A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE by Peter S. Beagle

You want a little peace and quiet, and a small, OK tiny house, landscaping carefully maintained for you, neighbors you almost never see or hear?  I have just the place for you.  A cemetery.  A graveyard.  You know, the acreage with a fence around it because people are just dying to get in?

Mr. Rebeck has lived in the city’s graveyard for 19 years, after running away from life.  He likes it there.  He stays in an abandoned mausoleum, and a crow brings him food.  He never leaves the cemetery.  He cannot bring himself to pass through the gates.

Michael Morgan is dead.  It is not working out quite as he had thought.  He managed to leave his coffin and is now free to roam around the place, were he sees Mr. Rebeck, who is not dead.  And Mr. Rebeck sees him, and can hear him.  And then sweet Laura appears, also deceased, and natch, she and Michael fall in love.

This is just the sweetest, fantasy/paranormal/almost mostly normal story.

Mrs. Clapper, widow of a Certain Age,  comes to visit her dearly departed husband in the cemetery, and meets Mr. Rebeck.  But she does not see the two ghosts.  Apparently, that is a gift that not all people have, but the night watchman also has the gift.

The raven is a hoot. He is a lousy lander.  He laments that he has never made a decent landing ever.  I kept hearing the raven’s conversation in the voice of Eddy Murphy.

The book has a Neil Gaiman feel to it, whimsical, quirky, and filled with the stories and musings about love.

And the author wrote this when he was only 19 years old.  When I was nineteen years old I was still trying to decide which color socks to wear.

 

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