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Immortal Unicorn: Volume One [Mass Market Paperback]

Peter S. Beagle , Janet Berliner
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 22 1998
The Magic is Back

For decades, Peter S. Beagle's world-famous classic The Last Unicorn has captured the hearts and minds of dreamers around the world. Now Beagle recreates the legendary magic of the best-loved mythical creature of all time, bringing together a collection of astonishing, delightful, and captivating stories by today's top fantasy authors--including himself!

In this first volume of tales from Peter S. Beagle's The Immortal Unicorn are fourteen stories including a new story by co-editor Janet Berliner, original to this edition.


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From Publishers Weekly

Beagle's 1968 novel, The Last Unicorn, is a benchmark of contemporary mythic fantasy; here, Beagle and Berliner present a noteworthy anthology of original fiction featuring unicorns. In general, the 27 stories are satisfying and often strikingly well-written. Some horror authors are represented (including Lucy Taylor and Melanie Tem), and many stories have grim and horrific elements. Science fiction concepts work well in stories by Judith Tarr ("Dame a la Licorne") and Susan Schwartz ("The Tenth Worthy"). Many of the tales also demonstrate the virtues of realistic fiction, with well-drawn characters in settings from the familiar to exotic cultures?remote Alaska, the Mongolian empire, the Chinese ghetto in post-Gold Rush San Francisco. Yet all are also mythic in the best sense, including Beagle's bravura performance in his own new story, "Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros."
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Theme anthologies are often mixed bags, and one on that overused fantasy motif, the unicorn, might easily be among the worst. Rest easy. Beagle, author of the contemporary fantasy classic The Last Unicorn (1968), and his collaborator, whom he credits with the lion's share of editorial work, give us what may be the year's best anthology of new stories. None of the unicorns here is cute, some are barely corporeal (e.g., the unicorn tattoo in Dave Smeds' "Survivor" ), others resemble Judith Tarr's beloved Lipizzan horses in "Dame ala Licorne," and the attributes of the rest span a wide gamut. The settings, treatment, and tone of the 27 stories differ widely, too, and not one of them is less than readable--this goes even for pieces from such surprising hands, in this context, as Kevin Anderson and Rebecca Moesta (better known for Star Wars fiction) and martial-arts thriller scribe Eric Lustbader, whose gritty realism somehow fits in well here. A very good choice for fantasy collections. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars volume 2 May 17 2004
By em
Format:Hardcover
Peter S. Beagle's fantastic world of unicorns and magic comes alive in a whole new way in this collection of extraordinary stories. Although all of the stories allude to unicorns in a fashion, nonconventional beliefs about them are expressed. Each individual author brings a new perspective. For example, in We Blazed, the "nicorn" is the representation of a man in his wife's mind, where he realizes what griefs consumed her whether they were true or false. In A Thief in the Night, the narrator, the Antichrist, compares God to the immortal unicorn and one of the Christs to a beach comber. I loved the insight found in many of these stories; coping with life, love, and loss, the characters spread messages of hope or slight despair. All authors eloquently spoke with individual voices collected by the general themes of immortality and mortality.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars What's a unicorn doing in a book like this? Nov. 30 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you think you might enjoy a unicorn snuff film, you'll probably relish this short story collection. Beagle has collected a diverse set of fantasies about creatures very unlike the traditional colt-like being with a horn and a penchant for virgins (although a few of those time-honored beasts do show up in strange settings). He could very easily have done a bit of cut and paste and called his book, "Immortal Dragon," or "Immortal Manticore" for all the 'unicorn-ness' of the featured mythical beast.
Here is a sampling of the stories, starting with my two favorites:
"Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros" by Peter S. Beagle - A unicorn in the guise of a smelly Indian Rhinoceros that loves to discuss the Scholastics and take hot baths? It works for Beagle, who exhibits his usual deft touch at the border between life and immortality.
"Gilgamesh Recidivus" by P.D. Cacek - a grim story of a man who tracks a unicorn through the cold barrens of Siberia, in order to beg for death, not immortality.
"The Devil on Myrtle Ave." by Eric Lustbader - a long, somewhat incoherent tale of a stone killer whose mother ODs on the first page. A little silver unicorn dangles from his nose chain as he goes about his daily rounds of break-ins, armed robberies, and murder.
"The Trouble with Unicorns" by Nancy Willard - A man has his beloved cat put down due to the infirmities of old age. While looking for another pet, he finds an ad for an enrocinul.
"Old One-Antler" by Michael Armstrong - A man takes his thirteen-year-old son on a hunting trip to teach him how to shoot. A bull caribou with a missing horn instructs the father on the true meaning of manhood.
