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.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content