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The Line Between

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  617 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
Featuring the Hugo and Nebula award-winning original novelette from the world of The Last Unicorn, "Two Hearts."

The long-awaited sequel to the popular classic The Last Unicorn is the centerpiece of this powerful collection of new tales from a fantasy master. As longtime fans have come to expect, the stories are written with a grace and style similar to fantasy's most origi
Paperback, 231 pages
Published August 15th 2006 by Tachyon Publications (first published January 1st 2006)
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Jun 22, 2009 Christopher rated it it was amazing
Peter Beagle's writing is magic put to language, his novels are spell books that enchant the reader, laying dweomers over our vision until we see the world, if not as it is, then as it should be, as a child sees it. Even his works set in another world are really reflections of the simple sorceries possible in this one, given the right mood and willingness to play along. And if that mood isn't upon you, his charm takes you along anyway until your mood cooperates with the fairy-tales he presents.

Aug 29, 2011 Joy rated it it was amazing
Short stories old and new by a classic author who just doesn't write enough. If you young folk have only seen The Last Unicorn in its cartoon form you really need to read the book.

Beagle acknowledges he is "on the books as being a fantasist" but feels that "one of the few really nice things about growing old is that a whole lot of stuff stops mattering...categories among them."

There is a nice sequel to "The Last Unicorn." "Four Fables" are fabulously funny and the preface made me laugh. Fables..
Meredith Enos
Dec 10, 2013 Meredith Enos rated it it was ok
i'm so disappointed by this collection. almost all the stories seem like pitches for novels, as in, "hey, you like this story? give me some money and i'll write a whole book!" maybe i'm jaded, but beagle introduces each story and they mostly all go something like, "once i started this story, i knew i would have to make a full-length work about it at some point." a couple of good stand-alone pieces, like "Salt Wine," but the rest were rather too easy and too reliant on other, previously written ...more
Apr 17, 2012 Richard rated it it was amazing
The Line Between by Peter S. Beagle, Tachyon Publications, 2006

One pattern I’ve noticed in the writers I tend to come back to again and again—their “voices” tend to be consistent but their subject matter tends to vary. Sure, writers are people—most of them—and they have interests like anyone else, and those motifs tend to repeat. But with the really good writers, they’re going to repeat in ways that make you forget or even never realize that this is what they’re doing. And the subject matter, at

3 stars? 2.5 stars? It is hard to say!

The Line Between is a collection of short stories by the author of The Last Unicorn. It is very rare for me to show any interest in short story novels. My sole purpose for reading this particular collection was the inclusion of Two Hearts - A sequel to The Last Unicorn. The short stories found in this book cover quite a large range of genres that it is hard to give this a proper rating. Overall, though, I am sad to say that most stories were rather underwhel
Jan 04, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
What can I say about Peter S. Beagle? He is a writer that never fails to surprise me, because, I don't know why, but whenever I start reading one of his stories, I never expect to like it as much as I end up liking it. It happened with many of the stories in this book. He has a way with words that is only his and it's magical and that's all I'm going to say about it.

I'm going to start with Two Hearts because it was the reason I bought this book. Two Hearts is the sequel to The Last Unicorn and I
Aug 30, 2009 Ambertronic rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is a collection of his work that contains a short story sequel to Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn called Two Hearts. It takes place several years after the first book, and it is very fitting where Schmendric the Magician and his companion Molly Grue end up (no, it's not what you think! That's the beauty of Peter S. Beagle!). Another good one is "Salt Wine", which is quite tragic. One of those "I told you this was a bad idea" stories.

The stories contained within are a sweet mix of new and
I love Beagle's elegant writing and wonderful characters, and I wasn't disappointed here. I was a little worried about "Two Hearts", which takes place after The Last Unicorn (which I love), but I thought Beagle did justice to the book and its characters, along with introducing a new and engaging character, the young girl Sooz, who narrates the story. I also especially liked "El Regalo" (which Beagle plans to follow up with a novel), about a young witch and his sister, and "Salt Wine", a haunting ...more
Jan 17, 2013 Standback rated it really liked it
"Two Hearts" is an incredible story - the same combination of adventure, joy, and melancholy that made The Last Unicorn the masterpiece that it is. I first read this story in Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine, and bought the book on its strength.

