John Herbert's Reviews > A Fine and Private Place

A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle
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Apr 01, 12

bookshelves: ghosts, fantasy
Read in March, 2007

Peter Beagle's debut novel from 1960 is a wonderful concept: an old man, a recluse who shacks out in a cemetery, who in turn has discussions with a talking raven, and can see and talk with ghosts.

Then we have Michael and Laura falling in love in this same cemetery - a doomed love as they're both already dead.

Throw in Mrs Klapper who comes to visit her dearly departed husband, and you have the strangest little collection of lost souls that you could imagine.

Examining the dialogue between these characters, it all seems pretty harmless, even tame stuff, if you like. And yet the images of these characters float around in your head for long after the final page.

It's real cutesy, but underneath you can sense some real home truths floating across these cold headstones.

I wouldn't go mad about the book, but somehow it's comforting to know that it will always be there in my collection.
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