Antoine De Saint-Exupery – The Little Prince

19Aug09

Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve read this book, and for the life of me, I don’t know why! Personally, I think it should be mandatory for every child to read it, just because it is so wonderfully beautiful and innocent.

However, reading it as an adult makes me realize how we focus on the unimportant things, that we neglect some of the simpler barer necessities.

Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: “What does his voice sound like?” “What games does he like best?” “Does he collect butterflies?”. They ask: “How old is he?” “How many brothers does he have?” “How much does he weigh?” “How much money does his father make?” Only then do they think they know him.

The story is about a pilot, Exupery, who is stranded in the Sahara, where he meets The Little Prince – an ‘alien’, who has come to earth from a small planet, Asteroid B612. On his planet, he had three volcanoes (two active, one inactive) that reached his knees, a beautiful (albeit demanding) flower, and a baobab problem, i.e. if baobabs weren’t weeded out at a very early age they wreaked havoc.

The Little Prince shares his experiences with the pilot, about the other planets he visited en route to earth: one where the sole inhabitant was a monarch who had no one to rule over, and another where a drunkard was drinking his life away, to forget. There was a planet where there was a businessman who counted stars, and another where there was a conceited man. Each character he met reflected some idiosyncrasy or the other of humans, and it’s this thought that stuck with me: when did we renounce the simple pleasures (beautiful flowers – that come with their own baggage, spring rain, sparkling stars, the sunset)? When did we stop asking the thought-provoking innocent questions, that escaped our mouths without a second thought? When did we stop nagging ‘adults’ ’til we got an answer, even if the answer was just to shut us up?

This is a funny, well-written book, which just makes you reflect on life, and how it’s passed you by. It’s a book about friendship, about romance, and to top it off, it has wonderful illustrations. I challenge anyone to read this book, and not have the last illustration stick in their minds for a long long time.

Rating : 5

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12 Responses to “Antoine De Saint-Exupery – The Little Prince”

  1. 1 adevotedreader

    This is one of my childhood favourites, so I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    You might like to read De Saint-Exupery’s Letter to a Hostage as well, which is a beatufil letter to his Jewish friend Leon Blum (whom The Little Prince is dedicated to).

  2. I loved this book as child and it’s been on my re-read list. I’ve got the staged musical version on dvd. It’s quite well done, but I like the illustrated version better. I vaguely recall there being a cartoon too.

    • The staged musical version sounds interesting, but, I loved the illustrations. It almost makes me want to buy a nice hardback, in color, with the illustrations. There are some gorgeous versions out there.

      No idea about the cartoon. But, do give it a re-read. It took me less than an hour to finish it, and it was the best spent hour of this month.

  3. I love this book. I re-read it not so long ago; it’s beautiful. I’m actually using a gorgeous The Little Prince bookmark just now that I bought a few years ago in Paris; it’s one of my favourites.

    • Can just imagine the bookmark being adorable. It’s been ages since I’ve gone to Paris, but if I do end up going in the near future, it sounds like a good thing to keep an eye out for.

  4. I know what you mean. I’ve only just read this book earlier this year, and at that time, I simply could not understand how it was that I’ve never actually knew of this book till now! I had read the e-book version of it, and even then I found it difficult to stop reading, though I don’t necessarily enjoy reading from the computer screen. I’d simply love to get my hands on the physical book. I’d love it to bits.

  5. I thought I had read this book, but then, having read your review, I was less sure. You’d think I’d be able to remember if I had or had not read a specific book. Think I would have remembered…

    Regardless, I do want to read it now. In fact, I think I should read it to my daughters. Thanks for pointing me in this direction.

    • I think you should (read it to your daughters, that is). It’s one of those books that I think I’ll read every year, just to remind myself that I don’t want to turn out to be one of those typical adults, who lose sight of the “important” things.

  6. Great review. I love how the little prince never gives up his questions until he gets an answer. So many levels to it all.


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