October 6th, 2008

2013 work pic (2)

Peter Beagle

Because my wife rocks, she happened to notice that a local con was having Peter Beagle come in and do a reading of his stuff, and she mentioned it to me. It was a very small thing, with just a few people -- maybe six people in the room other than Peter and me.

He read a short story, something like, "Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros", which was the first story in his "The Rhinoceros that Quoted Nietzsche". It's very good, and I can definitely recommend it.

When I heard Neil Gaiman read "Coraline", I was a touch disappointed. He's a good reader, but he didn't really do anything unpredictable. He's got a perfectly serviceable voice and I'm sure he does well with it day-to-day, but he did nothing that surprised me.

Peter Beagle, by contrast, has a wonderful, warm voice. He's an old Jewish man and a professional musician, and you can hear both in his intonation and the way his sentences flow. I'm guessing he really likes reading aloud, and his phrasing (when he writes) is well chosen for it. His best stuff, to my mind, are the sections where he has a little trick every sentence, something to change how you feel about the sentence halfway through, or that shows something about the character, because you can play voice games with those sentences. And he does, though he's a bit more deadpan about it than I am. That's okay -- deadpan works well with his voice.

So yeah, that was lovely. And Krissy definitely gets brownie points for this one :-)