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3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,150 ratings  ·  326 reviews
Beloved author Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) returns with this long-anticipated new novel, a beautifully bittersweet tale of passion, enchantment, and the nature of fate.

It was a typically unpleasant Puget Sound winter before the arrival of Lioness Lazos. An enigmatic young waitress with strange abilities, when the lovely Lioness comes to Gardner Island even the weath
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Tachyon Publications (first published September 2016)
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Susana It ends up being about Greek mythology, but in a very vague way.
It ends up being about Greek mythology, but in a very vague way.

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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  1,150 ratings  ·  326 reviews

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Peter S. Beagle has long been one of my favorite authors. It is not that I love everything he writes as much as I adore his word-smithing and his ability to evoke emotion. His strength, in other words, is not consistently in plotting. I love his short stories, and the novel The Folk of the Air remains my first–and possibly favorite–experience with urban fantasy (1986–take that, Ms. Anita Blake!). When reading Summerlong, I heard echoes from Folk of the Air, and of the two, I wholeheartedly prefe ...more
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2016-shelf
This is a gentle and thoughtful book about the dissolution and formation of friendships, relationships, and the fascination of gods.

What? Well, honestly, it's about a middle-aged couple and their mild and complicated relationship in a comfortable middle-class household, where she becomes disillusioned and he discovers a new love, and such things are mirrored interestingly with the inclusion and complicated immersion into a particularly well-beloved Greek Myth, walking the earth.

The whole book i
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5 stars. Summerlong is Peter Beagle's first published novel in about a decade, and it has some wonderful aspects to it. Beagle writes so well that even when the pace was a bit too languid, I still enjoyed it. I loved the mix of mundane life in the Seattle area, which he describes so well that I could almost feel myself there, and the way that mythic fantasy (think ancient Greek gods) subtly sneaks into the story, just a mystifying detail here and there at first, then more and more until myth c ...more
Althea Ann
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Both the feel and particulars of this book reminded me quite a lot of Patricia McKillip's more recent stories, where she explores a contemporary setting impinged upon by mythic elements. (If you liked 'Kingfisher,' or 'Mer,' don't miss this one!)

It's also really a fantasy for older people. I feel like it probably would've resonated with me far more strongly if I were 20 years later in life, and I fear that younger readers probably won't enjoy it at all.

Joanna and Abe are an older, long-term coup
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, literary
2.5 out of 5 stars, rounded up for nostalgia's sake.

Has there ever been an author that you loved, who just disappeared off the map for decades? If you’re a fantasy fan, the answer is probably yes. When that author reappears, as though revived from the dead, and releases a new novel after said silent decades, have you ever ran screaming to the store to buy it only to be disappointed? I have. Unfortunately, I feel like Peter S. Beagle let me down with Summerlong.

Beagle never disappeared completel
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I only just read The Last Unicorn this past year, a book that enchanted me and my imagination. I was excited about this novel because the description and cover caught my attention. This was definitely a summer read because the season is central to the story.

I don't want to give a lot away but this is an interesting blend of mythology and real-life, present-day settings and characters. This was a difficult combination, and the characters are just as bewildered as I was as a reader (this isn't a c
Hannah Greendale
Summerlong beckons with an alluring cover, and the synopsis hints at a scintillating story with mention of long-hidden dreams and desires, but the book fails to deliver. It's akin to a cocoon with its promise of beauty and wonder, but once it's cracked open, there's no butterfly to be found inside.

The book follows an older couple who are inexplicably drawn to a young waitress named Lioness. The couple offers Lioness a rent-free room in the garage and spend the remainder of the novel pondering t
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5 (probably biased) stars--it was amazing.

Beagle is one of those authors that just speaks to me. I enjoy fantasy, which is his primary genre, but more than that, I love his writing. This is a short book (nearly a novella), and it might be too quirky or slow for some people, but I absolutely loved this little parable of a strange woman who shows up on an island in the Pacific Northwest.

Beagle is so good at description and mood. And his characters practically jump off the page.

