For a long time, I thought I'd read this book, and just hadn't loved it. Then I read something else by Beagle, loved it - and realized that I'd been confusing 'The Last Unicorn' with Mark Helprin's 'Winter's Tale,' based solely on the cover art.
So, I was rather excited to FINALLY read this.
Unfortunately, I didn't love this book either.
It was OK. But 'one of the great classics of fantasy'? Hmm.
It's really more of a book about fantasy then it is a fantasy. It's too meta- for me. Too much allegory. It comments on things, rather than *being* them. Some of the commentary is certainly worthwhile... but I just couldn't bring myself to love the book like I wanted to.
Also, I enjoyed the first part of the book better, where the unicorn is still a unicorn.
Hmm, it just occurred to me, the book really reminded me quite a lot of Pinocchio (the original book by Collodi) in theme and style... It's been years since I read it, but it also dwells on the nature of reality vs. enchantment, told as allegory through an assortment of peculiar characters...
(Google Break) - And I'm not the only one to think so: http://www.oocities.org/hollywood/academy/6351/unicorn.html