The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1)
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The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn #1)

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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  59,221 ratings  ·  2,156 reviews
The Last Unicorn is one of the true classics of fantasy, ranking with Tolkien's The Hobbit, Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy, and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Beagle writes a shimmering prose-poetry, the voice of fairy tales and childhood:

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the c
...more
Paperback, 40th Anniversary Edition; Deluxe Trade Paperback, 294 pages
Published July 2008 by Roc (first published 1968)
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mark monday
so i set the mood for rereading The Last Unicorn by putting together a nifty mix of woodstock era classics, heavily featuring the likes of jethro tull & canned heat & richie havens & a lot of early pink floyd. i put on my comfy clothes. i brewed some tea. i picked my sunniest room and my cat - sensing my mood - snuggled in close. however, i did not smoke any weed. perhaps this was my mistake? nonetheless, the mood was definitely set and the enjoyment swiftly commenced.

this is a nice...more
Tara
it's a real shame that as i was giving this book five stars i could hear in my head some of the many people whose opinions i don't ask for going "oh, that tara, she's so spacey and mock-able. ha!" if they saw it, and then i think, well.. let's be sweet anyway. so last night my dad and i were watching the jimmy carter documentary and were all "oh, he is so awesome". then the dvd player started acting up. i grabbed another disc and put it in to see where the problem lay, and the dvd was The Last U...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
I'll get straight to the point on this, read it, read it now. The Last Unicorn (1968) is a classic and not without reason.

The third-person narrative centers on a unicorn who, believing she is the last of her kind in the world, sets off on a journey to discover what has happened to the others. She encounters a host of diverse characters as her journey progresses, each of them bringing her closer to her goal. (Wikipedia)

I thought I'd do this review a bit different than my normal routine and just l...more
Joel
I shall write a real review but right now I can only think of one way this book could be any better.

K.D. Absolutely
Dec 16, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Children's)
Shelves: 501, childrens, fantasy
Magical. One of the best children's fantasy books that I've ever read. The prose is as enchanting as the unicorn. Everytime the unicorn appears, thinks and speaks, I am thrown out of this world. Peter Beagle (born 1939) is a scintillating American author and he's got a equally dazzling character to mark his place in this literary world - none other than what people say as a legendary yet fictional animal, the most important imaginary animal of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance - the unicorn.

H...more
Mariel
Mar 23, 2011 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the science of dreams
Recommended to Mariel by: red bull gives you wings
Michel Gondry has a theory that when we sleep our bodies, minds, souls, heart (whatever else there might be) are opened up and when we awake we want to be close (and also explaining why people wake up horny). Like a kind of rebirth or cleansing of the day to day crap. (He puts it better than I do because he's Michel Gondry and I'm Mariel.) I dislike to be touched. I don't wake up craving physical connections like that. I'd rather wrap myself up in a cocoon. Preferably a bubble, that way I could...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
"It cannot be an ill fortune to have loved a unicorn," he said. "Surely it must be the dearest luck of all, though the hardest earned."

"As for her, she is a story with no ending, happy or sad. She can never belong to anything mortal enough to want her."

What a weenie am I! I actually got all misty eyed near the end of this book. Really a sweet story filled with colorfully drawn characters and writing that engages all six of your senses.
I don't know why I never found this book when I was a young...more
Paul
Jan 31, 2012 Paul rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
The world shall not be free until the last unicorn is strangled with the guts of the last hobbit.
Ambertronic
Aug 30, 2009 Ambertronic rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I seriously wonder if Peter S. Beagle has Synesthesia. His choice of adjectives is beautiful and downright tasty. Sounds have color and texture, it's as if he was able to show people what it would be like to walk into a Van Gogh painting and live inside it.

His plot is not as it seems, at first appearing cliche (you may find yourself thinking "This is like the start of hundreds of fairy tales I've read as a kid") but you will be delightfully proven wrong. His characters are unique and experience...more
Mona
This book may fool you. It's not a once-upon-a-time tale, nor is it just for children. When I first picked up this book, all I knew about it was that a trusted friend - whose book recommendations have never led me astray - loved it. I was under the impression that it was for children, and even though I am a self-described kid at heart and stalwart defender of children's literature, I thought it would be a light read, devoid of any complexities. Well, I was wrong.

