Peter S. Beagle’s lovely IN CALABRIA is worth the read
CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS praises Peter S. Beagle’s IN CALABRIA.
I found this novella to be lovely. While there are unicorns, the story is really about how Claudio Bianchi deals with and is changed by them. Claudio is a cranky middle-aged farmer who lives on a farm in the Calabria region of Italy. He is a bit of a loner that writes poetry. So when he wakes one morning to find a unicorn on his farm in the middle of nowhere, his world is irrevocably changed.
I loved Signore Bianchi. For being salty, he has a good heart. Even his farm animals have great personalities. The ending was a little unusual but the journey of watching Bianchi’s relationships with the unicorn and other folk makes it worth the read.
Photo: Rina Weisman
BIBLIOPHIBIAN INC enjoys the fantasy.
IN CALABRIA is a quiet sort of story. It has dramatic moments, certainly, but those weren’t what will stick in my mind in the slightest. What will stick in my mind is Claudio’s quiet care for the unicorn, his moments of inspiration, and his love for Giovanna. He opens up, going from old curmudgeon with a heart of gold to a man who loves, who is brave, who will put himself on the line — and it’s because of the unicorn.
IN CALABRIA is more like that, a fable or fairy story, though I wouldn’t say it has something as simple as a moral. What’s nice is that, along with the serious moments and the warmth and tenderness, there’s a lot of humour as well. Like Claudio being grateful that Giovanna bought him pyjamas during a critical and dramatic moment…
The book remains on the Borderland Books bestseller list.
Borderlands Best-Selling Titles for April, 2017
1. THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE by John Scalzi
2. WALKAWAY by Cory Doctorow
3. WITHIN THE SANCTUARY OF WINGS by Marie Brennan
4. NORSE MYTHOLOGY by Neil Gaiman
5. NEW YORK 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
6. SEVEN SURRENDERS by Ada Palmer
7. 1636: MISSION TO THE MUGHALS by Eric Flint & Griffin Barber
8. BORNE by Jeff VanderMeer
9. IN CALABRIA by Peter S. Beagle
10. THE WRONG DEAD GUY by Richard Kadrey
For more info about IN CALABRIA, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story