The Line Between
by Peter S. Beagle
Review by Gayle Surrette
Tachyon Publications Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 1892391368
Date: 01 July, 2006 List Price $14.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
"Gordon, The Self-Made Cat" is an interesting story of a young mouse who asks questions and challenges the assumptions. In four fables each with their own moral, we gain some new insight in behavior via stories that are humorous, stark, witty, and sad. Again the line between can be crossed without our awareness.
The short story "Two Hearts" is a touching piece that reunites readers with some of the characters from The Last Unicorn and ends the tale. We also meet an endearing child Sooz who is our narrator and a spirit that I hope to see in future stories and books as I'm convinced she'll continue to have adventures in her life.
A brother and sister come to an understanding in "The Regalo". Angie and Marvyn learn to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of each other. That doesn't mean that Angie won't want to kill him before he can get a year older but it does mean that the chances just got better that they both might gain adulthood.
"Quarry" is the story of how Soukyan from the The Innkeeper's Song met the old fox. In "Salt Wine", Ben Hazeltine tells us of his friend Henry Lee who helped a merrow escape a tiger shark attack and learned to make salt wine. The wine allowed Henry Lee to start a business, hire Ben, and marry the woman of his dreams. The wine also took it all away.
Sherlock Holmes as "Mr. Sigerson" takes a vacation and joins an orchestra as a violinist. The conductor Floresh Takesti appreciates the new violinist and ends up working with him to help the cellist deal with his philandering wife. It's not Holmes finest hour or most successful case and Takesti hopes Sigerson sticks to his music in the future.
"A Dance for Emilia" is a poignant story of two friends who follow their dreams until they realize that they can only have a part of the dream. Through the years they maintain their friendship and then when one dies the friendship doesn't end.
Each story is a gem and to tell you what to expect would be to give away the experience of finding yourself over the line before you see it. Read it for the stories. Read it for the use of language and the pictures that words can create. Read it for any reason your can find, but read it.