"Taken He Cannot Be" by Will Shetterly - Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday go hunting a rustler and find him at creek-side, three sheets to the wind and reading aloud from the "Illiad." A unicorn accompanies the posse of two.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not that bad. Oct. 3 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Some of the stories in here just mention the unicorn and that's it, but it's still a cool book. I gives you a new definiton of unicorn. When I think of a unicorn I see a horse whith cloven hooves, a lions tail and a horn in the middle of it's forhead, but in this book you get to read about other types of unicorns too. For exsample: A caribou named "Old one Antler", is a caribou that can heal the sick, live forever and make a person immortal. Anyways, in closing I would like to say that this is a good book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars They stole my title, but that's OK. May 3 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Right when I had decided to title a novel "Immortal Unicorn", I found this anthology. Oh well! There is a lack of unicorn stories in the world, so I always welcome something new in the genre. Some of these stories are good and some aren't, as is to be expected. You can even tell that some of these stories were made just for the anthology, which means they were forced. Despite this, I think anyone who loves the unicorn will love the book, just because unicorns are so darn rare.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A renewal of faith in the lengend of the unicorn. Feb. 23 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have always been a fan of books on unicorns and this one is no exception. Truth is aside from 'The Last Unicorn", also by Peter S. Beagle this would have to be one of my favorite. It is a renewal in the faith of the unicorn. If you don't believe in them now, you will after reading this coalecance of stories written by exceptional writers including Peter S. Beagle. Each story holds new worlds, new ideas and new outlooks that captures everything that denotes what I have grownup and loved...the immortal unicorn.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What's a unicorn doing in a book like this? Nov. 30 2002
By E. A. Lovitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you think you might enjoy a unicorn snuff film, you'll probably relish this short story collection. Beagle has collected a diverse set of fantasies about creatures very unlike the traditional colt-like being with a horn and a penchant for virgins (although a few of those time-honored beasts do show up in strange settings). He could very easily have done a bit of cut and paste and called his book, "Immortal Dragon," or "Immortal Manticore" for all the 'unicorn-ness' of the featured mythical beast.
Here is a sampling of the stories, starting with my two favorites:
"Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros" by Peter S. Beagle - A unicorn in the guise of a smelly Indian Rhinoceros that loves to discuss the Scholastics and take hot baths? It works for Beagle, who exhibits his usual deft touch at the border between life and immortality.
"Gilgamesh Recidivus" by P.D. Cacek - a grim story of a man who tracks a unicorn through the cold barrens of Siberia, in order to beg for death, not immortality.
"The Devil on Myrtle Ave." by Eric Lustbader - a long, somewhat incoherent tale of a stone killer whose mother ODs on the first page. A little silver unicorn dangles from his nose chain as he goes about his daily rounds of break-ins, armed robberies, and murder.
"The Trouble with Unicorns" by Nancy Willard - A man has his beloved cat put down due to the infirmities of old age. While looking for another pet, he finds an ad for an enrocinul.
"Old One-Antler" by Michael Armstrong - A man takes his thirteen-year-old son on a hunting trip to teach him how to shoot. A bull caribou with a missing horn instructs the father on the true meaning of manhood.
"Taken He Cannot Be" by Will Shetterly - Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday go hunting a rustler and find him at creek-side, three sheets to the wind and reading aloud from the "Illiad." A unicorn accompanies the posse of two.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!! Nov. 25 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Okay, I admit that I'm only half-done reading the stories in this excellent book, but I am completely hooked. A big fan of unicorns as a child, I guess I never grew up, but the market for ADULT unicorn stories isn't that big. What a find this was! The traditional unicorn isn't pictured here, but the stories are somtimes funny, sometimes haunting, and always memorable. Savor it!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They stole my title, but that's OK. May 3 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Right when I had decided to title a novel "Immortal Unicorn", I found this anthology. Oh well! There is a lack of unicorn stories in the world, so I always welcome something new in the genre. Some of these stories are good and some aren't, as is to be expected. You can even tell that some of these stories were made just for the anthology, which means they were forced. Despite this, I think anyone who loves the unicorn will love the book, just because unicorns are so darn rare.
5.0 out of 5 stars volume 2 May 17 2004
By em - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Peter S. Beagle's fantastic world of unicorns and magic comes alive in a whole new way in this collection of extraordinary stories. Although all of the stories allude to unicorns in a fashion, nonconventional beliefs about them are expressed. Each individual author brings a new perspective. For example, in We Blazed, the "nicorn" is the representation of a man in his wife's mind, where he realizes what griefs consumed her whether they were true or false. In A Thief in the Night, the narrator, the Antichrist, compares God to the immortal unicorn and one of the Christs to a beach comber. I loved the insight found in many of these stories; coping with life, love, and loss, the characters spread messages of hope or slight despair. All authors eloquently spoke with individual voices collected by the general themes of immortality and mortality.
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