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The Unicorn Sonata by Peter S. Beagle
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The Unicorn Sonata (1996)

by Peter S. Beagle

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408541,507 (3.42)11
In Los Angeles a thirteen-year-old girl follows haunting music across an invisible border into an enchanted land known as Sheirah that is inhabited by satyrs, unicorns, and phoenixes.

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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
While Peter Beagle is one of my long-time favorite authors, this book didn't really do it for me. It seems as though Beagle is using his fervent imagination to create mythical, fantastic characters that belong to a mythical, fantastic place. This place is sometimes attainable from our place, and young Joey is able to access that place, in and out of that place from her home in L.A., and then more characters populate Shei'rah, and Joey receives a lot of joy and healing. There is not do-ing in this book as much as be-ing and learning.

We also get the story of her Abuelita and Indigo who comes into the music shop bearing a horn that looks like a shell, and more discussion of worlds-intersecting-worlds is discussed. And I get that it is a YA novel but unlike both [Tamsin] and [The Last Unicorn], this novel seems to talk down to the reader. At the end, of course, Joey is reunited with her place in the world, and Indigo finds himself and instructs Joey in both worlds, and Abuelita finds herself, but it just seemed quite bland.

The illustrations by Robert Rodriguez in this edition are gorgeous, and he captures the unicorn as Beagle best describes her: cloven hooved, delicate beauty, a goat's tale, etc., etc. ( )
  threadnsong | Jul 28, 2018 |
This is a beautiful book full of wonderful moments. Overall, though, it wasn't as good as I hoped it would be. Beagle spends a lot of time contrasting the real world with the magic world by listing things like rent-to-own stores, broken gas stations, etc., compared to blue trees and tiny dragons. Wonderful, but he does it three or four times throughout the book without any sort of progression or development of meaning. They're almost just lists. In fact, his world of magic is lovely, but it doesn't seem to have any intrinsic meaning like the worlds of Tolkien, Rowling, Lewis, Barrie, MacDonald, Andersen and other great fairy tale writers.

As in all good fairy tales a great sacrifice is made, but, for me, it wasn't handled well, and came across as anticlimactic rather than the ideal "eucatastrophe" that Tolkien believed was the essence of a proper fairy tale. ( )
  DanielLieberman | Aug 31, 2014 |
Joey takes a walk one night and stumbles into a magical world full of satyrs and unicorns and all kinds of creatures.

Other stuff happens, but it is kind of a meandering story. The art is lovely, though, as of course is the language. ( )
  bluesalamanders | Apr 4, 2014 |
A nice Little Novella, with good art . there is a lot of better Beagle out there. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 13, 2013 |
It's not Beagle's best. The story meanders and comes together mostly in the last 20 pages ( Spoiler ) The main characters are given their quirks, complexities, and depth. The world is pretty, but not explained, and it doesn't need to be. (and hey, how often do you find perytons in literature?) There will be things that I will think about later, how events and characters worked out perfectly. Things that are satisfying though found rarely beyond faerie tales. And of course the language is beautiful though not as gorgeous as in other of Beagle's books.
  katen | Oct 26, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter S. Beagleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ingwersen, JörnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodriguez, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It seemed to her that the street went on forever.
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