With two new Peter S. Beagle books within a year, maybe the world isn’t doing so bad, after all

Excitement abounds for Peter S. Beagle’s two most recent books, IN CALABRIA and SUMMERONG.


At THE ANTICK MUSINGS OF G.B.H. HORNSWOLLGGLER, GENT., Andrew Wheeler was thrilled to receive IN CALABRIA.

And the other book is IN CALABRIA from Peter S. Beagle, whose last novel, SUMMERLONG, came out last September. Which means this is the first time Beagle has had two novels within a six-month period since…um………well, ever, as far as I can tell. This is probably a novella, though – like “Lila the Werewolf,” among other things – so you may insert an asterisk if you wish.

IN CALABRIA is out now; it hit stores in February as a hardcover. And it’s a new unicorn story – this one set in the modern world (in Calabria, as the title indicates) and featuring a farmer whose solitary happy life is upended when that unicorn wanders into his life.

Two new Peter Beagle books within a year! Maybe the world isn’t doing so bad, after all.

Richard Parks on his eponymous blog praises SUMMERLONG.

To go into that in any more detail would definitely be a spoiler, because now we’re into the territory of “what the story is actually about,” and that is for the story to tell, so I’ll leave it there. You shouldn’t, though. For those who know, you don’t need me to tell you and you probably read this before I did. For those who don’t…well, would I recommend starting your reading of Peter Beagle with SUMMERLONG? Yes I would, so long as you don’t end there. I started with THE LAST UNICORN, A
FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE, and  I SEE BY MY OUTFIT. I’m listing all three because, while The Last Unicorn was first, after that I just went looking for anything else I could find. Regardless, whichever one was first isn’t the point, because my first was just an accident of time. SUMMERLONG can be your first. If you’re the right sort of reader, it won’t be your last.


Photo: Rina Weisman



I was really surprised with IN CALABRIA because I didn’t expect it to like it as much as I liked THE LAST UNICORN. THE LAST UNICORN is one of my favorite childhood books as well as the animated movie, no one else makes unicorns look so elegant, pure, and beautiful than author Peter S. Beagle, and in this new story he reminds fans what a great job he can do when it comes writing about them.


There’s several details I liked about the story, such as Claudio’s poems, his conversations with the animals and the postman’s sister, the description of the unicorns and each of their scenes. Claudio lived alone for so long that when the unicorn appears he is reminded that there is more to the world than just the farm.

“If a poem did not tell you immediately what it was about, then, to Claudio Bianchi, it needed more help than a label was likely to provide.”

I recommend IN CALABRIA to those fans of THE LAST UNICORN and fantasy classics; no action scenes, just pure fantasy.



Though it revolves around the intriguing Lioness Lazos, whose arrival in Puget Sound brings beautiful weather and captivates the inhabitants, at its heart SUMMERLONG is about the formation and dissolution of relationships. The main characters Abe and Joanna have a comfortable relationship, one that seems almost enviable at times, but Lioness’ presence changes them. The characters acknowledge parts of themselves that have been dormant, and they grow as a result. However, they don’t necessarily grow together. This exploration of personal desire is fascinating, though somewhat melancholy.


Final verdict: Altogether, SUMMERLONG is a beautifully written novel. It has an intriguing tone that keeps you reading and its characters and the relationships they share stay with you.

For more info about IN CALABRIA, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story

For more info on SUMMERLONG, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Magdalena Korzeniewska

Design by Elizabeth Story