Justyn Rampa's Reviews > We Never Talk about My Brother

We Never Talk about My Brother by Peter S. Beagle
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's review
Mar 14, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, short-fiction, book-club
Read from December 07, 2011 to March 13, 2012

This is my second Peter S. Beagle short story collection and I found it to be a bit more uneven than "Sleight of Hand". I also discovered that I like my short fiction to have some kind of thread throughout the stories linking them together. "Nine Stories", "Adverbs", and "Slight of Hand" all follow this maxim. I couldn't quite tell what the intention of PSB was in putting these particular stories together. In some respect, several stories deal with something unspoken: an all consuming angel, a brother that is the blackest sheep of the family, a lover who can read your every thought and feel your hidden desires, a marriage that is falling apart, a long held vendetta, an evil witch of a neighbor, a tryst with Titania herself, and horrible memories suppressed in order to survive.

The two weakest stories do not adhere to this theme I'm formulating: King Pelles the Sure and The Unicorn Tapestries. King Pelles the Sure may have some nugget in there, but I will have to think on it. The Unicorn Tapestries seemed a bit indulgent on the part of PSB in that he wrote this based on an extremely vivid childhood experience and it is a poem cycle and it never really got the exposure he wanted it to get, so he stuck it in here. It felt out of place with the text, not bad, just not appropriate.

Overall, I really loved most of the stories and really respect Peter S. Beagle as an author! His ability to inhabit a character and develop distinct narrative voice as well as incredibly fascinating fantastical ideas is a gift I treasure!

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Reading Progress

12/07/2011 page 37
17.0% "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel in which we get off to a fantastically brilliant start!"
12/16/2011 page 61
28.0% "We Never Talk About My Brother: This story was fascinating and terrifying."
01/01/2012 page 95
43.0% "The Tale of Junko and Sayuri"
01/20/2012 page 107
49.0% "King Pelles the Sure."
01/26/2012 page 123
56.0% "The Last and Only, Or, Mr. Moscowitz Becomes French."
03/01/2012 page 147
67.0% "Spook"
03/07/2012 page 157
72.0% "The Stickball Witch"
03/12/2012 page 185
84.0% "By Moonlight"
03/12/2012 page 193
88.0% "The Unicorn Tapestries"

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