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Bambi (Bambi #1)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  21,862 ratings  ·  305 reviews
The Prince of the Forest
Bambi's life in the woods begins happily. There are forest animals to play with -- Friend Hare, the chattery squirrel, the noisy screech owl, and Bambi's twin cousins, frail Gobo and beautiful Faline.
But winter comes, and Bambi learns that the woods hold danger -- and things he doesn't understand. The first snowfall makes food hard to find. Bamb...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 1st 1988 by Aladdin (first published 1923)
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Nov 03, 2008 Jim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like classics they missed & women from Montana
Recommended to Jim by: Walt Disney
Ah, not the Bambi that works at the Rainbow Tavern, down on Sprague Avenue.

This is the REAL Bambi. The horned lord of the forest that later went to work as an actor for Walt Disney and late in life became best buds with Charlton Heston, head of the NRA. Outrageous, but completely true! This is the book that started it all, my friend.

I just read this book a couple of years ago and found it fascinating and horrifying at times, like when Salten describes the humans through the eyes and m...more
Charity (CJ)
This is not Disney. This book was incredible. The description was so real, the language not dumbed down for kids. Yes, the animals talked, but it wasn't cutesy, silly talking. It was Watership Down kind of talking. I read this to my five-and-a-half-year-old daughter (I'm trying to give her the original versions of all of the stories before she sees the Disney versions). When the first scary thing happened, I worried that I'd made a horrible mistake. But, although she was upset, she put it all in...more
Aug 16, 2007 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone except avid hunters
I remember renewing this book from the library for several months in a row in elementary school and re-reading it obsessively. I wanted to pick it up again just to see if I could figure out what it was about the novel that affected me so much. It was really interesting to read it as an adult. I do still hate the Disney version since Salten's is just so much more compelling - and no forest fire. What struck me this time around was the depictions of masculinity and femininity especially in regards...more
The book, Bambi, is slightly different than its Disney counterpart. I know, big surprise. There are still many similarities and in general the two versions track. The book begins with the birth of Bambi and his all-important first relationship with his gentle, loving mother, his childhood friendship with Faline and his early learning about ‘Him’ (who is never named) but we know to be man or men, specifically hunters with their third arm. In time Bambi becomes aware of the old stag who continues...more
Stefan Yates
I'm really not completely sure how I feel about this book now that I've finished it. On one hand, it is well written and there are scenes that illustrate the beauty and innocence of nature so vividly that one is able to picture them even without the wonderful illustrations of this particular version. Yet, there is also much of this book that deals with the violent and grisly destruction that humans bring to the wildlife of the forest.

How this became regarded as a children's story, I'm not really...more
One of my most wept over books. Depicts humanity as divorced from grace.

*swears vengence on Disney desecration*
Sep 21, 2007 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Youth 9-13
This is a very different book than the Disney movie.

I realise at the time that the Disney animated movie caused something of a kerfuffle, since Bambi's mom is shot off-screen. In the book, things only start there. The novel, while well-written, is much more violent than one might expect, and is not especially appropriate for many children under 10.

I do not recommend that people run out and buy this novel if their children thought Bambi, Farina, and Thumper were cute, the therapy bills will be a...more
Shanna Gonzalez
Most of my generation, when they think of Bambi, think of the sentimental Disney movie. But the original book was a serious work. Its one-of-a-kind conception and spectacular writing have earned it classic status as the story of a young deer growing to adulthood in his woodland home. Salten's writing is compelling, and scenes from the story will stay in the mind long after reading, to be often recalled and savored. This Bambi lives a grim and dangerous life, his world filled with blood and fear...more
I read two different editions of Salten's Bambi, the first a Pocket Edition published in 1942. The statement after the foreword, which is written by John Galsworthy, added the ephemera of time to my reading: [In order to cooperate with the government's war effort, this book has been made in strict conformity with WPB regulations restricting the use of certain materials.] The accession date of the second book is 1988, and is a hard cover copy with beautiful drawings by Kurt Wiese, a German by bir...more
After being told by my mother that this book was "nothing like the Disney version," I came prepared to read something like Watership Down for Children. Surprise! Not really.

