It’s been three years since Peter S. Beagle released a short story or essay, and longer than that since his last novel. That’s a long dry spell, especially for someone who’s writing was such a big part of my childhood. Fortunately Beagle’s latest novel, SUMMERLONG, is due out this September, and it’s absolutely worth the wait.
The word I’ve seen used most often to describe this book is bittersweet, and that works because this definitely isn’t a fairytale, follow-your-dreams, happily-ever-after story. If Beagle has a message here then it’s mostly left up to the reader. Is it that people should beware of giving up their dreams in exchange for a comfortable life? Is it a cautionary tale about how choosing something new will always mean not choosing something else? Or is it a gentle reminder to embrace the sadness we feel when we leave something behind, since that’s the only way to know we’re moving forward?
The ending is sweet and rather sad, mythical and mundane, and hard to pin down. Which to me sounds like Peter S. Beagle’s writing in a nutshell.
RAMALAMADINGDONG gives the book a 4 our of 5.
This book can not be cataloged as a typical fantasy, how and why I will not tell you (I’m not into spoilers). So if you’re looking for a typical fantasy book: forget this one BUT if you’re looking for a good read, a well build story and beautiful written book: this is the one you’re looking for.
Beagle created a world which slips on like a glove, it invites you as a reader into a world which grows from everyday into something special and makes you think on multiple moments ‘when did that happen?’
Jenny Colvin of READING ENVY is looking forward to the new novel.
The Beagle is also a galley sent by a publisher, with the most beautiful cover! I only recently read THE LAST UNICORN for the first time and I’m looking forward to this one.
For more info on SUMMERLONG, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Magdalena Korzeniewska
Design by Elizabeth Story