The book's other stories are enjoyable, although most of them aren't gems or showstoppers. The notable exception is "A Dance For Emilia," which paints a powerful portrait of a fantastic person whose life was overshadowed by his knowledge that his da
Dec 10, 2013 Rachelle rated it it was ok
I was disappointed, not by the writing but by the content. I remembered The Last Unicorn as a breath of magic and this book just didn't transport me. Anywhere. I was still in my chair in the doctor's lobby, sadly turning pages. Big sigh.
Mar 22, 2016 Mohsin rated it it was amazing
One of those collections of short stories that I dragged out for as long as I could because I just didn't want it to end. Hilarious and brilliant, Beagle's writing dances off the page with laugh-out-loud one-liners and characterisation that is utterly captivating.
Nov 26, 2016 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Peter S. Beagle makes me cry a lot. Normally, I don't read books to cry, but it's okay when he does it... I guess? This collection of short stories made me cry twice, once in Two Hearts (an epilogue to the Last Unicorn) and once during A Dance for Emilia, a story that so perfectly captures the length and depth of the grieving process my heart broke several times. A lot of the stories reference other past Beagle works (Two Hearts, Quarry), potential future Beagle works (el Regalo), and even some ...more
Nathaniel Darkish
Oct 15, 2016 Nathaniel Darkish rated it really liked it
As with any short story collection, some stories were better than others. I especially enjoyed Two Hearts, Salt Wine, and A Dance for Emilia.
Rowan MacBean
Gordon, the Self-Made Cat - I think this was my least favorite of the stories in this book. I still liked it -- quite a bit, actually -- but it was written for kids, and obviously so, and that wasn't what I was looking for when I picked it up. The author's intro blurb says he's working on expanding it for book publication, and that it's intended as a nod to books like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little. I'll totally read that when it comes out.

Two Hearts - This story is written in the universe of
Justyn Rampa
Jul 15, 2016 Justyn Rampa rated it really liked it
This was actually the first collection of Peter S. Beagle stories published, but I'm reading it after the two that preceded it. A pretty solid collection with some clear standouts for me and some stories that I struggled with reading.

Gordon, the Self-Made Cat - An incredibly charming story that could easily be the basis for a longer children's novel or a Pixar film!

Two Hearts - The crown jewel of the collection in my opinion. This is the follow-up novella to "The Last Unicorn". Incredibly moving
Dec 12, 2015 Emilou rated it really liked it
I have to say this, even though I did not enjoy every story in this book, I have to say this: Peter Beagle is a superb writer. His writing style is beautiful and full of wonderful description. These stories are a collection of wit, charm, adventure, magic, reality and everything in between. Even the stories I didn't entirely like, I found them entertaining and worth the time to read.

Gordon, the Self-Made Cat: I loved this story. It was funny and very creative. I loved the idea. I hope he does ev
Dec 31, 2014 Magali rated it it was amazing
I will preface this review by saying that Peter Beagle is one of my favorite writers. His genius is in making you see and understand and feel things on many levels all at once; his work is often as upsetting as it is uplifting. The Last Unicorn affected me so profoundly in the eighth grade that I wrote an entire (unassigned) book report about it and handed it in to my English teacher, just so that someone would read all my feelings about it. (There was no GoodReads in those days.)

This book was a
Andrew Georgiadis

Like you, I read this after The Last Unicorn. That novel was a whirlwind, page-per-page maybe the best fantasy I’ve ever read. No wonder that “The Line Between” can’t quite recreate the rhapsodic majesty.

Most of these stories feel unfinished, including the long-awaited “Two Hearts”, ostensibly a sequel to “The Last Unicorn”. While it was capably done, I was ultimately unfulfilled by its brevity and lack of splendor. There was no oddity and little novelty. The story shifted too
Feb 02, 2010 Shel rated it really liked it
The stories in this collection were hit-or-miss for me, but ultimately I'm glad I read them.

Gordon, the Self-Made Cat: 5 stars. Absolutely adorable. Would be a great story to read out loud to a child.

Four Fables: 4 stars. Each is short and sweet, but there isn't very much substance to them.

Two Hearts: 5 stars. A follow-up to The Last Unicorn that was the whole reason I bought the book. Lovely!

El Regalo: 3 stars. Two children and their encounter with witchcraft. Something about the story didn't q
Christy Johnson
Feb 13, 2015 Christy Johnson rated it it was amazing
There is a reason why Peter Beagle remains one of my most favorite authors. He has the uncanny knack of taking an ordinary element, adding something very different and unusual and with that, creating something beautiful and extraordinary. While this different twist is added, we never think of it as impossible. Peter makes us believe. That is the magic of his writing. This selection of short stories was an excellent example of that ability.

I originally got this book because I was going to have t
Kat Hagedorn

It probably doesn't help that I read this in bed, which means that I would re-read the same page at least twice, falling asleep after two pages total, thereby only reading one new page a night. But, I swear it didn't help that Beagle is prone to repeating himself at the end of paragraphs, in an obvious move to get his point across more forcefully. Such as (not verbatim): ... I told him what was going to happen. I told him, you know. ...

