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Beagle, Peter S. Listings

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1 Beagle, Peter S.A Fine And Private Place. 28676
Frederick Muller: London. 1960.
First British edition (& 1st printing).
Hardcover.
Fantasy novel, the author's first book. The British edition is very uncommon.

''his beginnings were precocious. After a nongenre story - ''Telephone Call'' for Seventeen in 1957- he published his first and by many still most-loved novel, A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE (1960), before he was twenty-one. In its grave and controlled polish, it does not seem the work of a young man. Though the tale's warm intricacies - and the author's occasional flights of sentimentality - tend to obscure the fact, A Fine and Private Place is a supernatural fiction in chamber-opera form, whose small cast of sharply realized characters play out their destinies within a narrow compass, without any genuine exit available into a fantasy healing: their coming to terms with life and death is, in the end, this-worldly. In a Bronx graveyard lives Jonathan Rebeck, a recluse from life's challenges who is kept alive, in part, by a talking raven, and who has survived here for almost two decades (there is an echo of this in Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire - 1976]- whose Lestat dwells long years hidden in a cemetery). He is surrounded by ghosts of those buried there, who seem to remain sentient - after the manner of the dead in the style of classic Posthumous Fantasy - until they have come to terms with the true shapes of the lives they had in the flesh. Rebeck, a live companion and two ghosts all duly discover that the stories they've been telling themselves about themselves are more or less false, and that they must live (or die) the true story; the novel closes with the two ghosts lying embraced in a single grave, while the two live characters go off to have breakfast. The influence of Robert Nathan upon this novel has been acknowledged by Beagle, who has said it is ''a direct descendant'' of Nathan's One More Spring (1933)'' (John Clute/Encyclopeia of Fantasy).


Page edges a little browned (and top page edges show some spotting), an almost fine copy in a near fine dustjacket with a touch of edge wear and browning along rear flap fold and top edges of inner flaps.

Price: 100.00 GBP
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