What a strange book.
This book puzzled me exceedingly on every level. At times, I couldn't decide if it was a children's book or an adult book. And I still don't know what the message or "moral of the story" was. Also, I had a really hard time placing it in a specific era because the language ranged everywhere from Medieval to Modern slang. Peter S. Beagle really wrote something strange here.
But somehow, I liked it.
The story follows a unicorn on her journey to discover if she is the last unicorn in the world. She meets a magician named Schmendrick and a nice lady named Molly who help her. Eventually she gets turned into a human and falls in love. The story does manage to have a climactic ending. At times, the book just does not seem like it could possibly have a "happy ending," yet somehow, it ends on an "upbeat."
Like I said, I'm not quite sure what the moral of the story was, except that all of the characters had moments of self-realization. There is a great display of the typical fantasy story- magic, witches, heroes who slay dragons, unicorns.... It was fun, in that respect. It didn't end like a normal fantasy story though.
Reading this book was very strange because it was boring and interesting at the same time. I always wanted to not sit down and read it, but once I did, I usually couldn't put it down. I don't know why.
As a side note, as a kid, I saw the animated movie of this book which I remember being extremely strange. Now, going back and re-watching the movie, I realized that somehow, they managed to capture the emotion of this book. I was impressed considering it was animation. I wouldn't suggest watching the movie before reading the book though. Read the book and enjoy it for what it is, and then watch the movie. It isn't a hard read at all.
I hope someone else reads this because it would be great to have another opinion!