By Peter S. Beagle
Author Website: http://www.peterbeagle.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro
From the acclaimed author of The Last Unicorn comes a new, exquisitely-told unicorn fable for the modern age.
Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy’s scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry. But one chilly morning, as though from a dream, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences.
Lyrical, gripping, and wise, In Calabria confirms Peter S. Beagle’s continuing legacy as one of fantasy’s most legendary authors. (Goodreads)
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.
In Calabria is a fast, yet calm paced story to follow. At the start of the book the reader is introduced to Claudio Bianchi, his farm, and the few people that venture up the hill to visit him once in awhile. His only friends are his farm animals and dog. He spends all his time with them and even has funny conversations with the goats and cows. The only human interaction is the postman who is always trying to make Claudio read him his poems.
One day a unicorn appears on his property, a creature so beautiful that Claudio never dreamed of seeing in his life. Eventually, Claudio befriends the La Signora, as he has come to call the unicorn, and his everyday life begins to change. As Claudio helps La Signora, she helps him in return.
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.