When I grew up there were a couple of movies that I’d watch over and over and over. The Last Unicorn was one of them, but it was years before I realised that the movie was based on a book — we’d taped it when it was on TV, you see, and that bit of rather crucial information did not survive — and it would be years more before I finally got my hands on a copy of the book by Peter S. Beagle. In fact, it was a gift for my 18th birthday. I was enchanted. It’s one of the few books I’ve allowed myself to reread after my TBR pile got completely out of control and it’s one of the few books on my “My precious” shelf, also known as the “I am not lending this to you even if you live in the same house as me” shelf. (I’m very protective of those books; if anyone’s going to accidentally wreck them or read them until they fall apart, it’s me.)
The Last Unicorn was a comfort read during a dark time for me too. I have all the love and feels for this book (and the movie) for all sorts of reasons, which is getting rather in the way of writing a great introduction to my read-along plans, but promises you will get copious amounts of squee later on. I promise to try and have interesting discussion questions (and answers), but my lack of self-confidence keeps me from guaranteeing you’ll have that, sorry. T_T Hence why the squeeing is important. There will be lots of squeeing and squealing.
The Last Unicorn is Peter S. Beagle’s most famous work. Have a description of the plot (don’t worry, it’s a back blurb with little-to-no spoilers):
The unicorn discovers that she is the last unicorn in the world, and sets off to find the others. She meets Schmendrick the Magician–whose magic seldom works, and never as he intended–when he rescues her from Mommy Fortuna’s Midnight Carnival, where only some of the mythical beasts displayed are illusions. They are joined by Molly Grue, who believes in legends despite her experiences with a Robin Hood wannabe and his unmerry men. Ahead wait King Haggard and his Red Bull, who banished unicorns from the land.
I love this story and the world so much. I can’t even. <3 But because I love this tale so much and because I was introduced to it, like many, through the movie adaptation, I also wanted to devote some time to re-exploring those related works I’ve managed to get my hands on alongside the book, and I wanted to invite/encourage people to do the same, so that’s why the read-along dates are a little… funky-looking.
The schedule for the read-along will be as follows:
June 17th – June 23rd: Chapter 1 through to the end of chapter 7
June 24th – June 30th: Chapter 8 to the end
July 1st – July 7th: Related works (i.e. the movie, the graphic novel, Two Hearts, The Woman who Married the Man in the Moon, etc)
You can get a copy of The Last Unicorn (book, graphic novel or movie) at your usual retailer; Two Hearts is collected, amongst others, in The Line Between; and The Woman who Married the Man in the Moon can also be found in Sleight of Hand.)
I’ll be putting up my posts on Fridays, so that’s the 21st, the 28th, and the 5th. This way anyone who wants to use my (discussion) questions can do so and have some time left to mull over their thoughts.