Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery



My Thoughts:

The copy I borrowed from my public library was very old and the only one, and the best I can tell is actually a 1st edition. After finishing it, and loving it so much I wanted to hug it(despite its textured cover, with no book cover...the horror!), I was saddened to realize that I was only the 4th person to have ever checked it out. (1 in 1999, 2003, 2009, and myself here in 2015) Because I loved it so much, and due to the apparent lack of interest, at least in my little part of the world, this will now be one of those books I try my best to get people to read.

The copy I read was translated by Katherine Woods, thankfully. I always search around for kindle versions before checking actual books out of the library. By doing so, it didn't take long to discover the strong distaste for this book's fans concerning the newer translation by Howard. Though I haven't read his translation in full, based on the quote comparisons I've seen, I highly recommend locating Woods' translation of this book!

After finishing the first time through, I still felt like I had missed a great deal of what the author was trying to say. I decided to activate my audible trial, and use one of the picks for this book, and so I listened to it, too. I also downloaded a free study guide for the book from a reputable site. (It had the full text of The Little Prince, along with all of the illustrations at the end of the study guide. Is this legal? I didn't think so, but I don't fully understand all things legal wise.)

I still don't understand what each person/thing within the story was supposed to represent, so I'm hoping I get some answers reading other people's reviews. :) I typically love reading books that remind us adults to think more like a child, though, and this one was no exception. Books like these are special. While it's a children's book, and a sweet one, it feels like there's so many lessons written for adults.

One thing I did learn after reading the story is that baobabs are real. I'm showing my ignorance here, but I thought they were a made up component of the story. Some of them are quite odd looking, and truly look like something added to a fictional fantasy story, but are very much real. As far as looks go, I like them. ;) I also did a little research on the author, and was sad to learn that he died and/or disappeared soon after this book was published. The more I read, the more curious I became to read his other works, even if I don't think I could appreciate them as much as The Little Prince.

It seems as though I've rambled on and on without really saying anything about the book.

So. Here are some of my favorite things within the book.

The illustrations! They were odd, to say the least, but they warmed my heart. My favorite was the fox, because he really didn't look like a fox at all, and his ears were indeed too long.

I also loved the whole "taming" experiment.

'"To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world..."'(page 66)

I just really loved the little fox!

I loved that the little prince even cleaned out his extinct volcano, because "One never knows!".

"I have good reason to believe that somewhere on my planet there is an old rat. I hear him at night. You can judge this old rat. From time to time you will condemn him to death. Thus his life will depend on your justice. But you will pardon him on each occasion; for he must be treated triftily. He is the only one we have." (page 39)

"Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies."(page 34)

There are so many quotes I loved within the book that made me think, and I now want to get my own beautiful copy to admire, and maybe a raggedy copy, so I can highlight my favorites.

Have you ever read The Little Prince? What did you think? If not, go grab a copy! ;)

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Purchase Link:

The Little Prince (This was the only one I could find that specifically had Woods as the translator.)

The Little Prince Deluxe Pop-Up Book (This is my birthday request from Jonathan, even if it is Howard's translation.)

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Reading to Know - Book Club

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2 comments:

  1. I love this book. It makes me think. It makes me search my viewpoints of my little world and expands the thoughts I have of the bigger world around me.

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  2. WHOA. How COOL is it that you read a first edition (most likely)!?!? That's as awesome as it is rather sad that it's only been checked out four times (despite the fact that it wasn't my favorite). I can see exactly why you would have loved this book though. Now that I stop and think about it, it IS rather "wonderfully weird" which is just your sort. And I just went and looked up what baobabs were. I learned something new! :) Glad you mentioned that...I, too, thought they were just a component of the story.

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