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The Last Unicorn - Chapters 1 - 3 
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 The Last Unicorn - Chapters 1 - 3
The Last Unicorn
Chapters 1 - 3


Please use this thread for discussing the above chapters.



Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:40 pm
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Post Re: The Last Unicorn - Chapters 1 - 3
I finished chapter one. The book is a perfectly standard beginning. It introduces the protagonist and we learn the protagonist's goal. Also introduced are antagonists who are hindering our protagonist already. I wonder if these antagonists last the book, or if they are just the first obstacle. There is not much dialog yet, but what little there is reveals a lot about who the protagonist is, how different and isolated she is.

There are touches here and there of such art in expression that I find myself on occasion stepping out of the story to admire it. It is okay to take the reader out of the book this way, in my opinion. Many great writers do it, but when they do they're careful not to ruin the suspenseful parts, just as Beagle is here.

I think this novel so far could be used to teach a class on how to write a novel, or at least how to begin one. It follows every guideline on what effective writers do at the beginning, yet still has creative flare and its own individual voice.



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Harry Marks
Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:40 pm
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Post Re: The Last Unicorn - Chapters 1 - 3
The only Kindle version I could find was a "graphic novel" version. Sigh. I won't be appreciating the expressive qualities of the language.

I'm appreciating the qualities that hook the reader into caring about the story - not just conflict and suspense, but the quest of the "unique me" for some sense of companionship. I gather this is what all the current references to "unicorns" play off of.

It reminds me, in a tenuous way, of a blog I saw recently about Mary Poppins, and what a lonely character she is. Most members of helping professions are in this situation to some extent - they move on when the need gets less acute. The unicorn is a lonely magical creature, but I have the feeling she is not going to turn out to be Shane, riding into town to clean up the influence of the dominators. Yet there is a curious resemblance to Mary Poppins and other helpers, perhaps a magical quality that comes from being willing to be solitary in order to have purpose, combined with a wistful feeling that eventually one can move on to seeking companionship that understands the magic and the burdens?



Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:42 am
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Post Re: The Last Unicorn - Chapters 1 - 3
Harry Marks wrote:
The only Kindle version I could find was a "graphic novel" version. Sigh. . . .


There are ways to get the novel onto to your Kindle. I can't comment on the legality of it. But I just did it and I'm still standing.

First go here on your computer:

https://www.e-reading.club/book.php?book=128323

. . . and download the mobi version of the book.

Then go to Amazon's manage devices page . . .

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer ... =201439790

And click on the little box next to your Kindle. It will tell you what your Kindle's email address is. Then attach the mobi file in an email and send to that address. Bada bing bada boom!


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Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:57 am
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Post Re: The Last Unicorn - Chapters 1 - 3
Well done, geo, I think. I had thought of trying other e-reader versions, but had not gotten to it yet. I'm not entirely thrilled to see all the Russian on this site, but with luck it isn't one of Putin's cronies coming after me.

I do like the whimsical language. So thanks.



Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:36 am
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Post Re: The Last Unicorn - Chapters 1 - 3
Harry Marks wrote:
Well done, geo, I think. I had thought of trying other e-reader versions, but had not gotten to it yet. I'm not entirely thrilled to see all the Russian on this site, but with luck it isn't one of Putin's cronies coming after me.

I do like the whimsical language. So thanks.

I'm going to read too. I needed something to help get me through Kafka's The Castle, which has been something of a chore.

Interesting that there's not a Kindle version available. I think there used to be.


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Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:00 pm
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Post Re: The Last Unicorn - Chapters 1 - 3
This section might be entitled, "Nothing is as it seems." And if you pay close attention you will see that the story is not mostly story - the suspense and conflict, at least so far, are hand-waving and patter for the author's explorations in how people fool themselves and what comes of it. The real "action" is often in asides and stray reflections, such as when the witch reveals herself to be about ambition and discontent. Keeping in mind that what matters is what is evoked, not what is symbolized, this section has layers of symbolism which lead nowhere, and the whimsicality that is evoked is the "message."

Our heroine, the unicorn, who suddenly wants to know if there are more of her kind out there, sets out into the world. We are treated to a discussion of unicorns by two men, with one telling a portentous tale of a great-grandmother encountering a unicorn. Then a butterfly, whimsical to the point of randomness, tells about the Red Bull, who has defeated the other unicorns of the world, and gives ambiguous messages about determination being rewarded.

The unicorn appears to be a white mare to ordinary people, who want to put her to work, naturally. She escapes, but eventually falls asleep by the traditional method of a maiden sweetly singing, but it is the unicorn herself who sings the song remembered from long ago, perhaps from the great-grandmother. As she sleeps this sleep of nostalgic self-submission, a cage is built around her by the traveling show of marvels created by the witch Mommy Fortuna.

The show is mostly illusion, with spells to make a crocodile seem a dragon, for example. Shmendrick the magician, hired to amuse crowds with sleight-of-hand, proves friend to the unicorn and eventually frees her. But the byplay of self-assertion and self-deception is more relevant even than the monster who looms over the unicorn's escape. Ordinary human manipulation turns out to be the key to the escape, and we are left to ponder the surprise of the monster in terms of the controlling metaphor, which is the exaggerated version we make of evocative stuff.



Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:47 pm
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