Lize's Reviews > The Folk of the Air

The Folk of the Air by Peter S. Beagle
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's review
Apr 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011
Read from April 22 to May 07, 2011

Joe Farrell is a drifty, wandering musician (current instrument: the lute). He's spent the last ten years since graduating college (Berkeley, of course) roaming the Earth like Caine in his battered VW bus (pretentiously named after an Austrian contralto), playing medieval music, taking odd jobs and couch-surfing, because anything more permanent would interfere with the purity of his music, man. This makes him a dead ringer for every single guy I dated (and supported) during about three years of my early twenties. Oh, and some of the other characters reminded me (often uncomfortably) of people I knew from around the same time who were really, really into the SCA. What a trip down memory lane. Only a storyteller of Peter S. Beagle's considerable gifts could make the 43 year-old me hang in for the length of a book.

With that said, there's quite a lot to like about this one. Farrell is returning to Avicenna (a thinly disguised Berkeley) to reconnect with his old best friend Ben, who is a professor (at UC Berkeley) and is living with a much older (60ish) woman who may or may not be an ancient goddess in a house that never has the same number of windows from day to day. And then it really gets strange. Some fascinating supporting characters (I was particularly drawn to Sia and her dog Briseis) and enough action to keep things moving. It’s currently out of print, but I’ve heard the author is going to release a new and updated edition sometime soon.

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Quotes Lize Liked

Peter S. Beagle
“I will miss it so,” she said beside him. “This hell of a place, I will miss it so much. This fat body, walking mud puddle, deceived by everything, this impossible, ruinous accident of a world, these people who would truly rather hurt one another than eat—oh, there is nothing, nothing, nothing I would not do to stay here ten minutes longer. Oh, I will leave claw marks, I will drag mountains and forests away under my fingernails when I am dragged off. Such a stupid way to feel. I will be all dirty from clutching at this stupid planet, and the gods will laugh at me.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Folk of the Air
tags: death

Reading Progress

04/22/2011 "Nothing nicer to my mind that discovering a book I'd missed by one of my favorite authors."
05/02/2011 ""When they were children, Ben had seemed most often to be straining on the edge of laughter, digging in his heels against the terror of finding everything funny. Farrell had seen the ghosts of murdered giggles burning along the perimeter of Ben's body, like St. Elmo's fire."" 1 comment

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