Mariel's Reviews > The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
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's review
Mar 23, 2011

it was amazing
Recommended to Mariel by: red bull gives you wings
Recommended for: the science of dreams

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 still see what else was going on and then use it to make my bubble extra pretty.

Now this is the part where I'll actually start writing about Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn. Beagle's book is that waking up and feeling touched story for me. Everything I love, and a (um) rebirth of why I had loved in the first place.
Beagle is a genius. Ever notice how desperately ironic kid's entertainment is today? A lot of things, actually. (Not that I'm saying that The Last Unicorn is a kids book. It's not. It's a book for people who care about shit.) There's nothing ironic about this story. The humor is tongue in cheek, and the experience an amused calm. I hate to be winked at. It stresses me out. The joke isn't on anyone. Beagle hasn't the inclination or time (ours too) to waste on pointless jabs and in need of some ritalin hijinks. Trying to be something you're not. Getting to be what you could be in your best moments. Finally, the every day carrying over, and what you use to carry you, all making the whole. That's what the time is really for. Being able to convey the pure of heart intentions goes beyond being a damned good writer (which he is). He's gotta be an awesome person to be around period.

I love this book so much that I don't even know where to begin or stop trying to describe it... Can you be young again when you're old but be old when you're young? It's like that.

The only part of The Last Unicorn that I didn't feel as the timeless stories (if I had been alive hundreds of years ago I'd still have loved Robin Hood) was the love story. That was foriegn to me and did not make my soul yearn to keep on living it in my mind. I feel Sharon Shinn's The Shape-changer's Wife is a kindred spirit of 'Unicorn' (Beagle endorses it on the cover. No surprise there). In this regard, Shinn did it better. The love was freedom and that made my heart soar. For once, not being torn, or suffocated. I understand the love as nature. What I don't understand is the coming together of two beautiful people to be beautiful together, the wanting to hold onto that beauty and pine for it to stay that way forever. That's not nature. That's what people say is "we're only human" when they wanna excuse something depressing. That loss I felt hollow for, and wasn't a waking up and wanting it back thing for me. Give me an image like the unicorn leaving her haven to seek the rest of her kind, or a worn down woman getting to be young once more through Maid Marian, and I'm blown away. Like an arrow straight to my heart.
The Last Unicorn is what's still there (the heart of the matter) when change, time bypasses and whatnots are stripped away. I barely remember dreams. If I had a good one I'd probably not remember it.  What I dream of in the day time is stuff like this.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Sarah Your shelving system is fabulous! I just want to give you a hug. ^_^

Mariel Thanks, Sarah! I changed a lot of them up not too long ago and have difficulty remembering what they were for from what they used to be! It made plenty of sense at the time.

Jenn "Can you be young again when you're old but be old when you're young? It's like that." This. I loved this book as a child with an old soul, and I love it now as a grown woman with the heart of a dreamer.

message 4: by Allison (new) - added it

Allison I LOVE this review!

message 5: by Layla (new) - added it

Layla Love your review. As I've gotten older I found I'm not really into fantasy as I find them less relatable so I was skeptical about whether I should invest the time. But I am also trying to read more classics to get in touch with "good writing" (I figure there's a reason they get marked as classics). After reading your review I can see there's so much more to the book than literary fantasy but maybe even fantasy of the mind and life which can always be relatable from any world if that makes sense.
Anyway your review definitely makes me want to give the book a try.

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