Peter S. Beagle’s charming, lyrical IN CALABRIA condenses more beauty, imagination, poetry and magic than tales six times the size
Photo: Rina Weisman
Acclaimed fantasist Beagle (Summerlong) sets this charming, lyrical tale of unicorns and love on a poor little hillside farm in the toe of boot-shaped Italy, where 47-year-old Claudio Bianchi scratches out a meager existence for himself, old dog Garibaldi, goat Cherubino, three cows, a pig, and three cats. Claudio writes poetry, too, and one day a golden-white unicorn appears to him as a gentle reminder of the freedom animals and humans have lost.
Beagle’s kindly fable shows how a man who seems to have nothing can really have everything—with just a touch of magic.
Ian White at STARBURST delights in the novel.
IN CALABRIA is a simple story and a very quick read – barely 160 pages long – but Peter S. Beagle condenses more beauty, imagination, poetry and magic into this wonderful novella than most authors can pack into novels that are five or six times the length.
The stripped down simplicity of Beagle’s prose, the uncluttered authenticity of his dialogue, and the keen emotional intelligence that shines behind his words makes this – as with all his stories – an absolute joy to read. Beagle has that rare gift – the ability, within just a few words, to transport the reader completely into his universe, making the unfamiliar become vividly real. More than that, his skill at portraying genuine romantic love, the kind of honest and complicated love that transforms us as human beings and aches so hard it makes your heartbreak, is unsurpassed – and it forms the basis of an important subplot in IN CALABRIA that we deliberately didn’t mention it in the synopsis because it’s best that you discover it for yourself. Read this book, and be prepared to see the world through completely new eyes.
For more info about IN CALABRIA, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story