I would consider this the laziest
Aug 10, 2015 Danilo rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthologies
It still gets 4 stars. The last two stories didn't convince me that much, but I liked the rest very much.
The last one was a very personal story from Peter S. Beagle, so I understand its significance. But it didn't really work for me.
The second to last story was the one he has originally written for an Sherlock Holmes (tribute) anthology. Since he didn't trust himself to write the perspective of Sherlock Holmes himself, he choose a character nearby and put the setting somewhere Holmes is not know
Jan 25, 2009 Gayle rated it really liked it
Peter S. Beagle, probably best known for his classic fantasy novel The Last Unicorn, has an impressive body of work and collection of awards. He entitles this short story collection The Line Between in reference to the "invisible boundary between...reality and fantasy...where I have almost always lived." These eleven stories certainly straddle the boundary with a charm and an illogical sense that is uniquely his.

Here we meet Gordon the Self-Made Cat, who was born a mouse but had greater ambition
Jan 30, 2012 Jo rated it really liked it
So what's really weird is that I've already read all of these stories, but I didn't really remember reading them. I wasn't even sure I'd read them before until "Salt Wine," so I'm really just kind of confused as to why I didn't remember reading this book. I knew I'd checked it out, but I thought I was still waiting for time to read it.

However, the not-remembering-I-read-it-already is more likely a function of what was going on with me at the time than a function of the stories, 'cause they were
Joshua Zucker
Dec 18, 2012 Joshua Zucker rated it it was amazing
A fantastic collection. I had already read "Two Hearts" as an electronic freebie -- which shows, perhaps, what a devoted fan I am of this author, so I'm not surprised I loved this book. It ranged quite a bit, from the humorous stories of animals at the beginning to the painfully sorrowful "Salt Wine". But the whole collection was magical, whether set in an almost-real present day with just a little twist taking it beyond the ordinary or set in a completely fantastical world where ... well, I ...more
Apr 30, 2009 Jag rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, five-star
I'm not much a fan of short story collections, but I got The Line Between and it was mostly a wonderful read.

Favorites were a little story about a mouse that tries to be a cat because he doesn't want to be hunted, a short story sequel to The Last Unicorn that is as wonderful as the book, four lovely fables, a story about a sister and her brother that can do magic, and Salt Wine, a tale about a man who saves a merman and the gift he receives along with its cost.

Bit from one of the little fables:

Apr 11, 2011 Marissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
A wide range of short stories, including some funny fables and a lot of fantasy tales, are featured in this collection. My primary motivation for reading this, of course, was the opportunity to read the sequel to The Last Unicorn, which was true to form as a haunting tale. It introduces a new character, Sooz, as the narrator, who meets up with several of the major players in the original. I was especially excited to read the intro to this story, in which Beagle says now that he has given into ...more
Apr 13, 2012 Featherglass rated it really liked it
Two Hearts, the sequel to The Last Unicorn, is the second story in this book of short stories, and a mighty fine read it is, along with the first story, Gordon The Self-Made Cat. Two Hearts picks up a lifetime after The Last Unicorn ends with the story told from the point of view of a young girl, Sooz, in a land of wizards and griffins.

The Line Between looks at the line between the imaginary and the real, "the invisible boundary between conscious and not, between reality and fantasy. . . A line
Dec 01, 2015 Carol rated it liked it
More fabulous storytelling by one of my favorite authors. The Line Between is a collection of short stories; most are stand-alone's, but two are related to previous works - "Two Hearts" is the long-demanded sequel to The Last Unicorn, and "Quarry" is the prequel story for one of the main characters from The Innkeeper's Song.

I enjoyed each of these in varying degrees, and I was floored at the display of voice dexterity Beagle demonstrates, from the mind of a teenage girl to the cadence and slang
Sep 07, 2008 Bianca rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
i always thought that an author can only write well in one specific genre. but this collection of short stories really changed my point of view. Peter S. Beagle can write fiction and mystery as wonderful as fantasy genre.
i bought this book because it contains two hearts, which is a sequel to the last unicorn. i loved that story of course, which makes me want to re-read the last unicorn again..
i quite enjoyed reading the other stories as well, such as Mr. Sigerson which is a spinoff from Arthur C
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Peter Soyer Beagle (born April 20, 1939) is an American fantasist and author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays. He is also a talented guitarist and folk singer. He wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place , when he was only 19 years old. Today he is best known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which routinely polls as one of the top ten fantasy novels of all time, and at least two of ...more
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“There it is: that invisible boundary between conscious and not, between reality and fantasy, between here (whatever “here” is) and there (whatever “there” might be), between the seen and the seen’s true nature. A line neither one thing nor ever quite the other, but now and eternally between.” 0 likes
“No, my friend,” he responded finally. “I am not God, no more than you. But I think you and I are equally part of God as we stand here,” and he swept his arm wide to take in all the slow, dark shiver of the sea as it breathed under the blue and silver morning. “Surely we two are not merely surrounded by this divine splendor—we both belong to it, we are of it, now and for always. How else should it be?” 0 likes
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