Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Fine and Private Place Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

See all 13 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
Library Binding
"Please retry"
Audible, Unabridged
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$10.50 $0.01

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

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.

From AudioFile

Mr. Rebeck lives in a cemetery. A talking raven brings him food. He's afraid to leave. He talks to dead people. Two of these dead people fall in love with each other, while Mr. Rebeck falls in love with a widow. In a book containing a large proportion of dialogue, Peter S. Beagle's best work as a narrator comes through some of his characterizations. Rebeck and his widow, Mrs. Clapper, are as finely performed as they are written. The ghosts and raven, however, fall somewhat flat. Overall, the author's performance comes across as understated and depressing, qualities not at all helpful in dealing with the premise of the book, farfetched in its own right. R.P.L. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Roc Trade (May 5, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451450965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451450968
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,093,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G in Ohio on January 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I used to read this book at least once a year, although recently I've been too busy. But I'm about to start up again. This is a wonderful look at life and death, of people who are afraid to live and people who are afraid to die, and how in many ways they are the same fear. It is also a delicate romance, but not in the mushy or "romance novel" sense. It doesn't have the action and the sweep of some of Beagle's other books, but it has the depth and the heart.

It doesn't plod, as the other reviewer said, but it is lovely and slow, written in the smooth and elegant prose that is the hallmark of Beagle's best work. Was he really only 19 when he wrote it? You know a great book by Beagle when you never want it to end, and this is one. It isn't like any other book, so I can't compare it to anything. Read it.
1 Comment 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although undoubtedly most well-known for his novel "The Last Unicorn," Peter S. Beagle's "A Fine and Private Place" has always been a personal favorite of mine. The title is taken from the Andrew Marvell poem, "To His Coy Mistress." The line is as follows: "The grave's a fine and private place, but none, I think, do there embrace." The story Beagle tells in this novel is of two ghosts who in death find a richer love than ever they knew in life, a love which is all the more precious to them because its doom is that it cannot last.
Peter Beagle is simply the most amazing writer ever (IMHO), and so I highly recommend all of his works. This one in particular, though, has always been special to me. The writing is so simple that it's beautiful. And the story of Michael and Laura's love is so touching,... there was a chapter in the book that was so painfully lovely that it actually brought tears to my eyes, one of only two times that I can remember being brought to tears by a book.
I can't recommend it highly enough. It's amazing in so many ways. For one, nearly the entire book takes place in a single graveyard, a place which becomes so real to me that I wish it were indeed real so that I might be buried there myself. The characters are unforgettable as well. Even the talking raven is wonderful, whereas I usually abhor loquacious animals (look for the squirrel and the raven's conversation, it is hands down the most hilarious section of the novel!).
Besides all that, it's a love story, which may be a plus to some of you. For the rest of you out there who hate love stories, I understand, becuase I hate them too. But Beagle's romance totally pulled me in.
Read more ›
Comment 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What defines life? Where is the line between alive and dead? What makes life worth living? Sound like an outline for a course in philosophy? But these questions are what drives this lyrical, quiet, and unassuming story of two ghosts, a raven, a man caught somewhere in-between the living and the dead, and a very traditional Jewish widow.

The raven has an attitude, but insists on dragging sandwiches to Mr. Rebeck, a pharmacist who decided to live in the cemetery many years ago. Mr. Rebeck is lonely most of the time, except when there is a new burial, for then that person's ghost will stick around a little while and keep him company, until the ghost forgets what it is to be human, to be alive.

Michael Morgan and Laura are two such new ghosts. Each has a conflicted past, not fully remembered, and take different approaches to this new state of 'living', Michael trying fiercely to retain all he can of himself and his past, Laura trying to fully leave the world of the living. Mr. Rebeck suddenly finds himself with an unusually rich set of company, for besides Michael and Laura, he finds himself involved with the widow Mrs. Klapper, coming to visit the tomb of her husband.

Each of these characters is finely delineated, their conversations with each other slowly illuminating their pasts, their ambitions, their fears, and their hopes. From a little evening singing, quiet walks, the raven bringing news of the outside world, the story is built bit by little bit, with no large dramatic moments until the very end. It is, in essence, a character study, and each character's approach to life imposes its message about life's meaning and purpose.
Read more ›
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on March 2, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Okay, that sounds a little corny, but it's probably what I will forever call last Tuesday when I went to the library to get a Beagle book or two. I'd read "The Last Unicorn," loved it, and had decided to see what else this man could do. I picked up "A Fine and Private Place," and another book by him, "Tasmin." I started AFAPP as soon as I got home, and finished it around 3:15 that morning. From the first sentence, I was hooked. Speaking of the first sentence, I had to read this one a few times to make sure I had it. "The baloney weighed the raven down..." Yes, that's it! AFAPP is a deeply touching story about a recluse living in a cemetery, a brash raven with an attitude, and two lost ghosts. What really makes this book special though, is the writing style. Beagle seamlessly weaves together beautiful, almost lyrical, words with a timeless tale of love and discovery. Just be sure to begin reading it in the morning, because you may not be able to put it down!
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?