The story begins in the lilac woo...more
Stephen
5.0 stars. WOW, why did it take me so long to get around to reading this extraordinary novel!! I actually only decided to read this now because one of my favorite authors, Patrick Rothfuss, mentioned that it was one of his favorite novels of all time. Well, I can certainly see why. This is fantasy at its best. Beautifully written, smart and full of heart. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
Nikki
Having just finished reading The Last Unicorn, I'm not at all sure what to say about it, or how I feel about it. I felt vaguely enchanted by it -- not in the sense of it being twee and sweet and Disney, but in the sense of it having a hold over me. I loved the writing, the richness of it, the strange and new descriptions, e.g. "the air hung shiny as candy" -- things that don't quite make logical sense, and yet, you know what they mean.

I loved the fairytale qualities interspersed with bits of hum...more
Dan Schwent
Oct 19, 2008 Dan Schwent rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Ursula LeGuin and/or Neil Gaiman
Shelves: fantasy
I've been hearing for years and years that The Last Unicorn is a must read for fantasy fans. It's true.

The Last Unicorn is the story of a unicorn living alone in a wood that finds out she's the last and goes searching for her people. Along the way, she meets a bumbling wizard named Schmendrick, a feisty woman named Molly, and eventually a layabout prince named Lir.

As with A Fine and Private Place, Beagle's writing is spotted with humor. I can see his influence in Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett'...more
Allison
I read this mainly because I've heard it's a fantasy classic, and felt I should. It was indeed magical, and read like a true fairytale with a unicorn and other mythical creatures, a noble prince with quests, a wizard, and an evil king. I can see why it's a classic.

I'm only giving it 3 stars, though, because the emotional connection and immediateness of more modern fantasy isn't there, and it felt like watching the story from afar. The characters definitely felt emotions. Intellectually, I know t...more
Kitty
This book has haunted me ever since I first finished it years, and years ago. I'll be driving down the freeway and the slant of sunlight off of a trucks rear window will suddenly remind me of a line in one of these chapters and a fever will grab hold of me all of a sudden and it won't be quelled until I get home and reread that passage, which turns into rereading that chapter which turns into rereading this book. I'm not safe anywhere, I was sick to death recently and the first thing I reached f...more
Fox
Apr 29, 2009 Fox rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Twitch, Sean,
Recommended to Fox by: Jackie
Shelves: 2009, fantasy, fiction, own
The Last Unicorn is quite possibly the most beautiful book ever written. The story it tells is of a quest undertaken by the last unicorn, Molly Grue, and Schmendrik the Magician to save the unicorns from the Red Bull of King Haggard. What appears at first glance to be a traditional fantasy tale winds up being far more. The Magician is the last of his own kind, however, he is also completely incompetent in his art and wishes nothing more than to find his magic so that he may be mortal and die. Mo...more
Lowed
Melancholy peppered with loveable characters, added with prose better than Tolkien! Wheew!

Some of you might disagree, but as you read this book, you live with every word of it! You could taste and feel the coldness of Haggard's keep, and know how every characters emotion at a given situation in a given time.

The writing is really emotional, I think this was page three:

"Who knows? Times change. Would you call this age a good one for unicorns?"

"No, but I wonder if any man before us ever thought his
...more
Terry
2.5 - 3 stars

Another read for the the Tolkien Professor’s Faerie & Fantasy podcast seminar.

This book gets a *lot* of love on Goodreads, and I kind of see where people are coming from, but I have to admit that I didn’t have quite the same rapturous experience of this book as most. Don’t get me wrong, Beagle definitely has a way with words. His descriptive prose is very evocative and there are some moments of real lyricism here, but overall I think he did himself a disservice in a major eleme...more
Jon
Oct 25, 2010 Jon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Beyond Reality October 2010 Selection
Beagle continually surprised me with his unique prose. Descriptions and metaphors in odd juxtapositions that at first make no sense but then you blink and they make complete sense. His dialogue often rang with rhythm and rhyme, nudging me to re-read a snippet just to hear it roll off my tongue.

A quest adventure fairy tale fantasy flipped topsy-turvy. Instead of a child pulled unwillingly along by prophecy, an undying unicorn discovers she is the last of her kind and leaves to learn their fate....more
Robin Hobb
This was one of the first satisfying fantasy reads that I found after The Lord of the Rings. I read it when I came home from my first year of college, in 1970. For a long time, I felt like I was the only person who had read this book. Then, slowly, slowly, the recognition for it began to grow. The movie came out, so wondrously tied to the book (and well it should be: the author wrote the screenplay) and I loved it almost as much as the book.