I received this rev
Emily May
Jun 14, 2016 marked it as dnf
Shelves: fantasy, 2016, arc
This book was beautifully-written, but I don't think it was for me. Expectations come heavily into play here and I'd been under the impression that this was a far more magical fantasy novel than it actually was. For the most part, it reads like a character-driven contemporary about an old couple. When the fantasy aspects do arrive, they felt somewhat out of place. Kirkus calls the characters "compellingly ordinary" and they are indeed ordinary, and perhaps compellingly so for those who didn't ex ...more
3.75 Stars

Gardner Island is just a ferry ride away from Seattle, but it feels like another world altogether, especially during the Spring that retired professor, Abe, and girlfriend of too-many-to-count years, Joanna, decide to dine at a local eating spot. They’re sitting in this small room, checking out the other patrons and assorted people working there, including the musicians. Their waitress is new, they’ve never seen her before, and she seems more than out of place because she’s an unknown

2.5 Stars

It's been a few days since I finished this story, and in that moment, I gave it a three star rating. The beginning was really good; if you like beautiful writing, but in the second part the story doesn't exactly evolve. There were situations that should have been more developed, namely the ones related with the magical realism aspect. Things that happened that felt strangely out of place and that left me with a sour taste in my mouth.

Thing is, this is a quiet story that follows the
Charlie Jane Anders
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My full review of this book is going up at Wired soon, but suffice to say that it's a marvelous look at what happens when people who have been just going through the motions for years suddenly wake up and start living their lives again. The supernatural stuff is brilliant, but the real strength is the characterization and the brilliant depiction of an older couple who have gotten used to each other but haven't ever really committed to each other. ...more
{{Digital arc gently provided by Netgalley and Tachyon Publications}}

Primera impresión: Con visos de realismo mágico. De amores, veranitos de San Juan, y blues.


A medium age couple in a going relationship for 22 years, he is a 66 y.o. retired historian living in Gardner Island (across Seattle) , she is a 55 y.o. flying attendant; both divorced, have their own homes but virtually rise together her daughter. Friends. Lovers. On a everyday laughts and fi
Summerlong asks one of my favorite questions for fiction to explore: What happens when the mythic intersects with the mundane?

It changes everything, or course.

Abe is a retired professor working on a book of medieval history and Joanna is a stewardess nearing retirement. They have their relationship exactly how they want it—dating but not married, separate homes but Joanna practically lives at Abe’s, and a comfortably bickering dialog with one another but still a solid sex-life. While everything
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so different for eveything I have read so far.

So I could either hate it or love it and luckily I loved it...

The first thing that stand out for me was how the characters represented. They were human, with worries and flaws that I have, or my parents. It was so realistic that it was impossible to stay away from them, unattached.

I loved the relationship of Abe and Joanna.

And then everything stoped being ordinary and become extradinary instead. Liolness brought the change and with her
Suanne Laqueur
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Totally fun but I didn’t like the ending.
A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No external considerations went into this review.

In college, I flew to and from Portland, Oregon several times a year. I love flying, but I particularly love flying in over the Cascades and the Columbia River, seeing volcanoes out either window and the pine forest below, and looking west down the river as the plane turns for the final approach, knowing that the ocean is out there somewhere. Th
Oct 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
**This is a fair and honest review written in exchange for a Netgalley advanced reader copy**
**Warning: spoilers**

I'm not going to mince words on this one. I hated this book. To give it one star means I wouldn't recommend it to anyone and the only reason it received one star was because he does a great job writing about the beautiful island. The rest of the story is trash. Don't waste your time.

