See How She Sparkles

The bloganuary prompt for today is:

Has a book changed your life?

The simple answer is:

YES! A thousand times yes!

You want more details, huh? Okay, I’ll name a book that had a profound, life changing effect upon me at a very young age.

The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle

I was about two years old when I came in contact with this story for the first time, and to say it set the bar for all future fictional encounters is no overstatement. I think it established the blueprint for how I look at life.

In case you don’t know the story, it’s about a unicorn who goes in search of others of her kind, as they’ve all disappeared. Along the way she meets a wizard, and a woman who cooks for a band of thieves in the forest, who become her friends. To save her from the fate of the other unicorns, the wizard transforms her into a human, and a noble young man falls for her. However, she’s a unicorn, and she must save the other unicorns and regain her true shape in order to survive.

It’s high fantasy that’s well aware of the tropes. There’s lots of humor, some dark moments, and a deep vein of tragedy. Truth and sacrifice are strong themes within the characters as well as the plot. It’s full of depth, and it champions the little, overlooked person who everyone laughs at.

Unconsciously, I compare every book I read to ‘The Last Unicorn’, looking for the same blend of downtrodden characters, darkness, wit, magic, and commentary on life. It is my literary standard and has also informed every story I’ve written.

Honorable Mentions

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton for the disemboweling scene. I read it when I was 12, and it opened my eyes to a brave new world of literary descriptions.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. The first book I bought without any prior knowledge of the story or the author. I read it when I was a teen, and I fell in love with the way a huge, earth changing event was told in the up close and personal account of one man.

Books can change lives in many different ways. Care to share your story?

Has a book changed your life?

11 thoughts on “See How She Sparkles”

  1. I remember The Last Unicorn! Except they must have made a movie out of it because I’m picturing moving images instead of book text.

    The Exorcist changed my life. It was the first book that gave me an emotional punch in the gut. Before that books were school assignments that required us to write a little essay in class titled, “The Moral of the Story Is…” (Eyeroll.) Also, Jay’s Journal, a freaky YA book that convinced not to mess around with spells and Ouija boards and the like. And then the Bible, which still changes my life because the more I read it the more I get out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved hearing about how The Last Unicorn had such an impact on you a so young an age. The earliest book I remember reading on my own was Charlotte’s web. I cried and cried when Charlotte died, and then reread the book so I could feel it all over again. Books are so wonderful, Iseult. Thanks for sharing your early experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Diana! Wow, Charlotte’s Web is a tearjerker for sure. Such a great book. I love that you cried and cried and then read it again! It’s that deep emotional impact that draws us back to the book, isn’t it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re the second writer I’ve met who has mentioned The Last Unicorn as very influential in their life. I wonder if there’s a pattern there?
    Two books have changed my life: Harry Potter and IT. The former made me want to be a writer in the first place, the latter made me want to be a horror writer. And here I am, all these years later.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My Dad used to read books aloud to my siblings and me. Once he read a book called “Carry on, Mr. Bowditch” which is kind of a children’s biography of Nathaniel Bowditch. I liked it so much that I learned how to read so I could read it for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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