This book actually was very like the Disney movie, as I remember it (and it's been quite a few years). It begins with Bambi's birth in a meadow and continues by cataloging his discoveries and experiences one by one: meeting a squirrel, conversing with a screech owl, meeting Aunt Ena and cousin Faline. There's no Bashful or Th...more
Apr 03, 2009 Dionisia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older children, fearless adults
The differences between this book and Disney's animated version are many. As others have already mentioned, this is definitely a darker tale. I thought the beginning was slow, but by the first appearance of the fall season I was hooked. I hope that other adults will not shy away from giving this children's classic a try. You will not be disappointed.

Now that the story is over I find myself still mulling over the conversation between the two leaves. I have great respect for Salten's ability to ev...more
I didn't know that Bambi was a book before I happened to see it on a shelf at the library, so I decided that I just had to find out how the story went before Disney redid it. When I put it down, my first thought was "....Well, that was depressing." There was a lot of symbolism embedded in the entire story, which is interesting to think about while you read. Keep that in mind if you decide to read this one! Also, I personally would give it a 14A rating for its unsugarcoated depictions of hunting...more
John Yelverton
In my opinion, this book is good, but not nearly as good as the movie.
Maggie Campbell
"'He was very nice to me. And I like him so much. He's so wonderful and green..."

"'Can it be true,' said the first leaf, 'can it really be true, that others come to take our places when we're gone and after them still others, and more and more?'
'It is really true,' whispered the second leaf. 'We can't even begin to imagine it, it's beyond our powers.'
'It makes me very sad,' added the first lead.
They were silent for a while. Then the first leaf said quietly to herself, 'Why must we fall?'...
The s...more
In the copy of Bambi that I read, there is a foreward written a year before the book was published by a John Galsworthy who was given the honor of reading the book in galley proof form. I use his words now, "Bambi is a delicious book. For delicacy of perception and essential truth I hardly know any story of animals that can stand beside this life study of a forest deer. Felix Salten is a poet. He feels nature deeply, and he loves animals...I particularly recommend it to sportsmen."

All I can add...more
My bedside reading table is mostly stocked up with non-fiction, but sometimes pieces of classic literature get fit in from time to time. Felix Salten’s short, bracingly realistic Bambi, A Life in the Woods is the latest. The copy I read might have been an abridged version of the 1928 original. One thing’s for certain, however – this isn’t the Disney version, not by a long shot. In describing the title deer’s maturity in a deceptively calm forest, Salten’s elegant, plain-spoken prose takes on a g...more
In his forward John Galsworthy describes Bambi as "delicious" and that is as succinct and apt as any description gets. Few books have so immediately resonated like small bells within my heart as rapidly as did this small, perfectly crafted classic. This is not the movie though plot wise the two are not so far from each other. The tone and the message are both dark and profound; it is almost chastening in its severity. And all it is is the life of a deer. It is a gorgeous read and officially on m...more
Beloved childhood book indeed! My paperback edition is a "Pocketbook" edition ("Kind to your pocket and your pocketbook") printed c. 1942. The page margins are less than 1/2 inch "in order to correspond with the government's war effort, this book has been made in strict conformity with WPB regulations regarding the use of certain materials. FOR VICTORY...Buy United States War Bonds and Stamps."
(Somehow this format makes its beloved-childhood-book-ness even more precious.)
A fascinating story tha...more
Tiffany Hickox
I recently read the book Bambi by Felix Salten, and I highly recommend it as a spring read.

Bambi is not just the story of a fawn who looses his mother and must learn to make his way in the world. Instead, it is the author's take on what life in the forest must be like through the eyes of deer and other animals. There are the obnoxious and vocal birds, the chatty squirrells, the proud owls, and the gentle deer who all interact to create an imaginative community. Then there is He - the one who bri...more
Karlyne Landrum
I read this book so many times as a child that I still remembered the first sentence: "He came into the world in the middle of the thicket...". I hadn't read it in many years, so it was a joy to find that I still love it. The prose is beautiful without being sentimental or smarmy, and the lessons it imparts are still as true now as they were in the 1920's (when it was written, not when I read it!).

