Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Date Started: 30 March
Date Finished: 31 March
Buy your copy now: In Calabria
I must confess that this is my fist book about a unicorn, unless you’re counting that one time in Harry Potter when Voldemort drank a unicorn’s blood to stay… well, whatever it was you’d call what he was doing…
I’ve heard about this particular author and his most well known book, The Last Unicorn, and I actually have it on my shelf… but I never seem to get around to reading it. I’m sure you know how that goes…
When I received a copy of this from Netgalley, I couldn’t really put it on my shelf and forget about it though, so I started reading it promptly. I went into it not knowing what to expect at all though. I mean I couldn’t quite imagine for myself where a book about unicorns would go… There’s surprisingly few books about the subject out there!
In Calabria (which is the town where this story is set) introduces us to a grumpy old farmer that purposely keeps himself isolated for initially vague reasons. Enter the unicorn and you’ve got a fantastical story with some deep life lessons in surprisingly colorful language. I don’t know why, but for some reason I associate unicorns with purity and children, and reading about a unicorn in the same sentence as the sentiment “God’s burning asshole” was rather jarring.
Bianchi is the crotchety “old” farmer, and while he vehemently discourages familiarity from all angles, once the unicorns and Giovanna enters the scene, we start seeing the real him that he’s buried deep inside. The problem is he’s so convinced that he’s unlikable and grumpy, that he can’t see past his own image of himself to explore the rest of himself. Which of course is where Giovanna comes in…
This book has everything from romance and unicorns to the mafia, and honestly, I would have rated it much higher had it not been for the fact that it was written almost abstractly. The characters were well developed and the story was enjoyable, but it just didn’t pull you in and make you live in the moment. Never for one second did I forget that this was just a story I was reading. There was no emotional pull, and for me that’s one of the most important aspects of a story.
I’d still like to read The Last Unicorn, but unfortunately In Calabria left me rather underwhelmed, and I’m wondering if perhaps unicorn fiction is just not my bag of tea?
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