3.5 stars out of 5
I did not grow up loving The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, but many of my siblings did. So when I found the book I knew I had to read it or be forever in the dark. And while I think it is a nice book, I don’t love it like many people. It is considered one of those few fantasy classics. But I find the books that are considered classics aren’t always my kind of books.
This is definitely a book that I would consider whimsical and that is not a problem for me. I like to be silly sometimes and play around with words. The problem comes when the story uses so many metaphors and similes that it becomes hard to keep track of what is actually going on. I do prefer my stories to be mostly straightforward and this book purposefully meanders.
I also consider whimsical stories to be fairly upbeat ones. The Last Unicorn’s final chapters are seriously saddening. It feels so out of place with the light beginning. Yes, the beginning did mention some sad things, but they weren’t overly depressing. Maybe I was just expecting the story to be more positive since it began with an innocent unicorn. I don’t think it was wrong to write the story that way, it just wasn’t my kind of story.
I do think it is a very nice fairy tale book. You’d be surprised at how depressing fairy tales actually are when you take the light-hearted music out of them. You don’t notice it as much when you are a kid, but when you read or watch them as an adult you finally see all the disturbing bits. I think it is the same here. I missed my chance of loving this book by not reading it as a kid. But if you still love your fairy tales you may want to give this one a try.
If you want to brave it, you can buy The Last Unicorn here on Amazon.