Friday, December 25, 2009

Book 6 - We Never Talk About My Brother - Peter S. Beagle

We Never Talk About My Brother is a short story collection by Peter S. Beagle. Beagle is most commonly known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which is my favorite book and movie in the history of forever. A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to go to a book signing and reading in Gadsden, Alabama of all places. Beagle read a couple of his short stories, one of which was "King Pelles the Sure" from this collection, and it is definitely my favorite. It is the story of a young, bored king who tires of just playing war and wants to start a real one. You know, just for kicks. Quickly the horrors of war catch up to him, and he learns the meaning of sacrifice and redemption. It is beautifully written, like all of his works, and probably the best anti-war story ever told. It was hard to listen to it being told and not bust out crying in the middle of the book reading. Beagle himself broke down towards the end.

"The Tale of Junko and Sayuri" was my other favorite of the collection. Think MacBeth in Feudal Japan. It is the story of a lowly hunter who quickly moves up the ranks in the palace due to his wife who can take the form of animals.

"We Never Talk About My Brother" was the story of two brothers, one of whom has the power to make anything happen. Literally, anything, and if he makes it happen, it is as though it had always been that way.

"Spook" was cute. A poltergeist refuses to leave until he is challenged to a duel, but instead of weapons the duelists use increasingly bad poetry.

I didn't review every story, but overall this was an excellent collection. Beagle has a way of ripping your heart out, so this took me a lot longer to read than I had anticipated. I would like to add that Peter Beagle is a lovely and kind person, and it was an honor to meet him. If you ever have the chance to attend one of his book signings, GO!

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