The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
The Lost Version

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Synopsis

Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn has sold at least six million copies around the world since it was published in 1968, and tens of millions of viewers have delighted in the animated film version (for which Peter also wrote the screenplay). But none of the fans of this amazing work have ever known the full story of how The Last Unicorn came to be. In 1962, the 23 year-old Beagle was at a career crossroads. His fantasy novel A Fine and Private Place had been released to great critical acclaim in 1960, but his mainstream second book had been flatly rejected by his publisher. What Peter wrote next was an 80-page fragment about a unicorn, the last of her kind, lost in the modern world of superhighways and Kodak cameras, with only a banished demon from Hell for a traveling companion. This first take on the beloved classic -- so much the same, so very different -- is now available to readers for the first time, with an introduction and commentary by the author.
 

About Peter S. Beagle

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Peter S. Beagle, April, 1939 - Peter Soyer Beagle was born in Manhattan in April of 1939 to Simon and Rebecca Soyer Beagle. He was raised in the Bronx, New York, and attended Bronx High School. During his senior year, Beagle entered a poem and a short story in the 1955 Scholastic Writing Awards Contest, not knowing that the Grand Prize was a college education. He won that prize and went on to spend four years at the University of Pittsburgh after graduating from high school in 1955. In his sophomore year at the University of Pittsburgh, Beagle entered another contest, winning first place again in Seventeen Magazine's Short Story Contest. At the age of 19, he published "A Fine and Private Place." Beagle graduated college with a degree in Creative Writing and a Spanish minor and then spent a year overseas. When he returned, his new-found agent had enrolled him in a writing workshop at Stanford. After his first few published stories, Beagle supported himself and his family as a freelancer for many years. In the 70's he began to write screenplays, as well as take up the hobby of singing folk songs at a local club. Beagle has published music as well as books, both his passions, and both lucrative. Beagle gives lectures and readings at universities, and also hosts writing workshops at schools such as the University of Washington and Clarion West. His works have been translated into 15 languages. Beagle has also written a script for Star Trek: The Next Generation and the screenplay for the animated feature version of The Lord of the Rings. In 1987, Beagle's "The Last Unicorn" was proclaimed the Number 5 All Time Fantasy Novel. That same year, "The Innkeeper's Song" won the Mythopoetic Fantasy Award. In 1997, "The Unicorn Sonata" won the Locus Poll Award for Best Novella, and in 1998, "Giant Bones" won the same award as well as being nominated for the 1998 World Fantasy Award. He resides in California.
 
Published January 10, 2007 by Subterranean Press. 92 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Last Unicorn

Kirkus Reviews

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This book, whimsical, evocative, tantalizing, darts from low comedy to high fantasy quicker than a hummingbird's tongue and is about as original as they come.

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Publishers Weekly

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A quarter century after the publication of his bestselling novel The Last Unicorn, Beagle (The Innkeeper's Song) returns to his fabled beasts for a charming fantasy initially set in contemporary Los Angeles.

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Publishers Weekly

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Since it was first published in 1968, Beagle’s beloved fantasy novel has been made into a stage play and a film—and now this gorgeous, emotive graphic novel adaptation.

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Last Unicorn: The Lost Ve...

Publishers Weekly

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This fragment is Beagle's first, unsuccessful attempt at writing what became his classic fantasy, The Last Unicorn (1968), though even his failures are marvels of wry humor and brilliant prose styling.

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Examiner

A child 10 years old can read the novel and delight in the powerful imagery and the progression of the unicorn’s journey.

Jul 13 2012 | Read Full Review of The Last Unicorn: The Lost Ve...

AV Club

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The film is episodic in the best fantasy tradition, tracking the unicorn and a magician as they encounter eccentric characters and dangerous villains, while traveling to meet a king rumored to have herded all the remaining unicorns into the sea with the aid of a fiery Red Bull.

Mar 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Last Unicorn: The Lost Ve...

Open Letters Monthly

Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn (newly repackaged by Roc Trade in honor of its 40th anniversary) has the requisite props of a standard fairy tale – a wizard, an evil king, a beautiful princess and a crumbling castle – but like every good tale it is about more.

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Monsters and Critics

In this whimsical, animated film, a lone unicorn seeks out others like herself through a mystical land of talking cats and spellbinding magicians.

Feb 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Last Unicorn: The Lost Ve...

Time Out New York

Rather groovy little fable, based on Peter Beagle's fantasy about a unicorn's search for company (there are no singles bars in fairy-tales), that overcomes the Disney influence with some acid characterisation of the baddies (in particular Mommy Fortuna, a warty witch, and the mythical Harpy, whom...

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May 03 2010 | Read Full Review of The Last Unicorn: The Lost Ve...

Seized by the Tale

The Unicorn Sonata is a pleasant, though not exceptional, story about a girl named Joey who stumbles from modern Los Angeles into a far wilder world: the land of Shei'rah.

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Graphic Novel Reporter

There is only one unicorn left in the world, and she leaves her comfortable forest in order to find the others.

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