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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • AT
  • Providence, RI
  • 01-16-16

Like hearing a beloved tale read by a dear friend

This is one of my most beloved books. It's a timeless fairy tale made up of equal parts childlike wonder and grown-up wit, a medieval romance sprinkled with poetry, song, and tongue-in-cheek modern references. It's self aware, but not self conscious. The tale is simple and sweet, yet within it is woven all of heartbreak and bittersweetness of the human condition: aging, death, sorrow, loss, longing, desire - and of course, as long as there is a unicorn left on Earth, hope.

Hearing the author read his own prose is a treat that will be satisfying to any fan who holds this tale dear, particularly when the words break out into rhyme or song. It's also a great entry point for anyone encountering the work for the first time, as a tale like this is almost meant to be read aloud. My boyfriend, who was not familiar with with the story, enjoyed hearing it pipe in from the next room from time to time just because he found the author's voice so pleasant.

Highly recommended! I have a feeling I'll come back to listen again and again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas
  • United States
  • 03-20-15

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of my favorites

Got the privilege of meeting Peter S Beagle at the tour of the movie screenings, and hearing him read the book makes it all the more fantastic!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Classic

What made the experience of listening to The Last Unicorn the most enjoyable?

This was my favorite story as a kid so hearing it again years later, I still have a love for it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Unicorn?

The way the writer describes characters is always in such a way that makes things incredibly detailed. <br/>For some reason what sticks out to me right now is how a butterfly was singing songs to the unicorn and her breath as she spoke blew the butterfly backward, far from her.

What about Peter S. Beagle’s performance did you like?

I liked the fact that it was his writing. You get more of a sense of how he wanted you to hear it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Many of the characters psyches are very unique. Each one with a pain or sorrow, jaded happiness and untainted joys. Its very realistic despite being a tale.

Any additional comments?

I was happy for the film when it came out (besides the awful songs they sing!!!) how true it was to the book. <br/>It was so nice hearing the audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura
  • Dearing, GA, United States
  • 04-27-12

Hated the Narrator

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No not in audio form. I read this book when I was younger and I fondly remember the story. It is a good story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The unicorn of course

What didn’t you like about Peter S. Beagle’s performance?

He sounds like he has a lisp. It was very irritating it listen too. He should have gotten someone else to read it.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Brent
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 03-06-12

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

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Story and writing is amazing! But... the author's

What did you like best about The Last Unicorn? What did you like least?

Oh god this is a great story with fabulous writing.... and I HATE to say it, but the author reads this book and he's not so great at that. I have trouble really understanding why this is... I guess I can't expect one man to be a great writer and a great reader.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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How had I not found it before?

I had seen the movie long ago, for the bit of a cult classic it has become, and really looked it up out of whimsical curiosity expecting it to be entertainingly childish as the movie was.
However, as most things the book is so much deeper and richer than the movie.

I dare say it is as good as the Narnia or Enchanted forest stories were and are.

I listened with headphones and every so often the author will lick his lips audibly, which can slightly break the immersion (I simply blame the mic myself) but that besides, the delivery is as good as you could ask for. Plus I think it is really neat that the author gets to read his own story.

All in all it a wonderful story I would recommend to all who enjoy classic fantasy, and those who don't maybe this will change your mind.

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Better than a movie

I had seen the movie when I was a kid, and I would have to say that this is sooo much more vivid than the movie. It answered questions I didn't even know I had.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

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Love this book

One of my all time favorite books. Beautiful, haunting, tragic and playful. Unfortunately, Mr Beagle didn't do it at all for me as a reader, but I got past it. I think a proper dramatic reading would do much better for the incredible story. But like I said, it still worked for me.