Interesting side-note -- the Disney movie "The Shaggy Dog" was based on a book of Felix Salten's!
This book mixed a stark realism with just enough of an anthropomorphism to create emotionally resonant characters. Salten manages to not take that too far though. The animals, with their human-style speech and thoughts, still remain animals. The realities of nature still exist and that really makes the book something special to read. Something very different from typical children's fare.

It's harsher and more brutal and distinctly less cute than the subsequent Disney adaptation, but the overwhelm...more
The message of the book seems to be that animals have thoughts, feelings and their own families, and humans never honor them; instead they slaughter them. The story is compelling, and must have been a unique book for its time. Bambi was a cousin of Faline, and did not grow up to marry her and have twins, rather, Faline was a twin to Gobo. Gobo was foolish and trusted man, which brought him to his end, eventually. With luck and some wisdom, and advice from his father, Bambi survived.
Wow. Just wow. This book is beautiful in so many ways and flows so incredibly well. I love the movie version, but I feel that I can't even compare the two because... well, let's be honest, the movie has a COMPLETELY different story.

Bambi is also very shocking for me in that it is so brutally realistic; for example, one of Bambi's friends, the screech owl, is a very genial character but can also turn around and kill a mouse brutally within an endearing scene because that's what he has to do and...more
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There is something in the Northern air of Europe that spins tragedy, of this I am most certain (take a gander at Larssen, Hoeg...etc). Salten was given to me on a sensitive day, and instead of making it worse, he made it better. Yes. I am too far gone. So far as to crack jokes in a resturaunt where the nearby table was just served venison, rare, with a light bisque.
I've always loved the movie, so I've been curious about the book. The book is even better and makes more sense as a story. Not only that, the real message of the book- or at least the lesson that Bambi takes to heart- is seemingly the opposite of what the movie wants to tell us.
James Ng
I grew up with this book,decades ago, and in a very different city than where I am now. There was a hard cover copy in the public library that I borrowed every summer. Being in a big city, I did not know the different animals and plants but was fascinated anyway. I imagined visiting the forest and the meadow some day. The book taught me a lot about life,and I particularly liked the spiritual conclusion. Over the years I have owned and lost a few copies of the book. I have just finished another r...more
This is one of the most enjoyable books that I've ever read. Of course, Bambi has been a part of my life since childhood, thanks to Disney, who is thought to have had Nazi sympathies and who brought the book to life on the screen. (Salten was a prominent Jewish author exiled from Austria due to the threat of annihilation by Adolph Hitler.)

While I had never read Bambi until I had reached mature years, I always felt I wanted to read the book; and I am glad that I did. I'm also glad that I waited,...more
Amanda Wheet
Alright - so after reading The Sorcerer's Apprentice poem and Jim Korkis' transcript of Dumbo, I've made my way to Bambi. I watched Fantasia last weekend and Dumbo last night.

Bambi was not at all what I expected. Perhaps I'm so used to cute, naive Bambi, who loses his mother that I just expected the Salten's original character to be similar. However, I found Bambi to be so much deeper and richer than a basic children's book. The play between He (man) and the other creatures, Bambi's very stoic l...more
Such a beautiful book. Filled with so many morals, and is in a way a bit depressing to me. Why must He (Us) cause so much terror, death, and pain? I will never understand. A must read classic, just marvelously written.
This was an amazing read. There is a short foreword at the begining of the book where John Galsworthy talks about reading the proof on a trip and as he would finish a page he would pass it on to his wife who would then pass it on to other traveling companions. They all just couldn't put it down. It was totally like that.

It was very easy to read this and let go of any preconceived ideas from the movie. There are similar characters from the movie and some that are not quite the same and others tha...more
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Felix Salten was an Austrian writer. He was born Siegmund Salzmann in Budapest, Hungary. When he was three weeks old, his family moved to Vienna, Austria. Many Jews were immigrating into the city in the late 19th century because Vienna had finally granted full citizenship to Jews in 1867.

When his father went bankrupt, Felix had to quit school and begin working in an insurance agency. He also began...more
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“...I'm just beginning to understand how kind you are.” 10 likes
“The young doe, Marena, said, "In this very hour many of us are going to die. Perhaps I shall be one of them.” 4 likes
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