Listening To Dust

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Press: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 21, 2012)
Author Name:Shire, Brandon


Murder touched Stephen Dobbins when he was a young boy and left him living in a void of aching loneliness. 
A chance meeting with a young American chased away the fear that he would always be alone and brought him the prospect of a new existence.
Dustin Earl joined the military and escaped his small town Southern upbringing with the hope that he could give his mentally challenged brother a better life.
But Dustin had never known real love, an honest hug, or a simple kiss.
He considered his sexuality a weakness; a threat that had been used against those he cared about.
For eight months their relationship blossomed until Dustin suddenly returned home.
He cherished Stephen, but felt his responsibilities to his brother outweighed his own chance at happiness.
Shattered, unable to function and unwilling to accept Dustin’s departure, Stephen flew three thousand miles to get Dustin back and rekindle what they had.
But what he would learn when he got there… he could never have imagined.

From the Author

10% of the proceeds from this book are donated to LGBT Youth Charities. 
See for more details.

About the Author

Great stories should not depend on gender or sexual preference of a character, but instead upon the strength of the characters and the honesty and urgency of the story.Brandon Shire proves he understands the complexity of writing LGBT fiction from two very different viewpoints - serious and smexy. 
His serious fiction is written for those who enjoy a book which explores life's darker elements in a more literary form, while the smexy fiction is for those who enjoy a graphically erotic romance.Regardless of the differentiation above, Brandon writes for people who enjoy being challenged, and for those who strive to understand situations they don't typically encounter.
He pens raw, emotional stories about characters which readers will either love or love to hate.Life and love are pretty damned special, but neither is always perfect.
Life can be painful, and real love hard to find.
Brandon's fiction is an exploration of the (sometimes) arduous search for the happiness we all desire.


Gay & Lesbian,Literature & Fiction,Fiction,Gay,Genre Fiction

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Comment List (Total:13)

  •     An extraordinary work of literary fiction. It left me heartbroken while, at the same time, it re-affirmed for me the strength of the human spirit.
  •     Rarely do I find myself so completely engaged by a story that does not have a happy ending... rarely? It's so rare that I can count the times I've been so affected by such a story on half of one hand; maybe. But I found myself needing to get back to Brandon Shire's fabulous book Listening to Dust. It wasn't always easy to read, but it has left its mark on my soul.Listening to Dust does not, as I said, have an HEA but it is an extremely powerful and very moving story, one that will be with me for a long time to come. I will be so bold as to say that I found Listening to Dust heart-achingly compelling; the emotions it engendered ran the gamut from happiness to hatred, contentment to sorrow, yet the overwhelming feeling I was left with was that I had experienced something real.The relationships--Dustin and Stephen, Dustin and Robbie and even Stephen and Robbie--like the characters, are vivid and dynamic... and unforgettable. Brandon Shire bring to life these men and their experiences.Dustin's and Stephen's lives, in particular, have been filled with pain and loneliness, but together they find something precious.Listening to Dust is rife with the dichotomy between dreams and reality; which is preferable? And can there be one without the other? That is, for me, the ultimate message.With the outstanding storytelling I discovered in Listening to Dust, I expect to be enjoying stories from Brandon Shire for a long time to come.
  •     ~ ~ … all men had two faces; one you could see with your heart, the other you felt with your soul, and both would be captured within the contours of his hand.
  •     I managed to finish it and now I can say that it was the most depressing and helpless book I have ever read. I would even warn you, don't read it if you suffer from depression.
  •     3.5 STARSI know this is a well written story. I also know that it is an exercise in punishment. Every word I read either made me angry or sad.
  •     No HEA here. Well written, though the character development could have been better. Mostly painful memories, community hatred, and no resolution to the story.
  •     The characters and story felt very real and special. I was surprisingly involved with the story. I think that was because the main character's feelings were so powerful,...
  •     "nothing is perfect, not even love" --Brandon ShireIn "Listening to Dust" Brandon Shire's first work since his stunning debut withThe Value Of Rain,the author once again drives with poetic abandon through the landscape of the heart, ruthlessly plowing through every intersection of love and pain in this engaging and haunting 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. 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.
  •     I finished this book over a weekend, I couldn't read it all in one sitting, I had to step away to let Brandon's words sit with me.
  •     It totally broke my heart. I loved. It was very well developed, the characters are good, and the story... well it is good, and very real.
  •     5 of 5 StarsFor original review, visit the Prism Book Alliance blog online.… all men had two faces; one you could see with your heart, the other you felt...
  •     Brandon Shire has done it again with another moving tale of humanity, one that doesn't ignore the warts and the scars that come from a lifetime of difficult choices and even more difficult experiences. Listening To Dust is not a happily-ever-after romance, but it is a moving tale about the power (and the obligations) of love.This is really the story of three young men, all of whom have lost something, and who are tied to one another because of it. Stephen lost his parents almost immediately after being caught in a compromising position with another boy. Already the subject of taunts and threats, it's no wonder he hates himself for what's happened. Dustin is a rape victim, abused by his alcoholic father, who inadvertently destroyed his brother's life in an attempt to save him from the same fate. Already self-loathing, it's no surprise he heaps an impossible load of guilt upon that hatred. Robbie is that damaged brother, the boy who brings them together . . . and who unknowingly drives them apart.I'll be brutally honest. This was a book that made me angry, and which made me sad. I cried over some parts of it, and had to restrain myself from throwing my e-reader across the room over others. That's not a criticism of Brandon's writing, rather it's a mark of just how deeply he got under my skin. This is a man who knows how to build a character in your mind, and how to exploit a situation for the maximum possible emotional and intellectual impact.Brandon doesn't sugar coat his story, and doesn't shy away from the ugliness of words. Politically incorrect as they are, he understands the power that words like "dummy" have on a person, and he forces us to experience that power. He may not give his characters the ending we'd like to see, but it's clear he cares for them, and will fight for their acceptance. They're not perfect by any means, but he never allows their flaws to justify their treatment by society.A tough read, but a beautiful one, this is another example of Brandon's literary brilliance. I always feel empty and exhausted after reading one of his books, finding myself suddenly free of the walls I didn't even realize he'd built around me. Don't let me scare you away from giving him a read, though - he may challenge you and leave you broken-hearted, but he'll also win you over with the power of his storytelling.
  •     An awesome read for anyone who doesn't need fairy tales and happy endings. It touched my soul.

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