Imagine a Depression-era town where it hasn't rained for years. A pale rainmaker with other-worldly eyes brings rain to the countryside and mesmerizes the townspeople, but the children begin to disappear one by one. Only young Robert Steelgate is able to resist the rainmaker's spell and begin the struggle to discover what has happened to his missing brother and the other children.
©2001 Arthur Slade (P)2015 Arthur Slade
I expect to listen to Dust a few more times. I have read the story a few times and having the author read it makes it all that much better.
The opening scene where the boy is abducted. Time stretched and tension built.
Perhaps the butterfly scene in the schoolhouse.
This is my favorite Art Slade book. So far. And Art knows how to pronounce coyote.
Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving!
It was a magical story, scary but not too gruesome or filled with inappropriate language for kids. For an adult, it is both an enthralling tale and a trip back to that Tom Sawyer age and time. I would give it to anyone from about ten years old on up.
The most memorable moments for me are right at the end and definitely spoilers, but as the story starts out ordinary and normal, when little Matthew meets the strange pale man and gets into his truck, we know something is going to happen. That moment of foreboding, when you want to yell at the kid, "Don't do it!" is the turning point of the story's beginning.
I loved Robert: his sadness and concern about his missing brother, his quiet observation of everything that goes on around him, his growing skepticism and suspicion about Abram, the rainmaker. He's no big action hero, but he's always watching and thinking, and he cares about doing the right thing.
What price for rain is too much in a time of drought?
Exquisite work! I was not prepared to go back to my days as a kid reading Ray Bradbury and Zenna Henderson. I had to stop everything and listen to the end, and now I want to hear it again. I am gobsmacked.
Set in a dry, dusty Canadian town during the Depression Era, young Robert Steelgate is missing his young brother Matthew. Yet the disturbing thing is that he seems to be the only person missing him. A stranger comes to town promising rain and that is the same time kids start disappearing. Coincidence, or not?
This book was like a really good episode of The Twilight Zone. Things start off so plain, so dried out, so matter-of-fact. Then young Matthew, who insisted he be allowed to walk to town that day (instead of riding in the cart with his mom), meets a pale stranger (Abram Harisch) on the road. Meanwhile, Robert is left at home to read his science fiction story (The Warlock of Mars) that his uncle lent him. Reluctantly, Robert sets his book aside to see to the chickens like he promised only to find some scared chickens and some nasty blood eggs. Yuck! That’s when Sargent Ramson and Officer Davies show up to take Robert to town to be with his family as they begin the search for Matthew.
With a blend of historical fiction, mystery, and science fiction, the author spins a tale of a town hoping too hard for good rains, of good people willing to let their memories of lost children slip from them, and of how one boy with a strong, questioning imagination may be the only one to save them. Quite frankly, it was those scared chickens and their blood eggs that sucked me into the story. It was spooky and yet the biologist in me wanted an egg to examine. But I couldn’t have one of those eggs, but I could examine this story. From there, I wasn’t disappointed.
Abram with the odd eyes (I think he’s an albino) sets up a movie screen and the town gathers to see the attraction. Once the stranger has gained some small amount of trust with the town, he starts setting in his motion his bigger plan: promise the rains & happiness, take their wealth & memories, keep his end of the bargain with an unknown entity (which means more children disappear). At one point, Abram confides a bit in Robert because Robert has this innate ability to see through Abram’s charms. That was an eerie scene!
The ending reveals the master plan of Abram while also keeping some things up to the reader to decide. I liked that there was a little mystery left over at the end. We have everything resolved that counts, but the exact how and why of it may never be fully understood. Also, there is some wonderful imagery involving butterflies and moths. It’s a recurring small touch that kept me hooked. I was quite pleased with the ending. Not everything ended in rainbows but enough did for me to say it was a happy ending for our main character, Robert.
I received a copy of this book at no cost from the author with no strings attached.
