Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Sleight of Hand by Peter S. Beagle (Book Review)

Peter S. Beagle returns with an inspired collection of new fantasy that showcases his incomparable mastery and range. In these tales—with settings as different as an impossible reconstruction of the Berlin Wall and the kitchen of Mrs. Eunice Giant (72 Fairweather Lane, East-of-the-Bean, Sussex Overhead) – warriors, monsters, and utterly ordinary people struggle with possession and forgiveness, life and love, hate and death—and the choices that come after everything else has been stripped away by Fate.

This is a collection of short stories from the master of fantasy, Peter S. Beagle. As always his stories ring true to wonderful characters set in vivid backgrounds where the reader can immerse themselves right into the story. Prior to each story is an introduction of each short story.

The Woman who Married the Man in the Moon
A wonderful engaging tale of Schmendrick the Magician (prior to his adventure in The Last Unicorn), who seemingly rescues two lost children.

Sleight of Hand
A poignant story of a woman in grief looking for escape and finding it with a magician.

Children of the Shark God
The daughter of the Shark God seeks him out, determined to learn why he was absent during her childhood. This story has touching moments between daughter and father.

The Best Worst Monster
A monster learns he has a soul despite everything he does for his master.

What Tune the Enchantress Plays
Breya Drom’s enchantress abilities are inherited through the female line within her village. Taught by her mother to use power through song, Breya overcomes betrayal in love.

La Lune T’Attend
A pair of aging loups-garous with a score to settle. Well done with a perfect ending.

Up the Down Beanstalk: A Wife Remembers
A wonderful fairy tale seen in the view of the giant’s wife with a rather nice twist.

The Rock in the Park
Revisting those tender teenage years of encountering magic when least expected. An enticing tale of centaurs.

The Rabbi’s Hobby
A Rabbi and his Bar Mitzvah student, Joseph, undertake to solve the mystery of a woman on the cover of a collectible magazine.

Oakland Dragon Blues
A cop coming on duty discovers a dragon sprawled in an Oakland intersection.

The Bridge Partner
A wonderful noir of a bridge player being stalked.

Rescuing victims, a woman appears suddenly in the nick of time to the consternation of onlookers.

After taking his daughter to a pre-natal clinic, a man finds himself suddenly in West Berlin, 1963, or so it seems. For those who remember the Wall being in existence this story clearly covers the era. An excellent story ending a collection of fantastic stories.

Review copy provided by Charlene Brusso.

Book format: Trade Paperback   326 pages

Publisher:  Tachycon Publications

Author Website: www.peterbeagle.com

Available at:             



Charles Gramlich said...

Is Beagle still alive. I don't know why, but I thought he had passed.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I love short story collections.

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