11 June, 2010

Review - The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

I'll get straight to the point on this, read it, read it now. The Last Unicorn (1968) [US] [UK] 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. (from wikipedia)
I thought I'd do this review a bit different than my normal routine and just list the reasons for reading it. I don't have any grand delusions of thinking that I can actually do the book justice. :)

Why You Should Read The Last Unicorn...

-The prose flows beautifully, keeping the plot moving and your imagination enriched.

-Along the same vein, the metaphors used are amazing and perfectly describe the situation giving it that quality that stays with you.

-This is not your typical journey tale.

-The characters are magical and can be hilarious at times, especially Schmendrick the Magician and Molly Grue.

-Ever want to live in a fairy tale for at least a few minutes. The Last Unicorn immerses you in a world of unicorns, harpies, witches, and magic.

-This is a story of hope or maybe more accurately of no hope. I once heard that if you don't just accept that life sucks you're not an optimist, you're an idiot. One theme in The Last Unicorn reminded me exactly of this quote that I think is ridiculous. Life will throw things at you all the time no matter what you do. If you don't learn to enjoy life through those hard times you'll always be miserable. This is exactly the mistake that is commented upon in The Last Unicorn.

-It's only 294 pages with large font. You can hammer that out in a few hours right?

-Did I mention The Last Unicorn is a classic?

-If you don't like cats, The Last Unicorn has the answer for you:
...there is no such thing as a cat-it is just a shape that all manner of imps, hobs, and devilkins like to put on, to gain easy entrance into the homes of men...

-If you don't read The Last Unicorn, the red bull will come get you.

Why You Shouldn't Read The Last Unicorn...

-I do have to warn that there are plenty of poems and songs interspersed throughout. I know lots of people get turned off by that sort of thing, but I thought it only added to the fairy tale atmosphere. But again, I realize that's not for everyone.

-I guess if you're not a true fantasy fan (tsk tsk)...do you really want me to go there? Did I mention everybody's doing it? Peer pressure usually works on me.

5 out of 5 Stars


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Elfy said...

I wasn't too sure about it, Bryce. I did enjoy it, though.

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

@Elfy - I can definitely understand that it wouldn't be a perfect 5 out of 5 for everyone, but I thought it was the bee's knees. :)

Tyson said...

Still have yet to get this book, everyone who has read it has enjoyed it. Need to get off my duff and read it. Great review as always.

Alec said...

Damn it. More poems. I just finished the latest Malazan book and I am totally sick of poems!

Unicorns though...

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

Exactly. Plus, poems can easily be skipped, they're usually indented or look like a block quote even. :) But if you're OCD like me you have to read every word.

Cinderella at Midnight said...

I loved it and it's one of my favourites :) I recomend you The Inkeeper's Song, from the same writer!