Tamsin Mass Market Paperback – Jun 17 2004
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"Fantasy rarely dances through the imagination in more radiant garb than this." (Publishers Weekly, starred review) "A wonderful narrative . . . [Beagle's] handling of the supernatural is sophisticated and believable." (Realms of Fantasy)
About the Author
Peter S. Beagle, a World Fantasy Award nominee, is the bestselling author of the fantasy classic The Last Unicorn as well as many other highly acclaimed works. His novels and stories have been translated into sixteen languages worldwide, and his long and fascinating career has covered everything from journalism and stage adaptations to songwriting and performances. He has given readings, lectures, and concerts of his own songs from coast to coast, and has written several screenplays, including Ralph Bakshi's film version of The Lord of the Rings.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
Tamsin was such a lovely surprise. A book I almost didn't get, clumped in with bunch of other books I'd been dying to read; it wound up being my favourite of the lot. I'd been hesitant because, knowing it was a classic of the fantasy genre, and having read many rave reviews, I'd already read Peter S. Beagles The Last Unicorn; however, in spite of (or perhaps because of) this, ultimately, it hadn't quite lived up to my expectations. I thought the writing was wonderful, I just didn't really connect with any of the characters. Having said that, because Mr. Beagle is such a legend, I decided to give him another try, and boy am I happy I did! Tamsin wound up being completely and utterly gorgeous, and perhaps the thing I wound up loving most about it (besides Jenny's unique voice, which, in my opinion, is the best use of first-person narration since Dodie Smith's classic I Capture The Castle) was the setting. The modern time period, in combination with the authors flowing, classic writing style, was delightful. And because Jenny's voice felt so real, and her world was in many ways very similar to my own; I felt it made the fantastical elements that much stronger, and unnerving.. If, for example, while I had been reading it, a boggart had appeared in my kitchen, or a ghost had sat down on the end of my bed, I'm sure I wouldn't have been surprised at all...
All in all, I thought it was absolutely fantastic, and definitely worthy of five stars.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is a great book for young and old alike. It's very compelling; you won't be able to put it down until the very end. Like most of Peter's books, the story runs the whole emotional range, from funny to sad to terrifying to joyous. And throughout, there's always the mystery and secret of Tamsin, unfolding piece by piece in Peter's Beagle's truly exhilarating, masterful, fairy-tale like style.
This book is really a good one, I'd reccomend it to people definitely 12 or up (though it never would've stopped me). This book reads like it's fast paced, and it's only when you look at the size of the text, etc., that you notice how long it is. It's about the protagonist, Jenny, moving to England, and having to face many things, among them her decidedly sulky attitude (partly because of the 6-month loss of her dear, dear friend, Mister Cat, in quarantine). The other part of it is her house. It is HUGE, set on about a hundred (or, at least seventy) acres, with three floors, huge rooms... a real seventeenth-century 'manor'. But, it has not been cared for in a long time, and it seems to practically resist electricity. Soon Jenny meets Tamsin, a ghost who died when she was twenty and can't remember why she is still stuck on earth. It's really hard to put down.
Amazingly, the character descriptions and personalities are right on target. I could perfectly imagine the way every person would act in a real situation, probably because the atmosphere seems so much like real life.
Five stars and a round of applause for Peter S. Beagle!
Tamsin is the daughter of the original owner of the farm, from the fifteenth century. For some reason, Tamsin does not leave the farmhouse after her tragic early death, but hangs around in ghost form, along with her ghost cat. When Jenny sees and speaks to Tamsin, this seems to stir up all of the characters of myth and legend that abound in Dorset--Pookahs, Billy Blinds, and the Black Dog, who appears as an omen of something terrible to come.
Yet as we find out more about Tamsin's past, and Jenny is drawn deeper and deeper into the place where past and present meet, we realize that not all of these characters are merely mischevious--some are downright evil.
This book builds to a whirlwind climax that will have you on the edge of your set. It manages to be a thrilling ghost story while also a satisfying story of family life and "coming-of-age".
Jenny Gluckstein is a typical American teenager—divorced parents, kind of a bad attitude, and struggling to find herself. When her mother becomes engaged to an Englishman named Evan, she finds herself packed up and moved to a dilapidated farm in Dorset, with two stepbrothers and a house full of strange and spooky noises.
At first Jenny is determined to be unhappy, even when her beloved Mister Cat is released from quarantine. But then she meets the lovely, sad, and charming Tamsin Willoughby, a 300-year-old ghost who can’t quit remember all the details of her past and is stuck in between life and death. Tamsin opens up the world of spirits to Jenny—boggarts, pookas, haunted woods, and even the fearsome Wild Hunt. Their friendship is Jenny’s support and she becomes deeper entwined in Tamsin’s past, trying to find out why Tamsin is stuck and what happened to her lover, Edric.
“Tamsin” is both a coming of age story and a good old-fashioned ghost story, enjoyable for both teens and adults. Jenny’s voice is so real and unique it’s like she’s talking straight to you, telling her story, and Judge Jeffrey’s throws an increasingly frightening and tense tone over the latter half of the book. Jenny is also complex, likeable at times and frustrating at others; her family and best friend Meena make excellent supporting characters as well. Sometimes I read a book and wish I had read it as a child, because I know I would have enjoyed the book over and over through the years. This is one of those books.
Still, it took me almost 4 months to open the pages of "Tamsin". And I couldn't put it down. (Neither could my wife, who swiped it off me soon after I'd started - we had quite a tussle over it!)
The amazing thing is what an immediate different experience "Tamsin" is to "Unicorn". Beagle writes thru a 19-year-old girl's eyes recounting her experiences at 13, and my wife swears "that's exactly how a teen girl thinks". He really gets the teen perspective spot-on. Amazing for a man whose teen years must be quite some decades behind him (sorry, Mr Beagle!).
It was a bit frustrating (just a bit) that the novel takes some time to get to the titular character - Tamsin - but in retrospect, it makes sense. Because the book is really just as much about the teen girl Jenny Gluckstein, who's uprooted from bustling New York to "dull" Dorset (so she had disgruntledly expected) by her mother's second marriage to an Englishman. This 'preamble' of quite a few chapters fleshes out Jenny's character really well - before the real fun starts!
That's when Tamsin is finally introduced, and the story's pace & drama move up a few notches. And so does the scare factor. Not any cheap, gimmicky kind, but one that really can send a chill down your spine, involving the unfolding a 300-year-old secret against a Dorset background rich in ghosts and myths.
I won't say anymore to spoil your enjoyment. This book is worth its full price - I'm just thrilled I got it at such a steal!
P.S. I'm now giving "The Last Unicorn" another chance - and hunting down more books by Peter S. Beagle!