Take a talking raven that scrounges bologna sandwiches for his eccentric elderly human buddy who just happens to live in a graveyard. Add in a cemetery maintenance man who loves to sing arias, and a couple of ghosts who fall in love while waiting to make the leap from 'here' to 'there'. Sprinkle in the character of a lonely widow who shakes everything up and you have the basic ingredients for one of the most beautiful and poignant fantasy fiction stories to see print.
Mr. Rebeck came to find quiet in a cemetery one day and decided to never leave. Living in a mausoleum, he is brought his food and newspapers by a garrulous, wise-cracking raven. Rebeck shares occasional boozy philosophical discussions with Campos, the big-bodied and big-hearted night watchman.
Rebeck also shares his peaceful existence with the ghosts of newly departed souls that spend a bit of time before passing completely into the beyond. That is how he comes to make the acquaintance of Michael and Laura, two ghosts who arrive separately at the cemetery with secrets of their own. And, of course, there's Mrs. Klapper the lonely widow who visits her late husband's grave and becomes the catalyst for life -and death- altering changes for everyone.
First printed in 1960, Peter S. Beagle’s A Fine and Private Place is a slim novel packed with humor, pathos, and the eternal story of redeeming love. It is filled with fully-fleshed characters and some of the most delightfully witty and thought-provoking dialogue to be found in any type of fiction. The story is heartwarming, sad, uplifting, and ultimately life-affirming; the type of book that one cherishes reading after reading.
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