Published by Harcourt Inc. on April 1943
Genres: Classics, Children's, Fantasy
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Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.
A few years ago, I saw a photo in Facebook of a hat that sort of looks like an elephant inside a boa constrictor. The caption says “If you don’t understand, then you’re not reading the right kinds of book”. And I didn’t. So I showed the photo to a friend and then he smiles then says “You are not reading the right kinds of book”. As a bookworm, I was stunned. At that point, I’ve already read tons of books across different genre. But apparently, I was not reading the right kinds of book. Flash forward to present day, I’ve forgotten about that encounter until I saw a copy of The Little Prince in a local bookstore. I thought to myself that it’s finally time to find out what’s in this book that enchanted my friend and other readers.
The Little Prince is about a pilot who crash landed in a desert. There he finds a peculiar young boy – The Litte Prince. The Little Prince came from a planet where you can see numerous sunsets just by moving your chair. Leaving his home planet, The Little Prince visits several planets and meets strange adults who have lost track of things that really matter.
I regret that I haven’t read this book as a child. I believe that a child and an adult would have different interpretations of this book. I believe that for a child, this book will be all about magic and adventure. An adult, on the other hand, would not be able to help himself/herself but interpret and analyze the book as the book is full of allegory and metaphor. This duality of this book might actually be a part of its charm- The Little Prince can appeal to both an adult and child.
As I was reading this book, I couldn’t find anything special with its story. I found myself wondering what made this story timeless. According to an introduction by Kate Moss, this book has stood the test of time because it speaks of universal truths. I tried hard at my first read but I just couldn’t fully appreciate the book. The writing style was nice, the book was easy to read. The book seems to be a story about a journey, the journey is quite moving but really… for me, not so special. That is, until I have finished the book and I was stunned. I suddenly realized that the books speaks of so much about love, friendship and life. That ending made me revisit the previous chapters and rethink about the entire book. That was when I realized that the writer was genius all along.
This book is beautiful. And like some things in this world, its beauty isn’t easily seen. You need to dig a little bit deeper to see it. Well, that is if you’re an adult like me. I guess for a child, this book will be wondrous and beautiful with the adventures the book will offer. For me, however, the wonders of the book was hidden underneath.
Another thing I would like to commend about this book is its characters. The characters are so very rich that each and every one teaches us a moral lesson. Each character represents something about our world. Every character is well-written and all of them adds a spirit to the story.
Overall, I have enjoyed the book and it really deserves people’s affection to it. I do believe that it is one of the books that you need to read at least once in your life. Regarding to what my friend said, this is indeed the right kind of book to read for everyone. Whether you are 7 or 70, this book will be a read you are going to cherish.