Review – In Calabria

Posted April 16, 2017 by Nicky in Reviews / 4 Comments

Cover of In Calabria by Peter S. BeagleIn Calabria, Peter S. Beagle

Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 14th February 2017

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.

It’s easy to read that as a kind of commentary on the humanising nature of stories. Why do myths like unicorns endure? Because they inspire us, they teach us to open up; from stories we can learn to love.

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…

Rating: 4/5

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4 responses to “Review – In Calabria

  1. I love Beagle, and it was really beautifully written, but the romance between the old man and the much younger girl made me really uncomfortable.

    I think generally as advice, if you are an old man and you think of writing a romance between an old man and a much younger girl, it might be a good idea to reconsider. Because even somebody as amazing and wonderful as Beagle, even somebody who could make me love the unicorn bits of this so much, made me squirm with the romance.

    Glad it didn’t spoil it for you.
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    • I found myself reading him as rather younger than the initial description said, which probably helped… He struck me as a curmudgeonly old man at first, and then as the unicorn made him open up, he almost de-aged in my mind? But it’s actually a good point and I wonder why I didn’t really notice it.

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