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The Last Unicorn | [Peter S. Beagle]

The Last Unicorn

A unicorn, a haphazard wizard, and a spunky scullery woman journey to the dreaded kingdom of Haggaard, an evil ruler who, with the help of a bull-shaped demon, imprisons all the unicorns of the world. This is one of the great fantasy novels of the 20th century. Since its publication in 1968 it has never been out of print, with six million-plus copies sold around the world, and it has been translated into more than 20 languages.
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Publisher's Summary

A unicorn, a haphazard wizard, and a spunky scullery woman journey to the dreaded kingdom of Haggaard, an evil ruler who, with the help of a bull-shaped demon, imprisons all the unicorns of the world.

This is an unabridged audiobook of Peter S. Beagle's classic fantasy novel, read by the author, and featuring original music by Jeff Slingluff. It was engineered at MondoMedia Studios in San Francisco by Jim Lively, and produced by Connor Cochran and Jim Lively.

The Last Unicorn is one of the great fantasy novels of the 20th Century. Since its publication in 1968 it has never been out of print, with six million-plus copies sold around the world, and it has been translated into more than 20 languages. The animated movie version, released in 1982, has been seen by hundreds of millions of people, and after 25 years is still showing regularly on cable and satellite television in more than a dozen countries.

©1968 Peter S. Beagle (P)2005 Conlan Press

What the Critics Say

"The plot is a classic quest structure - an impossible goal, a motley company, heroes, villains, monsters, magic, desperate chances, bittersweet success....What makes The Last Unicorn unique is the way Mr. Beagle transcends the ordinary fantasy quest trope with his incomparable storytelling skill." (The Green Man Review)

"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." (Amazon.com review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (421 )
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4.2 (363 )
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Story
4.0 (355 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brent New York, NY, United States 03-06-12
    Brent New York, NY, United States 03-06-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My Favorite Story Ever!"
    Would you listen to The Last Unicorn again? Why?

    Probably. The words are magic. I would love to hear Mia Farrow narrarate.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Beagle created a masterpiece that resonates on so many levels, and in different ways as I grow from a child to an adult.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Peter's voise is likeable enough but I think someone trained to do dramatic reading would add some flavor.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie FLOWER MOUND, TX, United States 05-26-11
    Stephanie FLOWER MOUND, TX, United States 05-26-11 Member Since 2014
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    "A Classic Must Buy"

    If you've only ever watched the animated movie as I had, then I sincerely suggest you purchase this book as well. Though the movie follows the story fairly accurately, the movie is no substitute for the book. You learn more of the characters and understand their psychology all the better by listening to this marvelous tale. The fact that it's narrated by the author himself is an added bonus. You can really hear how he intended the characters to sound, and that can make all the difference.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jed Twin Falls, ID, United States 08-07-13
    Jed Twin Falls, ID, United States 08-07-13
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    "Just couldn't get past the reader"
    Would you try another book from Peter S. Beagle and/or Peter S. Beagle?

    I'd love to listen to a book by Peter S. Beagle that was read by a professional reader.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Peter S. Beagle’s performances?

    No.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patty Rickard Portland, OR, United States 03-30-15
    Patty Rickard Portland, OR, United States 03-30-15 Member Since 2011

    I am a full time worker, seamstress, and mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. Audio books are my perfect solution!

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    "One of my all time favorites"

    This story has been one of my favorites since I was a kid. To hear it read aloud by the author with the intonations and melodies that it was meant to have was like reading the book and watching the movie again for the first time. One of the best purchases I've made in a long time and recommended to all listeners of all ages who are in need of a wonderful fairytale, a true love story, and adventures into a dark but wonderful world where happy endings aren't always what you expect but love truly can conquer all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meghan Nightingale 03-22-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Perfect!"