Peter S. Beagle's new book, Summerlong, is set on a fictional (if not familiar) island just a ferry r
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Okay, this is a weird review to write. Peter S. Beagle is one of my favorite authors. The Innkeeper's Song and The Last Unicorn are two of my very favorite books. But this's just not good. The characters aren't very well-developed, and they're stereotypes/cliches of a Jewish old man, a middle-aged Sicilian woman, and a tormented lesbian. The plot is not really a plot. Nothing really happens through most of the book, and what does happen is just stupid. I'm sorry. I wish there was a bet ...more
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

Love this stunning cover...and the story inside was just as beautiful! Nothing is quite the same for Abe and Joanna when Lioness enters their lives. Up until that point, middle-aged Abe & Joanna had been living a predictable and unremarkable existence as a comfortably unmarried couple, until the day that they met Lioness, a young waitress at a local diner. They are immediately drawn to the young woman and
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it

Bittersweet and lovely, though I disagree with the suggestion that the ending was especially "realistic" - and I'm certainly not referring to the magical aspects! (view spoiler)
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley, 2016
This is a quiet, dreamy sort of book, set on the Puget Sound, and very familiar to anyone who's been to the area. Almost from the get go, the style and prose of Summerlong reminded me of Guy Gavriel Kay, though the only book of his I could say this is similar to is Ysabel. However, the similarity persisted for the whole story.

It's hard to say much about the story without giving away the plot, and the plot of this book, distilled down to its essence, is the very, very old "a stranger comes to tow
Lynn Williams
Jun 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Summerlong is a book that I was greatly looking forward to. I’ve heard so many good things about Peter Beagle that I didn’t even think twice before requesting this one. It was just a no-brainer for me. However, I have come away from this one with slightly mixed feelings and in fact even now I’m still trying to figure out just how I feel about it. What I can’t deny is the power of the writing which is really excellent. I may not have read Beagle before Summ
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
This is my first Beagle book and I liked it. The writing is very smooth and endearing. And I adore the main characters, which I think are quite unique since both are elderly, a 50something senior flight attendant and a 60something historian. Just the stories on their daily life is quite enchanting, supported by a great narrative about the location that feel alive. I normally hate long and frequent mention on the surrounding environment - river, sea, plants, soil, weather - but in this book, it b ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I fell right in love with this book straight away, for the unconventional romance between Abe and Joanna. I loved that they didn’t seem to be possessive, that they didn’t live together 100% of the time, that they had differing interests. I loved the way Abe knew Joanna. I really wanted the story to be about the strength of their bond, unshaken because deep-rooted. I really did.

Spoiler: it’s not. It’s about the two of them being changed, deeply and irrevocably, by a man and a woman who might just
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, read-2016
After all these years Beagle still writes some of the most beautifully heartrending tales filled with mystery, myth, the intersection between fantasy and reality. This new tale is set in modern times, but with a few characters steeped in such 'otherness' they can't help but fascinate anyone who crosses their path (reader included). Even after I pieced together most of the twists, I still wasn't sure where it would end. ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a refreshing read! A true piece of mythic fiction, this book did not disappoint. At once slice of life and part of a more epic and timeless tale, this story left me with a touch of melancholy. As always with Beagle, the prose did not disappoint, I liken it to smooth jazz. I loved that the protagonists were an older couple, that was such a nice change in a genre filled with tales of the young.
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-rev, reviewed
4 stars - Metaphorosis Reviews

A retired professor and a near-retirement stewardess invited a waitress to live in their garage. She is, of course, more than she seems.

As with most people, I first heard of Peter S. Beagle via his book The Last Unicorn. Not that I read it; I heard about it, in the over-hyped way that always makes me suspicious. I didn't get around to actually reading it until a quarter century or so after it was published. It was in a nice compendium along with A Fine and Private P
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, e-book, netgalley
A quiet, gentle sort of mythic retelling.

A retirement-aged couple takes in a young stranger, whose presence throws off their previously calm, comfortable, uneventful lives.

This has the feel of some coming-of-age novels - where the main players slowly realize that what they have in life may not be what they really want, and try to decide what it is they DO want out of life and how best to get it.

But, of course, 55 and 65 is far too old for a coming-of-age book. Perhaps a mid-life-crisis book woul
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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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“Traditionally, people are always supposed to feel empty, devastated, when a god leaves them. Nobody seems to wonder how the god might feel. Leaving the only people who almost understood.” 7 likes
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