Thursday, June 30

Book Review: Dust to Dust

Title: Dust to Dust

Author: Timothy Findley

Pages: 225

Summary: Dust is everywhere, but what is it? I it the dust of death, blowing across a Mediterranean island and etched by the footprints of a small boy? Is it the fine but offending particles on the wings of angels and archangels so carefully brushed away by th Vergerine sisters in the nave of the cathedral? Or is it the smoke languidly rising from that one illicit cigarette?

In Dust to Dust, Timothy Findley weaves the consciousness of mortality with the everyday acts of living and loving, of desire and faith. The result is a wonderful collection of unforgettable stories which swings with a smooth arc between joy and bitterness, satire and candor, comedy and tragedy.

The Collection Includes:
Kellerman's Windows
A Bag of Bones
Come as You Are
Hilton Agonistes
The Madonna of the Cherry Trees

My Rating: 8/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: What made this collection of short stories, was Timothy Findley's writing style. He has both an elegant style, and is able to be tell blunt and bitter stories lines, without affecting his style. I found it very easy to just lose myself in the writing style and how he told the story, even the ones I didn't like as much, I still found that I was able to enjoy some aspect of it. It really show the author's brilliance at writing, when he can keep my interest based on just the plot, even if the plot of the actual story isn't as good.

I'm not sure I have a favourite story, but I did enjoy Dust and Abracadaver. Most deal with death, dying or suicide. It was interesting topic - morality throughout the book. I think the metaphor of dust and how it was tied into the topic of morality, death etc. Was well done, it was subtle, but it was an interesting tie in.

Some of the short stories were just not to my taste - which is part of my issue with it. Some of the characters within in aren't my favourite, they were bitter, dealing with their inner demons - which I liked how all the characters were flawed characters, deeply flawed, but some were just a little too cruel and bitter - it made it hard to like some of them.
Overall, I enjoyed the collection of stories. Timothy Findley was a brilliant author, and I look forward to more of his works.

Would I recommend it to read: Yes, this collection of stories is one not to miss. The stories may be bitter at times, but the writing is beautiful - highly recommend the author.

What to read next: He has another collection of short stories called Stones, so I'd try that. Also his short novel The Wars was brilliant. Also, to promote Canadian short stories - Alice Munro is also a wonderful, Canadian short story author

Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge, A - Z Challenge

Also Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians out there!


  1. I have a book by Findlay on my shelves called Not Wanted on the Voyage that I have been wanting to read for a long while, and also have heard excellent things about. This collection sounds excellent as well. I just finished a great short story collection called Love Begins in Winter by Simon Van Booy, and I have to say it was truly magical. I would recommend it if you are looking for more short stories to tempt yourself with!

  2. I still haven't read anything by Findley, but this sounds like an excellent recommendation!

  3. Very intriguing! Maybe it's time for me to start collecting Timothy Findley's books. 'Bitter yet beautifully written',that's what I'm looking for.

  4. Zibilee - I've heard good things about that one, although until recently haven't heard of that title by Findley. Hmm thanks for the temptation, I may look into that one,

    Emeire - Oh, you should give him a try, start off with his short story collections. He was a very talented author.

    Sam - This book is exactly that. I'm not sure if his others have the same theme, lovely writing in all of them, but he's worth reading.