In Calabria – Peter S. Beagle

In Calabria

In Calabria


Claudio Bianchi is a grumpy, lonely farmer and poet, whose only visitor is Romano Muscari, the mailman. Until suddenly a unicorn turns up on the farm, involving Bianchi, Muscari, and Muscari’s gentle sister in situations they’d never imagined.


Peter S. Beagle seems to have a thing for unicorns. There’s his most famous book, The Last Unicorn, and a handful of others. Now, In Calabria brings the unicorns back again.

There’s nothing really new here; we’ve seen this same kind of story many times before. Beagle does a nice job with it – it’s all well written, the characters work, and there’s just the right balance of disbelief and acceptance. It’s a slight book, at just over 100 pages, but that works in its favor; the main weakness of the book is that it’s predictable. There’s no surprise in how it works out, and that’s clear right from the early chapters. The short length works well for it on this front.

If you’re a Beagle fan, and can’t get enough of his unicorns, by all means, pick this up. It’s a pleasant, unsurprising tale, well-told. But if you’re fairly well read, and not convinced just by Beagle’s name, this is more light pastime than revelation.

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