifully read. One becomes completely involved in this family's story and the destiny of the wonderfully drawn and loveable characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elijah 12-21-15
    Elijah 12-21-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Not sure what the point was."

    This novel presents a fascinating detailed account of The Great War via an English family, full of detailed airplane maneuvers, local and period slang, and large passages entirely in French. However, somewhere around the middle of the book, after the war has winded down and ended, it is unclear what the point of this novel is. It rambles on for several more hours and seems to end rather abruptly (albeit predictably). It's not that anything in this novel was bad, it's just I'm not sure it benefitted by having the bulk of the material present.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Murphy Punta Gorda, FL 02-14-16
    Janice Murphy Punta Gorda, FL 02-14-16 Member Since 2016

    jmurphy46

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    "Would be a better Mimi series"

    Not all that enjoyable & feel it could have been a shorter book. Narration was wonderful but story was rather dull.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Haven 08-31-15
    Haven 08-31-15
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    "Great Storyteller"

    He made they period of history vivid. Well worth it. I also liked Birds Without Wings.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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