Pico is a librarian in a city by the sea. He falls in love with a winged girl who rebuffs him because he does not have wings. Thus begins Pico’s journey through the forest, to the mountains, and into the desert seeking The Book of Flying that will give him wings. I revelled in Pico’s fearful and lusty journey. For a time he loses his way in the beauty of books and friends, but of course it doesn’t end there. “Who knows how long he might have stayed in that city, cozy, dousing his guilt with wine, cauterizing it with tobacco, had the city remained static. But keep characters in propinquity long enough and a story will always develop a plot.” I’ve heard it said that this story is about the transcendence of art, and it may be so. It is a fable written as tenderly and poetically as Pico’s heart, often reminding me of A Wizard of Earthsea by Le Guin. One of my favourites ever; it sings to the heathen in me and to the yearning for something more.