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on March 22, 2013 :
After the HEA of Afflicted, this was a much harder read. I always want everything to work out and be wrapped up in a pretty bow and I knew from the first chapter that wasn't possible. It was painful and heartbreaking at times, but also tender and loving. I am so happy to have found Brandon Shire's work and look forward to reading more from him.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on May 24, 2012 :
In Listening to Dust, Brandon Shire's first work since his stunning debut with The Value of Rain, the author once again drives with poetic abandon through the landscape of the heart, ruthlessly plowing through the intersection of love and pain, in this engaging and haunting new work. In London, Stephen Dobbins, whose parents were murdered for mysterious political reasons, meets Dustin Earl, a drunk American soldier with a troubled past and an uncertain future. Dustin's tour of duty has just finished and Stephen takes him home. Their night together engages Stephen's emotions but Dustin explodes with anger the next morning and disappears. He returns eventually and begins a tenuous relationship with Stephen that grows deeply over the course of eight months. From the outset Dustin makes it clear that he will, for family reasons, return to his home and eventually does leaving Stephen bereft and lonely. Stephen hides out in France for a year before finally deciding to go to America to bring Dustin back to America to bring Dustin back. He is unprepared for what he finds in America where an awful irony accentuates the paths that love and pain travel together, where love can not save anyone from death, but death cannot destroy love.
Listening to Dust is well worth reading many times. There are no wasted words, no comforting platitudes, no perfect romances just life told by a master story teller with a razored and haunting insight into heart and soul.
(reviewed the day of purchase)