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Giant Bones [Audio Cassette]

Peter S. Beagle
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 2002
Nominated for the World Fantasy Award

Six breathtaking stories set in the bestselling world of The Inkeeper's Song.

The "best work yet" (Locus) from the award-winning author of The Last Unicorn

"Beagle is the class act of fantasy writing, the only contemporary to remind one of Tolkien, and, in his darker moments, Dineson...Beagle's fairy tales invoke comparison with yet another great name, the Brothers Grimm."--Booklist (starred review)

* Nominee, The Mythopoeic Awards
* Nominee, World Fantasy Award (Best Collection)
* Nominee, 1998 Best Books for the Teen Age
* Beagle is one of the most beloved, respected, and award-winning authors in fantasy today
* A selection of the Science Fiction Book Club
* Beagle is the bestselling author of The Innkeeper's Song, The Last Unicorn, and A Fine & Private Place
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Booklist

Beagle is the class act of fantasy writing, the only contemporary to remind one of Tolkien and, in his darker moments, Dinesen. The title story here concerns a modest man who sets off on a perilous journey across high mountains and is rescued from fearsome rock-targs by a race of gentle giants. He lives among them, novel as Gulliver, for 18 years, learning of their curious funeral rite: eating their dead. In the long romance "The Last Song of Sirit Byar," a traveling bard works magic with his songs, saving his last and greatest song to bring an old love back from madness, dying as he sings it. In "The Magician of Karakosk," a country-bumpkin wizard foils an evil queen by leaving out just one step in the incantation he teaches her, so that she turns herself into nothing more than wind. One of these six stories, "Lal and Soukyan," uses characters from The Innkeeper's Song (1993), and all are set in its milieu. Gentle yet biting, far-fetched and altogether common, Beagle's fairy tales invoke comparison with those associated with yet another great name, the Brothers Grimm. John Mort --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Beagle writes in his foreword that he doesn't do sequels; nevertheless, the world he created in The Innkeeper's Song (1993) continues to tickle his storytelling instincts: hence, the setting for this collection of six substantial tales, though only one, ``Lal and Soukyan,'' features characters from the novel. Elsewhere, the legendary bard and musician Sirit Byar sings his last song to the gods; the evil Queen of Fors na'Shachim compels Lanak of Karakosk to teach her magic; the Jiril of Derridow's troupe of actors takes to the road; Choushi-Wai relates the tale of Tai-Sharm and the Singing Fish; and the title piece reveals how Grandfather Selsim's descendants became giants. A treat for browsers and Beagle aficionados alike. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Six Unique Voices - Six Lovely Stories Jan. 10 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Set in the world of his previous book, "The Innkeeper's Song," Beagle presents six stand-alone fairy tales in this charming collection. All but one from first person perspective (Lal and Soukyan's last hurrah), Beagle continues to weave strange twists on old forms: the girl who would rather marry a thief, the powerful magician who had no love for power, two old mercenary partners who find a need for reconciliation, and - my favourite - the actors who are privy to a most unusual theatrical performance! As delightful and lyrical as these tales are, however, Beagle's world is bleak, leaving all his characters to live in a catch-as-catch can world. Beagle also feels no need to shrink from or tidy-up the language of his characters, as the first story eminently proves. While this excellent ear for the "voices" of the five story-tellers in this wonderful collection is more than appropriate but necessary to each story, young children who loved "The Last Unicorn" would be advised to wait a few years before delving into this enjoyable anthology.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like an evening of the very best storytelling... March 27 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Since all the stories in "Giant Bones" are either framed by some kind of first-person narrative or directly recounted by a participant-with the exception of "Lal and Soukyan," thus giving that story a particular distinction-reading the book is like nothing so much as spending an evening with a rich and peculiar cast of characters. The narrators are as varied as the tales they tell: an old woman paying a scribe to set down the truth, an old man in an inn telling stories with his friends, a traveling player commiserating with a fellow actor, the professional storyteller Choushi-wai regaling an audience with her favorite tale, and an impatient father recounting the family legend to his son. Each story has its own particular scope, from a disaster of a theatrical production to the clash of a power-hungry queen and a back-country magician, told in vivid, sympathetic prose to which is added the particular pungency of each narrator. Nor does the third-person style of "Lal and Soukyan" do anything to diminish its power. It's not exactly a sequel to "The Innkeeper's Song," as it answers almost none of the questions that the book's ending leaves for the readers to ponder, but it is a welcome reappearance for two beloved characters. By its very ending it seems to preclude any further "sequels" but regardless of its place in any kind of story cycle it's a very good short story and stands quite well on its own. More, it and the other the other five stories flesh out the world which was sketched so vividly, if not explored in depth, in "The Innkeeper's Song." Either as a sequel-of-sorts or as a stand-alone collection, "Giant Bones" is very good. And what more do you want out a book, anyway?
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4.0 out of 5 stars good stuff, but flawed Aug. 24 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As usual, Mr. Beagle proves what a master he is at world-creation and character-generation (and his prose is lovely, as usual). Also as usual, the resolutions of the story just never merit their fabulous build-up. (The last three stories are somewhat better in this department than the first three--esp. "Giant Bones" and "Choushi-Wai's Story", tho' you'd expect more spice from any story with Lal and Soukyan in it, even if they are in their 80s, right?) The most glaring example of this was the third story, "The Tragical Historie of the Jiril's Players"--which was really, really good (pretty funny, too)...until the ending! I mean, the build-up is great, but you're so amused and interested in the Players, you kinda wish they'd play a larger role in the outcome! Oh, well. Anyway, despite all this (and they do get better as they go along), it's rare I've read a collection of worth-while fantasy short stories...but this is a good one!
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Good fantasy is terribly difficult to find. Good short fiction is terribly difficult to find. Good fantasy short fiction does not exist. Or, it rarely does. Giant Bones is a welcome addition to this neglected, narrow genre. Even for those who have not read The Innkeeper's Song, these tales, brought to life in wonderous, traditional tale-telling style, will suprise and delight you. A few of them, such as "Lal and Soukyan" and "The Last Song of Sirit Byar" are not really suprising for those familiar with Beagle -- they feel like a return to a well-loved home. I found "Giant Bones" to be slightly tedious in its first-person style, moreso than Beagle's earlier work. But "The Magician of Karakosk," "The Tragical Historie of the Jiril's Players," (and I point out that the reviewers were wrong -- some of these characters are present in The Innkeeper's Song as well as Lal and Soukyan) and "Choushi-wai's Story" are spectacular in their lyrical telling. You may find yourself shocked that such simple stories seem vibrant and brilliantly alive. All of these stories are worth reading -- you may find yourself reading them more than once. Another excellent work by an excellent author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very special work Aug. 24 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Anyone whoever read THE INNKEEPER'S SONG by Peter S. Beagle will be delighted to hear about this new anthology of stories. With six new stories from the same fantasy world, each one unique and entertaining, Beagle practically reinvents modern fantasy. The tales are about bards, magicians, and aged mercenaries Lal and Soukyan, first seen in the THE INNKEEPER'S SONG.

GIANT BONES is a must for any any Peter S. Beagle fan. Even if you've never read his work before, this will be $12 well spent.

Casey Thomaston
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