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The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn #1)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  78,862 Ratings  ·  3,189 Reviews
She was magical, beautiful beyond belief -- and completely alone...

The unicorn had lived since before memory in a forest where death could touch nothing. Maidens who caught a glimpse of her glory were blessed by enchantment they would never forget. But outside her wondrous realm, dark whispers and rumours carried a message she could not ignore: "Unicorns are gone from the
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 11th 1996 by Souvenir Press (first published 1968)
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Kelsi Yes, it was originally intended as a standalone, though later the author wrote a very short sequel. Try it! It's wonderful!
Kelly There are two versions. The graphic novel version (ISBN-13: 978-1631401275) has Peter B Gillis listed as an author. The newest Kindle Deluxe Edition…moreThere are two versions. The graphic novel version (ISBN-13: 978-1631401275) has Peter B Gillis listed as an author. The newest Kindle Deluxe Edition of the non-graphic novel version is good as it includes the sequel novelette "Two Hearts" and an interview with Peter S. Beagle.(less)

Community Reviews

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I shall write a real review but right now I can only think of one way this book could be any better.

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
Apr 28, 2010 seak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
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
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
Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway)
“We are not always what we seem, and hardly ever what we dream.”

In my mind, the movie The Last Unicorn will forever be known as the first and so far only book, movie or TV show to ever give me nightmares. I think I saw the film for the first time when I was about 5 or 6 and I remember being completely entranced by it. It immediately became one of my favourite movies, despite the fact that I couldn’t sleep for a week after seeing it for the first time. I never realised it was originally a novel
Jason Koivu
Feb 01, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Wonderful story that I read waaay too late in the game!

The Last Unicorn is a great quest novel with a driven character in search of the most sympathetic of causes, to find out if she is the last of her kind. It's filled with a bevy of almost Alice-in-Wonderland-interesting side characters...although I could've done without the names, especially Schmendrick, the bumbling wizard. Come on.

Honestly, that last point is what holds this back from being a truly great classic in my eyes. Let me explain..
K.D. Absolutely
Nov 03, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

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
Mar 23, 2011 Mariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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!!!
Aug 14, 2007 Mona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mona by: Aerin
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
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I can see why this is such a fantasy classic. I was well-served to read it alongside other people, forced to read only a few chapters a week - this allowed me to notice more things and appreciate the small bits in a way I don't usually do. Besides having a decent story, Beagle has a good balance of quirky, humor, romance, and deep thoughts. Perfect for younger and older readers.
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
Robin Hobb
Feb 24, 2013 Robin Hobb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Paul Bryant
Sep 25, 2007 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
The world shall not be free until the last unicorn is strangled with the guts of the last hobbit.
Mar 17, 2008 Ambertronic rated it really liked it  ·  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
Dan Schwent
Mar 12, 2008 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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'
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
Aug 26, 2014 Kalin added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
„Последният еднорог“ – редом с „Приказка без край“ и „Реквием за Хомо сапиенс“ – ме е създал такъв, какъвто съм. Той е сияел и трептял край мен и в най-дълбоката тъма. Припомнял ми е, че великите герои се нуждаят от велика скръб и бреме, инак половината им величие остава незабелязано. И че не мога да направя истинска магия, ако пожертвам нечий чужд дроб – че трябва да изтръгна собствения си. (И да не чакам да си го получа пак.) Бил е мой спътник, моя песен, родител и дете...

Опитал съм се да разк
Oliviu Craznic
O carte absolut superbă într-o traducere absolut superbă (varianta din 1977, în traducerea lui Mircea Ivănescu, Ed. Univers).

„Căutând să nu ne facem nici un dușman, tocmai bine ne-am câștigat acum doi.”

„Nu cred ce spune cântecul. Cred că iubirea e mai tare decât firea sau împrejurările. Cred că e cu putință să te păstrezi pentru cineva multă vreme, și să-ți aduci aminte ce anume așteptai atunci când ea vine, în sfârșit. Aș vrea să intru în somnul tău și să te păzesc acolo - dar
Nov 10, 2011 Marijan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ovo je bila tako simpatična knjiga, koja toliko stvari okreće naglavce, i ostavila me u tako dobrom raspoloženju da joj moram dati peticu :)
Mathew Babaoye
Jul 28, 2015 Mathew Babaoye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my early fantasy favorites as a child, which would later indirectly influence the writing of my fantasy/fae/myth novel "Nightglory". A full review will be posted later in 2016.
Jul 20, 2010 Kitty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 15, 2011 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Mar 28, 2010 Lowed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 21, 2016 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, faerie-tales
The Last Unicorn is a unique work among works of fantasy. It stands out in many ways from modern fantasy novels and is hard to pigeonhole into a specific subgenre. It’s definitely not the more action packed, dark and bloody style of sword & sorcery, nor is it really high fantasy. In some ways it has more in common with a fairy tale than modern fantasy, or at least a mix between the two, and in that way relates more to earlier works of fantasy, when it was in its infancy, works like Lord Duns ...more
Aug 14, 2015 Carmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sola in questo mondo

Raramente mi è capitato di leggere un romanzo che riuscisse a gestire in maniera convincente la componente fantasy con una più dissacrante/ironica.
Beagle gioca con gli stereotipi del fantasy ed attua una destrutturazione e ricostruzione del genere, dissociandosi perciò dalle opere più classiche e canoniche alle quali il lettore fa riferimento.
Le descrizioni sono finalmente funzionali nel delineare l'atmosfera fiabesca, le quali riescono a trascinare il lettore in numerose s
Kimberley doruyter
i remember watching that animated movie as a kid and loving it the end always made me cry.
turns out so does the book.
Tiffany Reisz
Jan 30, 2016 Tiffany Reisz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classics are classics for a reason.

Molly Grue is the truest fictional character ever written. She's more magical than even the unicorn and the wizard combined.
Apr 29, 2009 Hilary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Twitch, Sean,
Recommended to Hilary by: Jackie
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, own, 2009
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
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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...

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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.” 2642 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.” 600 likes
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