Narration: Arthur Slade was pretty good as a narrator for this story. He had distinct voices for each person and decent female voices. I especially liked his voice for Robert’s uncle who was always giving him SFF books that his mom might not approve of.
Librarian with chronic migraines which cuts into reading a LOT so I listen and it is awesome for me keeps me in the blogging/reviewing game.
It is depression times and the farmers are in the middle of a drought. Young Robert's brother has disappears and months latter it is like Robert is the only one that remembers his brother even existed. A odd man shows up in town promising he can make it rain if the towns people help him build a rainmill. Robert's father signs right up but Roberts uncle refuses not trusting the man. Things get even stranger from there, but somehow Robert is not affected and must help save his brother, family, friend, and possibly the whole town.
This book started right off with high octane suspense and never stopped. The characters are all very well put together and very interesting. I had the audio version which the author narrated himself and did a awesome job. The different voices for the different characters were really good and he really made the story come alive for me through the eyes of young Robert, it was amazing. I hope there are more books like this because I really enjoyed this audio and will definitely look for from this author.
This is a clever coming of age novel set in a Depression-Era Canadian town. I found it very well written, and well read. The story and characters are interesting. I don't want to give away any of the plot as it is crafted quite well, building to a natural and satisfying conclusion. Recommended.
Yes I would definitely recommend this audiobook, it was a good book to listen to and the narrator read very well and was not just a boring voice. He made the characters come alive to me.
The ending was the best, the way the story turned out. Happy and sad
Knowing that the Author is the narrator is great because he made me feel that the characters were real. Even the changing of his voice for each one was great.
No, I actually listen to my books when I need to calm down because I have an anxiety disorder but I very well could have listened to the whole thing, it was that good
Love Arthur Slade books!!!!!!
Mysterious, Fantastical, and brilliant
This narrator did a great job. It was the first of his work I had listened to, I will be on the look out for more. Very well done.
Robert Steelgate is an unusual hero,he has an insight or talent that allows him to see what others don't if it be threw the omen of blood eggs or the ability to see through what others want him to believe about their good intentions and helpful nature.
He is the only one who can find his missing little brother, there are strange forces taking over the town's people if it be a form of mesmerizing or dark forces, they seem obsessed over one thing and seldom remember that there are children missing.
Other than Robert the only other adult that has not bought into Abram is the Monty Sargent Ransom.
This story was fantastical in both the events that unfold and the vocabulary used to tell the story.The ending leaves just the right amount of mystery for the reader to continue what was going on in the end. The narrator did a great job with this story and I think it will be a book that schools could use in Middle grade to further language and vocabulary skills of their students.
This book starts out with the question "do you like being young?" Young Matthew says, yes I do. And there starts the tale. The setting of this story is in depression-era Upper Canada, a time of drought. A little brother disappears, a mysterious stranger arrives, and an 11 year old boy wants to bring home his sibling. Wonderfully told, excellent descriptions, characters that I could sympathize with, and a Canadian Mountie to boot. A very interesting, spooky tale of a quest for eternal life and a young child that wants to set things right and bring lost children home.
I was fortunate enough to enjoy the Audible version of this book, which is read by the author himself. I recommend reading/listening to it. Perfect read for this Halloween time of year.
I really enjoyed this book. I know that the narrator is the author, and I think he would do this book a lot of justice in getting someone professional to narrate the book. It would make a HUGE difference. With the right narrator, this book would have gotten 5 stars from me.
This book has that creepy, sneak up on you feel that you get from reading a Stephen King book, but at a RL Stine level. These are TOTAL compliments by the way. I really enjoyed the story. I would say that this book would be a total hit for young kids about the age of 12 or so up to adults.
I don't like to spoil anything so I will say this. The characters in this book could liven up a bit. We really do not get to know them very well. I would like to see more into them. One character was never fully explained to me, but that might be the point. I am going to contact the author (hopefully I will get a response) and see if can get some insight! HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!!
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