I'm on page fifty, for crying out loud, and I keep having to put the book down to blow my nose. And then I'll be laughing out loud halfway down the same page.
The man's ability to capture a voice, and an image, and a character astound me. The book's in first-person POV, a 19-year-old girl talking about being 13, and it's just achingly perfect. The voice, the tone, the mixture of very simple language and stunningly fresh images. Le Sigh.
I don't care if he writes one book every five years. I don't care if he tends toward the odd pacing and narrative stumble in the last third or so. He's just
He makes my teeth hurt.
Actually, my friend Hannah Bowen (check out her stories "Among the Cedars" at http://www.ideomancer.com and "Tin Cup Heart" at http://www.chizine.com) at her best sometimes reminds me of Beagle. Including that part about starting off young with raw talent and a clear-eyed and tolerant appraisal of the world--that doesn't stint on the good parts, and doesn't flinch from the rest.
I am so lucky to have two people who write like that to read.
It makes me giggle. Halfway down the page from where I was crying so hard I had to put down the book. God bless writers who can render complexity of emotion so clearly: I'd say we needed more of them, but they wouldn't be as special then, would they?