Wednesday, September 4, 2013

REVIEW: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

first published in 1943
I first read Le Petit Prince in high school French class several decades ago and recall enjoying it very much. While my recollection of the story itself got very fuzzy over the years, the way it made me feel has always stuck with me... charmed, sentimental, sad, hopeful. I recently read a contemporary novel in which the female protagonist's favorite book was The Little Prince. She painted quotes from the book along the borders of her dining room walls and the book became a topic of conversation several times in the story, most significantly with her lover during which he speculated with whom she identified herself most--the fox or the rose. Of course, this promptly compelled me to re-read The Little Prince. I had no excuse not to revisit this French classic when I had a copy of the book in English on my bookshelf. So yesterday I read The Little Prince for the second time in my life, the first time in English.

If you haven't yet read The Little Prince, I urge you to do so. It's a classic story loved by readers all over the world, and because it's a short book under 100 pages, there really is no excuse not to read it and decide for yourself if it's worthy of its accolades. I adored the The Little Prince and love that it appeals to so many readers. There are important messages about love, relationships, give and take and not taking your family, friends and lovers for granted. The book is often considered a children's book and comes across as such in its whimsical way, but ultimately, I believe adults are its intended audience and its ultimate message is to remind adults not to get so lost in the material and superficial matters of consequence where we ultimately lose sight of what's really important in life.. matters of the heart. To quote the wise fox,
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
My sentimental heart gives The Little Prince a five star rating, but I wonder if a large part of its charm comes from the affection I have for this book having read it in French as a young teen at a time when I probably enjoyed a book for the first time for its philosophical overtures in a foreign language, no less, and not because I truly think today that this book is perfect or near so. Still, the life lessons learned by both the Little Prince and the narrator in this book, and hopefully by readers as well, are truly timeless and invaluable, which maintain that The Little Prince is a true universal classic.

A sentimental 5 out of 5 stars.

On a side note, if you read up a bit on the life of the author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, you will see why Le Petit Prince is often considered an spiritual autobiography. I found it quite interesting.

Have you read The Little Prince?


  1. It's been decades since I read this. I should re-read. But mostly I'm curious--what contemporary book prompted the re-read? It sounds vaguely familiar.

  2. I read it a long long time ago and the story is kind of fuzzy. I just remember it being kind of sad, but I think it was more about the author than the story itself...or maybe it was both. Lol, must revisit soon. :)

  3. I know I've read E Little Prince, and seen the movie. But, it's been so long.... I think I have to go back and retread it.

  4. Phyl :: I knew someone was going to ask what the contemporary book was! Do you mind if I wait a couple of days to name it? I'm curious to see if anyone will name it, since I know many of you have read it! ; )

    little_alys and Brandy :: You both should re-read it! I think if I didn't have such fond memories of it from my youth, I would have given it 4 stars, but well.. sentimentality is a powerful thing. Let me know if you do!

    1. No, of course I don't mind. Like I said, it sounds familiar, but I stink at remembering titles.

    2. Well, since no one is guessing, I'll tell you it was Dirty by Megan Hart. It was Elle's favorite book. I read Dirty for August TBR but didn't get a review up in time, even though I did finish the book in time. I did that twice this year so far. Oops.

  5. Fantastic reivew! I don't think I've ever even heard of this book before. :-( Sounds like I'm really missing out and I'll definitely have to check it out!! Thanks for the suggestion, I think I might call down to our used book store to see if they have a copy. :-D It was fate for you to reread this when it was mentioned so much throughout another book you were reading!

  6. Ha, I've managed to avoid reading this book! LOL. I just can't seem to do classic or very popular books ^_^;

    What has kept me from reading this one is I've always had the feeling this book was very abstract... Just not my style.

  7. paperbackdaydreamer It's a classic--you should definitely read it. If you can't find it at your used bookstore, I'm sure your local library would have it. I hope you like it.

    nath You're so funny! You probably won't like it so much since you don't really like the abstract... although it's more philosophical about human traits and relationships, not really abstract.


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