Peter S. Beagle’s different SUMMERLONG is quite enjoyable

MY READING LIST’s first Peter S. Beagle experience SUMMERLONG was a favorable one.

I love the classic fantasy story with adventure and romance and plot twists and magic. But it can get very scripted and boring, because everyone wants to stick to the same mold. This story gave me the opportunity to break away from the stereotypical stories that form this genre, and try something new.

On a rainy February night, like every other, Abe and his long-time girlfriend Joanna head to their favorite local restaurant and meet waitress Lioness Lazos, who is new in town and has no place of her own. From the moment they meet her, they are intrigued and enchanted and cannot help but be drawn to her. Joanna is quick to suggest that Lioness move in to Abe’s garage, and Lioness agrees happily. Joanne and Abe could never have predicted that this one event would change their lives forever.

I quite enjoyed this novel, even though it was very different from what I had expected.


I don’t want to keep listing every single little thing, but the point is that this novel took a fantasy concept and turned it into something that resembles realistic fiction. It explored a person’s development, with all of the different events that could influence this process. This made it a unique reading experience for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The one criticism I have is that the sudden impulsiveness that Joanna starts to show is very abrupt and took me aback. It didn’t seem to have a rhyme or reason, it just came out of nowhere and I just wish there had been more of a lead into it. Apart from that, this was a really nice story to read, and I hope to read more by this author in the future!

LIFE HAS A FUNNY WAY likes Beagle’s forthcoming novel IN CALABRIA.

So of course when I found out there was a new unicorn book by Peter S Beagle I just HAD to read it. This one is slightly different though. Set in modern day Italy on a ramshackle old farm owned by a grumpy ‘old’ man it does not at first appear to have any of the magic of THE LAST UNICORN. Stay with it though. Very similar in style to SUMMERLONG it takes a while for the magic to build up. Finally we have a unicorn on the premises and with it, magical things begin to happen.

What I’ve always loved about Peter S Beagle’s unicorn novels is the sacred, ethereal characteristics of the unicorns. The amazing power they have behind them makes them also dark but pure at the same time. Like the magic of Tolkien it’s unexpected, it’s imperfect but it’s wonderful.

For more info on SUMMERLONG, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Magdalena Korzeniewska

Design by Elizabeth Story

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

Cover design by Elizabeth Story