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Strange Roads by Peter S. Beagle
Cover Artist: Lisa Snellings-Clark
Review by Sam Tomaino
DreamHaven  ISBN/ITEM#: 1892058138
Date: April 2008

Links: DreamHaven Books / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Strange Roads is a 69-page book containing three stories by Peter S. Beagle with illustrations by Lisa Snellings Clark.

Strange Roads is an attractive, little book with three stories by Peter S. Beagle "inspired by the artwork of Lisa Snellings Clark."

The title character of "King Pelles the Sure" is the ruler of a happy, prosperous kingdom. However, Pelles wants to be remembered for something glorious and asks his Grand Vizier to start a little war. Against his better judgment, the vizier complies. Naturally, things do not go well and the kings must find a way to atone for his sins in this sad, touching story.

Ben's friend Farrell has a problem with a "Spook" that is haunting him in the house into which he has recently moved with the lovely Julie. Julie is off visiting relatives and knows nothing of the ghost. They call in a medium named Andy Mac, a man who Farrell despises and who despises him back. Andy Mac introduces the ghost as Walter the Spook who had been murdered 150 years ago but believes Farrell is his murderer and won't be convinced otherwise. The only way Walter the Spook will cease his haunting is if Farrell has a duel with him. I won't give away Farrell's choice of weapons but this is a delightful battle for the ages.

In "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel", Beagle saves the best for last. David is a ten-year old boy who stays with his painter Uncle Chaim in his studio during the afternoon. One day, a beautiful angel appears to them both and insists that Chaim paint her. Eventually, he agrees and continues to paint pictures of the angel for quite some time. But there is more going on and the story becomes something truly special. To say more would spoil it. I'm glad I picked up this little book, if only to read this story and I urge you to do the same. When it comes time for me to make up my Hugo nominations for next year, "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel" will definitely be on it.

So go to Dream Haven's web site ( and buy this already!

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