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Listening To Dust by Brandon Shire

Listening To Dust (edition 2012)

by Brandon Shire

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254428,870 (4.5)None
Title:Listening To Dust
Authors:Brandon Shire
Info:TPG Books (2012), Kindle Edition
Collections:Your library
Tags:gay, fiction, romance

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Listening To Dust by Brandon Shire



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There aren't enough stars for a book like this.

This isn't my typical style of review because I just can't. I can't really read my kindle highlights to share those thoughts. My eyes are too full. I'll explain below, why I've just had to take a different approach here.

70%, 70% is where I cracked. Broken. Crushed and flayed wide open. Until the end and well beyond.

I could easily let go and curse out Brandon Shire. I could easily hate an author that can cause me so much pain. I suppose I'm a masochist though, and actually love that he can reach me like that.

When endless media incursion causes me to tune out and block out the noise, to become numb and uncaring, it's good to find that I can still be moved. To find that my humanity and passion are still alive. Brandon Shire has a way of awakening every sense, with imagery and emotion, vivid and tangible. In this book, you will be there, with the characters, smelling, feeling, wanting. Wanting so badly.

I'm not writing any sort of synopsis because I believe this book should be discovered entirely for yourself. I can't imagine two people finding the same things here. So I can't tell you what it's about, for you. To be sure, there are overarching themes, but the subtle layers of understanding will develop differently for everyone. This is a simple story with incredibly complex problems. Problems that are so big it's easier to look away. But don't look away. Read this book. Tell friends about it. Until our humanity is flawless read this book and books that keep reaching us.

I have to say one last thing. It will only mean something to a few GR friends but it matters. Plus, I need to release a little pent up frustration and between this read and some comments made in an unrelated GR thread, I have to let it go. *I only read male/male romance for the sex. (That is hostile sarcasm, by the way, and should not be construed as truth, by anyone).


Take a look at my Male/Male Romance Book Blog:

http://www.attentionisarbitrary.blogspot.com ( )
  LisaT131 | Sep 21, 2013 |
This is my second read by Brandon Shire. The first, The Value of Rain, blew me way with its passionate, multi-generational family drama featuring a gay main character. I was thus eager to accept a second arc from Shire, and I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed.

There are some commonalities in the stories. Both feature a gay man who grew up in an unaccepting family and show the impact that has on their lives. But that’s where the similarities cease. Listening To Dust is really about a gay man who grew up with an accepting and loving grandmother trying to come to terms with who his lover is and was and how his lover’s family affects and affected him. This book is really more about what it is to love someone who suffers from deep childhood wounds. The difficult path that is to follow and how many pitfalls exist in it. I also appreciated seeing the far-reaching impact lack of love and family acceptance has. It doesn’t just affect the people raised in that family.

The writing is again gorgeous. Even now I can feel the hot dustiness of Dustin’s hometown and also the comforting cool greenery of Stephen’s grandmother’s French cottage. Shire elicits both place and emotions so powerfully that it is impossible not to be moved by the story.

I also really enjoyed the various commentary throughout the book on love, words, and actions. What love is, what it does, and whether words or actions are worth more. The sex scenes manage to be steamy and emotional. What I might call literary sex scenes. When I read them, I felt them in my knees.

So what held me back from 5 stars? I wasn’t a huge fan of Stephen’s voice, although I respected his experiences. He sometimes grated on me a bit. I’m not sure if it was his slight Britishisms or how much he got hung up in his own head but he sometimes irritated me in a way that kept me from getting completely engrossed in the story. But this is a small thing, really, when compared to the story as a whole and the beautiful writing.

Overall, this is a book that sweeps the reader away to multiple, disparate places to explore both love and the far-reaching affects of a harsh family life. It should appeal to any who enjoy a heart-breaking contemporary GLBTQ romance.

Check out my full review: http://wp.me/pp7vL-10i, featuring quotes! ( )
  gaialover | Aug 24, 2013 |
This novel is short and yet immense; it’s deeply romantic but so tragic; it’s about regenerating love and devastating death.

I don’t want to give out much about the novel, and in the end you will learn everything, even too much, right at the beginning, but be prepared to read about the love and loss of Englishman Stephen and his American lover Dustin. When Dustin fell in love with Stephen, he was completely unprepared, no one has ever loved him if not his handicapped brother Robbie and an old school teacher, Miss Emily. But loving Stephen, in a faraway country from his conservative Southern small town meant leaving behind those two people, and for Dustin leaving Robbie was not an option.

It broke my heart when Dustin left Stephen, but indeed the organ was already damaged, because the author chooses a narrative plot that starts from the end to going back to the beginning, and so the reader already knows what is the fate of Dustin and Stephen. In a way, the author is not deceiving anyone, he is not letting you hope in an happily ever after, and so you can concentrate on the rough feelings you are experiencing reading the novel, like voluntarily spreading salt on an open wound, you know it will hurt but maybe that sudden pain will be more bearable than the continuous aching.

  elisa.rolle | Dec 13, 2012 |
Author: Brandon Shire
Published by: TPG Books
Age Recommend: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Raven Rating5
Blog Review For: GMTA

"Listening to Dust by Brandon Shire was a very sad fiction for me. I don't read many gay books however, this title caught my interest and I am glad I did read it. The novel was definitely one that was of "love, hate, loss, passion, compassion and much pain." The author was excellent at telling this story that will grab you from the very beginning till the end. I found that as a read this novel, I was left believing that this really happens in real life. You will be left wanting more if there could be any more....WoW!

In the novel..."Listening to Dust" you will find two young from different backgrounds...that are brought together and then torn apart. With Stephen his parents had been murdered and he meets Dustin who was a drunk American soldier with a troubled pass... and love is found by these two men, but is torn away due to the fact that Dustin has to go back home to see to his younger brother.

How this all of this is played out is a work of art by this author ... after a year Stephens finally comes to America in search of Dustin...and he wasn't prepared to what he found...Was it too late? Now, you will have to pick up this excellent read and find out the conclusion and don't be surprised just how it all turns out.... because "nothing is perfect, not even love."

I found "Listening to Dust" was a excellent read that I would recommend. ( )
  arlenadean | Jun 4, 2012 |
Showing 4 of 4
added by gsc55 | editPrism Book Alliance, Lirtle (Jan 31, 2015)
added by gsc55 | editBoys in our Books, Sue (Dec 5, 2013)
Brandon Shire is a master of storytelling who, in his new novel, takes his readers on an extraordinary journey that grabs them from its very first words—the dark, reflective intonations of its title. Truth is, when something evokes so powerful emotions as Listening to Dust does, it leaves readers speechless, breathless, and wanting—to read more or to reread the story, if
possible, to interact with its characters and their journeys.
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