Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Prestidigitation observed

Reviewer Keith Brooke at the UK Guardian has just reviewed Sleight of Hand. He called Peter S. Beagle "one of the true greats of fantasy fiction" and is taken with Peter's "magical prose." Here's the full review:

When a writer of Beagle's standing brings out a new book the reviewer's job, after checking to ensure that there has been no slippage in standards, is simply to say: "Here it is..." One of the true greats of fantasy fiction, Beagle is regularly mentioned in the same breath as Ray Bradbury and Ursula Le Guin. It's the former's gently lyrical tales that are perhaps the best comparison, as Beagle's prose in these collected short stories enchants the reader. One of the charms of good fantasy fiction is that it transcends age, as in "The Best Worst Monster", an adult story told as a children's tale wherein a monster tramples the post office flat because the mailman never delivered its master any nice letters. The concluding story, "Vanishing", shows that Beagle still has the power to surprise, a darkly moving piece set on the Berlin wall where the rest of Germany has disappeared, a scenario impossible to visualise until Beagle weaves it into existence with his magical prose. So here it is: a new collection of stories by one of the all-time greats.

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