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Publisher's Summary

Claudio Bianchi has lived alone for many years on a hillside in Southern Italy's scenic Calabria. Set in his ways and suspicious of outsiders, Claudio has always resisted change, preferring farming and writing poetry. But one chilly morning, as though from a dream, an impossible visitor appears at the farm. When Claudio comes to her aid, an act of kindness throws his world into chaos. Suddenly he must stave off inquisitive onlookers, invasive media, and even more sinister influences.

Lyrical, gripping, and wise, In Calabria confirms Peter S. Beagle's continuing legacy as one of fantasy's most legendary authors.

©2017 Peter S. Beagle (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about In Calabria

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Transcendent, startlingly, soul-searingly beautiful

This miracle of a novella was nothing I expected.

I purchased it for its title, knew little of the plot other than a curmudgeon on his farm in Calabria.

The story was magically crafted, the narrator perfect, the fusion of reality and the fantastic touchingly done.

The tale is founded in love, on forgiveness, on courage in the most exotic and mundane events of life.

Amazing.

6 people found this helpful

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A Wonderful Short Story!

I went into this novella expecting a nice, magical story that would serve as a short listen as an audiobook. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into considering I've worshiped "The Last Unicorn" since I was a kid. Boy, was I wrong.

"In Calabria" is about a grumpy middle aged farmer, Claudio Bianchi, who has been alone on his plot of land so long he lives more of a "nineteenth century" life. He's comfortable in his loneliness and is content with caring for his multitude of farm animals. He also writes poetry for himself. But then, something magical happens that throws Claudio's humble life into the blazing spotlights of not only throngs of people, but the twenty first century.

And I'll just spoil the magical tidbit here because I can't really go into detail without doing so. Sooo,

*Here there be spoilers!*

A unicorn comes to Claudio's farm to give birth to a foal. Due to Claudio's simple lifestyle, the unicorn is at home on the farm, and yet out of place. I loved how serene and calm the scenes were that involved her. She inspires Claudio to a flurry of poetry the why the reader is inspired that such an ancient and mystical creature is still around in modern times. The prose is expertly crafted with a magic of its own. It's like Beagle is able to use the right words to lull the reader just like Claudio is lulled to the unicorn. I also like Claudio's sense of dry wit and his tendency to talk to himself.

But what's even better than the unicorn (yes, I said something would be better than a unicorn) was the unexpected romance that blooms between Claudio and his postman's sister, Jo (her name is longer but I don't trust myself to spell it right!) Jo is a kind, patient, and strong woman. I have mad respect for her and her ability to protect her man! I kept muttering to myself "so adorable" whenever they were the main focus of scenes. In fact, I rather liked it the best when the story was just about them...no mob (oh right, there's a mob,) and no unicorn. I could just listen to their life together without any outside forces. That's saying something considering I love magic and fantasy with a tiny helping of romance.

"In Calabria" is a short read but packed with so much raw something that it is truly worth your time. I know I'll be coming back to this one just like I always run back to "The Last Unicorn." Put this on your 'to read' lists!

(PS: The audiobook is narrated by Bronson Pinchot. Thanks to him, I didn't have to try and fail at reading Italian names. That is a skill set I sadly do not have under my belt. Anywhoozle, Pinchot was able to convey the right emotions at the correct times. I could feel like he really loved what he was reading for us.)

5 people found this helpful

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Beautiful.

You could feel the warmth of the Calabrese countryside and Claudio’s love for his animals, his land and the magical relationships that transform his dour existence. Lovely little fantasy.

1 person found this helpful

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Solid Read

Excellent story. It was well put together, nice character development, unique perspective, and relatable. I sincerely enjoyed it. The narrator especially did a nice job. I'm looking forward to reading The Last Unicorn even more now after reading this.

1 person found this helpful

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Good story

Good story and different in a good way. However I must protest the vast age difference in the couple in this book as it seems to have been forced for the sake of the main character. Do better male authors.

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Happy Surprise

This was purchased on a fluke and aside from a small foul language outburst, I enjoyed it.

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Gorgeous. Perfect.

Perfect modern fairy tale. Cannot recommend highly enough. Peter S. Beagle is a treasure. Wonderful narration as well.

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Beautifully written.

Series Info/Source: I borrowed the audiobook of this through Audible Plus.

Story (3/5): This was a well written story. It involves a stubborn Italian farmer who is set in his ways and a unicorn who decides to give birth at his farm. The beginning of this story is very beautiful and magical. Unfortunately, two thirds of the way through gangsters and media folks get involved in the story and things went downhill from there. When a cat was tortured and killed that really soured things for me.

Characters (4/5): I was impressed by how well the characters were developed and how beautifully things were described. Claudio’s relationship and connection to the animals on his farm was very well done. I also enjoyed the side characters and the unicorn a lot too.

Setting (4/5): I loved the Italian farm setting. It gave a modern day story a very nostalgic feel. The description was very well done and I could picture everything about the setting perfectly.

Writing Style (4/5): This is the first story I have read by Beagle and he has an amazingly beautiful writing style. If he had left out the gangsters and some of the cruel violence towards animals this would have been a five star read for me. Still I loved the beginning and ending and thought the unicorns and characters were amazingly well done.

My Summary (4/5): Overall this made me want to go and read Beagle’s other books. It is beautifully written and magical in a gentle way. Beagle does an amazing job with description and with creating very human characters that are easy to care about. Some of the violence and crime in this story soured it for me, I think it would have been a fine story and a lot more enjoyable without those elements.

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Catches you.

The beginning is slow but it slowly draws you in and makes it so you can’t put it down. Great reader, definitely creates the mood but doesn’t lose you in over-dramatization. Highly recommend.

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Enjoyable

This is a sweet little love story about an older man and a young woman protecting a unicorn I really enjoyed the plot the characters.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-02-20

gem

beautiful short story.
recommend it with whole my heart.
wish audible would put the last unicorn into their collection also.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Culwen
  • 08-15-18

Elegant, short and simple

There's not much to say about short story without giving it all away. It paints a vivid landscape of a farmer and his animals where this unexpected guest enters their lives and changes everything.

I enjoyed the story, it rounds off well and so in that sense is flawless.

There's a lot of Italian names and tribe names in this and at times I felt it was hard to follow who were thugs, who were the good guys but still this didn't take too much off the story.

The final chapter was probably my favourite. It really painted a wonderful imaginative ending and it was very enjoyable to listen to.