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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Line Between - Peter S. Beagle

Read for the Mythopeoic Award and Once Upon a Time II Challenges.

I need to read more Peter Beagle. I’ve read The Last Unicorn, but it was long enough ago that I only remember the bare bones outline of the story. I picked up this book of short stories out of the Mythopoeic award list because I know I liked that book, and was sure I’d enjoy more of his work. It turned out to be a great teaser.

There is Last Unicorn story, which Beagle promises will likely become a full length novel of its own. There’s also a story that is back story for a character in The Innkeeper’s Song. I’d not heard of that book until I saw it beside The Line Between on the library shelf. In the story notes, Beagle names it his favorite of his novels. I’ll definitely now need to read it.

The tie in stories out of the way, I confess that my favorite stories were those that were set in the almost completely real world. “El Regalo” is a great story of a girl and her kid brother, who turns out to be a witch. Their extremely typical adventure, well except for magic, is just a great story of sibling bonding. Another great story is “A Dance for Emilia”. This story could be set in the house across the street, until almost the very end. It’s a wonderfully inventive way to deal with feelings of loss.

“Mr. Sigerson” is a great little story, especially since it’s the second Sherlock Holmes story I’ve read in a short story anthology where it’s clearly Mr. Holmes, but he’s never mentioned by name. There’s also a fairy tale: “Salt Wine”, as well as four fables.

This is a great set of stories. The range of stories and settings makes for great reading.


Jenn said...

I LOVED Innkeeper's Song! I keep meaning to reread Last Unicorn (it was out of print up until like 2 years ago!), too. I'll have to check out the stories.

Nymeth said...

Sounds like an amazing read! I absolutely love the way Peter S. Beagle writes, and I can't wait to read more of his work.

Megan said...

Yeah, I think the Last Unicorn was one of the first books P ever lent me. That's when I knew he was a keeper ;)