This is one of Beagle's weaker books, in my opinion. While his style continues to be delicious, the fantasy world in this book seems cliche. It's as i...moreThis is one of Beagle's weaker books, in my opinion. While his style continues to be delicious, the fantasy world in this book seems cliche. It's as if it's saying "Look! I'm a fantasy world! The trees here are red and purple! Satyrs and tiny dragons live here! And talking unicorns!". It isn't very original, unfortunately.
The main character is also a typical troubled teen girl looking for more to her mundane life, who befriends an old man with a music shop. I was disappointed there was no twist to an otherwise predictable story.
Granted I'm trying not to think in terms of The Last Unicorn, but compared to it this book is tepid at best. Not a stellar creation, but it's okay.(less)
It's funny how different a book feels when you reread it years after you first devoured it. I read Catswold Portal around '93 or '94 (when I was trans...moreIt's funny how different a book feels when you reread it years after you first devoured it. I read Catswold Portal around '93 or '94 (when I was transitioning from Jr. High to High School) and I was enchanted with it. Just loved it. I recently reread it and now I can only think...
...how did this book make sense when I was a kid? There were plot holes (nothing sizeable, but noticeable), and while I think the key to great writing is to imply and not spell things out for people, this book could've used some spelling out. Also, the main character vacillated between iconic strong female role model and helpless horny youth. And no, this was not something one could chalk up to character development. It truly seemed as though Shirley Rousseau couldn't decide what she wanted Melissa to be. One minute she's weak in the knees for any male that winks at her and the next she's playing mind games with Braden, the guy who's supposed to be her love interest. Do I need to mention I get irritated by chicks who play those kinds of games in real life? She is basically a character that you identify with only briefly before she turns into something else. I hate to say it, but you can tell Braden was a male character written by a woman. He was rather generic, in my opinion.
I think the only thing Shirley R. does right in this book is her characterization of cats.
This is not an awful book, but it comes across as having been writing by a novice. It is fun, the imagery is great, but the structural integrity of the thing is weak.(less)
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 ye...moreThis 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 reprinted stories. It would be inaccurate to call the collection an emotional roller coaster, because that implies lots of dips, turns, drops, and screaming. There is none of that in The Line Between. However the emotional range the stories takes you through is wide and pleasant.
If you read this book you will smile, you might choke up with emotion, and you may even find your forehead wrinkling with a "wtf?" kind of expression. Either way, you will enjoy it! (less)
I seriously wonder if Peter S. Beagle has Synesthesia. His choice of adjectives is beautiful and downright tasty. Sounds have color and texture, it's...moreI seriously wonder if Peter S. Beagle has Synesthesia. His choice of adjectives is beautiful and downright tasty. Sounds have color and texture, it's as if he was able to show people what it would be like to walk into a Van Gogh painting and live inside it.
His plot is not as it seems, at first appearing cliche (you may find yourself thinking "This is like the start of hundreds of fairy tales I've read as a kid") but you will be delightfully proven wrong. His characters are unique and experience much growth and development throughout the book.
To read this book is a unique experience. It was the first Peter Beagle book I picked up at a friends recommendation. If you've never read any of his works, make sure this is the first. After reading The Last Unicorn I ran out and bought four other books of his, none of which held a candle to this one, but they are just as satisfyingly written.
As a side note, apparently there is an animated movie based on this book. I haven't seen it myself, but I hesitate to. I think I just want to let the book stand on its own in my imagination.(less)