BOOK REVIEW: The Little Prince – by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Title: The Little Prince
Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Genre: Middle Grade, Classics, Fantasy
First published: 1943
Finished reading: May 27th 2016
Pages: 98
(Originally written in French: ‘Le Petit Prince’)
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“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.

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I think this is one of those cases where I should have either read this classic 15-20 years ago or have waited until I have kids of my own to read the story to… Because I didn’t enjoy The Little Prince as much as I thought I would. Sure, it’s an interesting enough middle grade story with illustrations and all, but I have to be honest and say I wasn’t exactly blown away by it. It is a quick read and I’m sure children will enjoy it, but I can’t say the story sticked with me. In fact, only a week after reading this story which was originally written in French, I’m having a hard time remembering specific details… Which isn’t exactly a good sign. I’m not saying The Little Prince is a bad read, but I do think this classic has to be read at the right time and wasn’t really ment for adults in the first place.

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A little boy decides to leave the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, even though it means he has to leave behind his precious flower. He travels from planet to planet and learns more about the strange behavior of adults through the persons that live on those planets. Afer a long journey he finally ends up on Earth and meets the writer of this story in the middle of nowhere… And the writer is so moved by this meeting later on, that he decides to write down the little boy’s story.

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I have been trying to read more classics lately and The Little Prince was high on my list. I somehow never read this middle grade story when I was younger (as far as I can remember), and unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this read as much as an adult. It’s not that the story is badly written and the illustrations will work perfectly with children, but I just didn’t find this classic by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry memorable at all. It might be the most translated book in the French language, but it sure isn’t my favorite.

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15 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Little Prince – by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  1. As someone who has read this book for the first time some 30 years ago, I can assure you that as a child you can’t grasp half the meanings in this book. I don’t think you need to have children to necessarily appreciate it more, but this is one book that certainly changes as you get older. I re-read this book a year or so ago and got a completely different experience from what I got as a child. Still, it’s a classic.

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    • This is without doubt very interesting! I’m glad I didn’t miss out then by not reading it as a child… Maybe the correct age should rather be around 14-18? I do agree this book has a lot of deeper meanings that might be hard to understand as a child, and I guess that it’s one of the reasons this book ended up being a classic. I might give it another go some time in the future to see if I can get a different experience out of it.

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    • Luckily it’s quite a short and quick read, but I still have the feeling I should have gotten more out of this story. It’s definitely not a bad read, but I just couldn’t enjoy it that much as an adult.

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  3. Aw too bad you didn’t like this one! I have actually only read it once, in the original French, and I struggled with it, because our French teacher assigned it before we were really at the level to read literary French like that, but it’s my partner’s absolute favourite book and he has it in about six different languages, even though he only speaks English. I’ve come to appreciate it later now that I have a pretty good working knowledge of it in English, despite never having read a translation.

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    • I would have loved to read it in French! Unfortunately there is no way I could understand this story in the original language, but I might try rereading it in English or Spanish one day to see if I can enjoy it better.

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    • I guess reading it with your children would probably be a great opportunity to finally read this classic. I might do a reread some day myself as well, especially since so many people seem to love this classic in the first place.

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