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Tamsin Mass Market Paperback – Jun 17 2004

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Firebird; Reissue edition (June 17 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142401544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142401545
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #618,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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

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First Sentence
When I was really young, if there was one thing I wanted in the world, it was to be invisible. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Young New Yorker Jenny Gluckstein must move with her mother and her beloved pet Mister Cat to live with her new stepfather and stepbrothers in the English countryside. Once there, she is surprised to discover an exciting (and often frightening) shadowy spirit world that will forever change her.

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 72 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Peter Beagle does it again Oct. 6 1999
By Brian Reynolds - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm not exaggerating when I say that Peter Beagle is one of the best writers in the world. If you read fantasy, you've certainly read his novel "The Last Unicorn," voted one of the five best fantasy novels of all time. It's always a treat when he gifts us with a new story, which isn't often. In "Tamsin," he tries out a new style, very unlike anything he's written before. It's a twist on the classic ghost story, written from the viewpoint of a headstrong, 14-year old Bronx-raised girl who's trying to come to terms with her mother's remarriage, and with their new home: a run-down, 300-year old manor in the English countryside. If that wasn't bad enough, it turns out that the huge old house and farm that her family's trying to renovate are positively bustling with supernatural activity. Cold drafts, distant voices, boggarts in the kitchen, and things that go bump in the night. This supernatural world takes on an entirely new aspect for Jenny, however, when she discovers Tamsin, the ghost of a 19-year old girl who lived and "stopped," as she puts it, 300 years ago in the manor when it was first built. Tamsin is beautiful, mysterious and compelling, but as their friendship grows, Jenny is drawn deeper and deeper into the strange world of the "old country," and into deadly peril.
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.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Stunning More or Less Describes it Oct. 18 2004
By A Ravenhaired - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wow. Wow. Just, wow.

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!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Makes you believe... May 1 2000
By A. Creech - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a highly enjoyable ghost story. Ninteen year old New Yorker Jenny is looking back on the events that took place after she and her mother move to a run-down farm in Dorset, England to live with her stepfather and stepbrothers. Along with the story of Jenny coming to terms with her new stepfamily and settling in to a new school where she feels like an outsider, we also have the story of Tamsin.
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".
Very enjoyable.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Ghost Story Dec 18 2013
By E. Lucas - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I had only ever read Peter S. Beagle’s “The Last Unicorn,” and didn’t even realize he had so many other books! So I was excited to pick up “Tamsin,” and it was an excellent read—much less lyrical and magical to me than “The Last Unicorn,” but with a wholly distinctive voice and a really good storyline.

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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A hauntingly good read April 28 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I remember giving up "The Last Unicorn" after 3 chapters because of the somewhat ponderous prose. But I still picked up Beagle's "Tamsin" at a book sale because I was intrigued by the synopsis (I love all things English, and I love Dorset).
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!