All these years later, it is a pleasure to see it gaini...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Read it for itself. A classic of it's type.

I found this a "mildly interesting" book. It never pulled me in yet it was interesting enough that I stayed with it. It's sort of like a weak tea, drinkable but not something I'm overly pleased with.
mich
I remember watching this cartoon as a kid, and wimp that I was, having tons of nightmares about Mommy Fortuna. That was one scary bi-atch! Still, fond memories abounded when I came across this book, and I was very excited to read it and see how it matched up with my childhood recollections of the story.

I came away with this: This is no children's fairy tale. You benefit from being an adult and reading this to fully appreciate everything the story has to offer. Aside from it being beautifully wri...more
Chris
I recently re-read this book as part of a group read. I've always loved it, but this is one of those books that you only realized how much you love it when you read again.

Beagle's writing is prose-poetry. This book is also one of the few books that was adapted to film very well.

In case you don't know, The Last Unicorn is about a unicorn who goes on quest to discover what happened to the rest of her kind. She meets a wizard and a woman who add her. On the way, she learns some un-unicorn like tra...more
April
In prepping for Unicorns Vs. Zombies Week, which was a long time in the making, I had taken it upon myself to make a list of books to read featuring unicorns. Of course, The Last Unicorn topped the list. Seriously, I cannot think about unicorns without thinking about this book. And no, the unicorn in this book is not bloodthirsty. Although I had made up my mind earlier to be Team Unicorn, I think had I been on the fence, this book would definitely have pushed me onto Team Unicorn.
Read the rest o...more
Jareed
Beautiful. Beautiful. Pure soulful beauty. Though I still find it hard that this is compared to Tolkien's The Hobbit. Things lose their luster when they are compared. No. There is no need for comparison here. Still, this is beautiful enough on its own that it must and should be read by every fantasy genre fan.
Blue
Originally posted here .

My love affair with this book was just way I liked it - slow-burning and unexpected. I started out feeling fairly lukewarm about the story, as it was very simple, but like a seed you didn't know was there, days went by before I realized that it has grown on me. I am not sure if it is because of Prince Lir's growth from shallow young 'un to lovesick hero, or Lady Amalthea's painful beauty, or Molly Grue's cream puff (solid on the outside but softie on the inside) persona,...more
Lynne King
I first read “The Last Unicorn” in my twenties and I didn’t really enjoy it as I was not into unicorns at all. A few years back, however, I came across Michael Green’s wonderful book “The Unicornis Manuscripts on the History and Truth of the Unicorn” and from then on I was hooked on these mythical creatures. So when I reread Peter Beagle’s book, I was quite intrigued to see that I preferred it much more the second time around. It’s one of those amazing books for all age groups.

It must have been...more
El
The unicorn is the protagonist of this story who begins to question her place in the world. She overhears a couple hunters in the woods debating whether or not unicorns still exist, sparking in her the desire to venture out in order to try to find others like herself. Along the way she meets an eclectic group of folks who all in some way affect your journey. In the process she comes to terms with what happened to the rest of the unicorns and battles the Red Bull in an effort to save the world.

I...more
Kim
I really didn't enjoy this book that much and honestly don't get what all the fuss is about. I found the story boring and didn't care at all about the characters, especially the unicorn. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for it but I could easily have skipped this one.
Gregory
There is a time when most of us humans want to know that magic is true.There is a time when most of us need to know that magic is true.But there also is a time when us humans stare magic right in the eye and we never realize what we are staring at.
The story of "The Last Unicorn" is a sad,but beautiful story,about a unicorn that discovers she is the last unicorn in the world.She lives alone in a forest and she takes care of the creatures that dwell there.Spring is always present in her forest,...more
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Peter Soyer Beagle (born April 20, 1939) is an American fantasist and author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays. He is also a talented guitarist and folk singer. He wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place , when he was only 19 years old. Today he is best known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which routinely polls as one of the top ten fantasy novels of all time, and at least two of...more
More about Peter S. Beagle...
A Fine and Private Place Tamsin The Innkeeper's Song Two Hearts (The Last Unicorn, #1.5) The Unicorn Sonata

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“Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale.” 2355 likes
“Real magic can never be made by offering someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back.” 385 likes
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