    I have always loved this movie as well as the author of the book.
    I quite enjoyed the Audible version and the performances were excellent. Perfectly paced.
    Simply cannot go wrong purchasing The Last Unicorn Audible book. The story itself will always remain timeless.
    Thank you Audible for having this Classic in your selection.
    Worth every cent spent and more!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas United States 03-20-15
    Thomas United States 03-20-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Great book! Poor performance."

    Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn was one of my favorite film's as a child. I remember going with my friend Beth to see the movie when it came out and being swept up, not just in the story, but also in the artwork which was so different from other animation I was used to up to that point. I just read the book for the first time, or rather, I listed to the audio version, performed by Mr. Beagle, and, while I still love the story and was again swept up in the magic of the world he created, I was left feeling somewhat disappointed. Mr. Beagle is a fine author, but as a performer he left me wanting more theatricality and that may mean returning to the physical book on my own in the near future. Obviously, it isn't that Mr. Beagle doesn't know the work or that he cannot embrace the passion and mythology of it, because he certainly can. But there was an amateur quality to it, including the intrusion of other voices piping in here and there ("Standby!") and Mr. Beagle's own slight errors that took me out of the story as he corrected himself. All of these could have been fixed in the editing, but they were left in place.

    Now, I still encourage you to read it. READ it. I chose the audio version because it was more accessible to me as I was busily running to and fro, but in hindsight I should have taken the time to sit and read it. That's not to say that other audiobooks are not worth their value. On the contrary, I am a HUGE fan of audiobooks and have enjoyed MANY over the last several years. It is unfortunate that this one, one that I so looked forward to, fell short of my expectations.

    But the story of the unicorn who goes in search of her kind, refusing to believe the stories that she is the last, is one of romance, mystery, magic, and loving nods to other literary sources. It is a gem that should be cherished and I look forward to reading it to my child one day, over many nights, as his or her imagination takes flight with me and we travel with the unicorn to unravel the truth and, possibly, return beauty to the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Kapila 03-14-15 Member Since 2010

    bookishgirl1

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    "Like Your Dad Reading You a Story Before Bed"

    I'm not going to write about how much I love this book, or how great the movie adaptation is. I see the other reviews generally agree about the story.
    I see a lot of complaints about the narration though, and I want to weigh in on that. The story is read by the author. He is not the sort of professional actor that we have become accustomed to in our audiobooks. But that's ok!
    Listening to the author read is reminiscent, not of hearing an actor bring a story to life, but of listening to your dad read you a story before bed. And as dads go, Peter Beagle is an especially good bedtime story reader. His accent and very slight lisp fit the story he wrote. His personality is in the story and I love hearing him read the dialogue especially.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H69ver 02-28-15
    H69ver 02-28-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Best childhood book"

    I loved this story as a child and continue To love it as an adult. Great family read! Never a dull moment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Immersed Reader 02-26-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Pure Magnificence"
    Where does The Last Unicorn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is one of my favorite stories and films. I saw the film when I was a child and loved it. To be honest I still watch it as an adult. When I saw the audiobook was available I thought, "I have to listen to this". I was not disappointed, and will likely listen to it again.


    What other book might you compare The Last Unicorn to and why?

    There is no comparison because it is unique.


    What aspect of Peter S. Beagle’s performance would you have changed?

    I'm not quite sure what I would've changed about his performance. I think having a full cast doing the voices of the characters while he did the main narration would have made this even better.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Not necessary because the animated film is practically perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    This is definitely one of my favorite books, and when I have children I will gladly share this adventure with them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan 02-17-15
    Megan 02-17-15 Member Since 2014

    I am a voracious reader both print and audio. The best stories hold you from the opening paragraph and keep you wanting more.

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    "Always be a unicorn if you can"

    This is a delightful story. At times it is dark but always, like true fairy tale, the hero will win out! There is original music between chapters that helps capture the magic. Almost a coming of age story where all characters have something to learn and grow from and where the light at the end of the tunnel is often very small. A children's book for grown ups. If I had a choice I'd always be a unicorn if I could!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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