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Bambi (Bambi #1)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  28,082 Ratings  ·  431 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
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 1st 1988 by Aladdin (first published 1923)
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Community Reviews

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Nov 03, 2008 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Dec 13, 2010 Charity rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
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
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
Aug 16, 2007 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  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
Feb 06, 2013 Loraine rated it it was amazing
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
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
Aug 01, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
One of my most wept over books. Depicts humanity as divorced from grace.

*swears vengence on Disney desecration*
Jun 01, 2016 Alessandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muito muito tocante e triste, bem mais que o filme :( o livro foca muito mais na questão doa caçadores e no sofrimento dos animais. Recomendado (mas não para crianças)
Lacey Louwagie
I never thought that a book about a deer in the woods could be such a page-turner.

One of my friends described the book as beautiful. Another told me it was "quite good." And I first came across it referenced in a YA book when I was in middle school, in which the narrator claimed it was much better than the Disney version.

I agree with all of the above.

I first quickly flipped through to make sure that the animals actually talked, since I have a hard time making it through books without any dialog
Maggie Campbell
Apr 06, 2014 Maggie Campbell rated it really liked it
"'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
Paula Cruz
Jul 17, 2016 Paula Cruz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mesmo já tendo assistido a animação, nada me preparou para essa história. Dá uma dor no peito acompanhar a vida do Bambi, porque a inocência do primeiro capítulo vai se perdendo e sendo substituída por melancolia e solidão, que aparecem no seu auge nas últimas frases do livro :~ É uma transição tocante, que te acerta em cheio. Você se pega pensando em como a vida é cíclica, como o Bambi cresceu e, principalmente, como o jeito que ele olhava o mundo mudou.

A maneira como retratam os humanos é uma
Shanna Gonzalez
Jul 09, 2010 Shanna Gonzalez rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-12
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
Helena Sorensen
Hmmm. I bought this book to read to my children because I thought it would be a richer, better story than the Disney movie I grew up with. (my kids have never seen it)
The writing is lovely, if heavy on adverbs, and there are some gorgeous descriptions of life in the forest and some profound observations on the harsh realities of the natural world.
But this is not a children's book. My three-year-old asked repeatedly that I NOT read it. My six-year-old was left with a blank, dissatisfied stare af
Jan 25, 2013 Sophia rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 21, 2007 Jennifer rated it really liked it
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
Mar 26, 2016 Julesmarie rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, classics
Just finished my first re-read of this as an adult. It was chosen as one of the literature books for our 3rd graders this year and I needed to read it again to prepare myself to read it with my students. And it's good I did, as there are scenes that are fairly graphic and now I'll be better able to prepare them.

It is spectacularly beautifully written, and I'm excited to get to see what my students think!
Bambi is about mentoring and the phases of learning...and so much more. I wrote my review on it here:
Tiffany Hickox
Mar 19, 2014 Tiffany Hickox rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
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
Feb 10, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I loved this book even more than I loved Watership Down, and I loved Watership Down a lot. In fact, if anyone out there could tell me some more books that realistically portrays the thoughts of non-human animals, without personifying them in any way besides giving them verbal language, I'd appreciate the reading suggestion!

Bambi is a delightful book right from the start. I spend a lot of time with young children, and the way Bambi was so curious and innocent and annoying to his mother when he wa
Prima Seadiva
Jul 01, 2015 Prima Seadiva rated it really liked it
I recently went on a short trip to the ocean and stayed at a friend's fabulous 70's house. My room was the Bambi room! In it were numerous copies of Bambi both the original Felix Salten and Disney version. I have a copy of the Disney version from my childhood but not of the original. Laying under my Bambi bedspread with Bambi curtains wafting in the evening breeze, I picked up and reread the original English translation in a 1930 printing with foreword by John Galsworthy and illustrations by Kur ...more
Sep 06, 2013 A. rated it it was amazing
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
Ana Maria Rînceanu
My neighbor's kid and I read this book together and we both liked it but for totally different reasons. He really likes animals and the Disney movie so he hated this book. I liked the sobering tale because it's a great way to discuss an antiquated idea of growing up.

I find this book interesting because of the time it was written in and the cultural ideas it highlights. This book was published between the First and Second World War, in a time when Nietzsche and Freud were all the rage. It was a
Sep 08, 2013 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Aug 17, 2009 Julianne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Jennifer Nelson
Jun 09, 2016 Jennifer Nelson rated it really liked it
If the Disney movie is your only encounter with Bambi, you will be quite startled by this strange little book. You go into it expecting a cute little story about a baby deer and instead encounter exquisitely crafted prose that leaves you with an aching heart and a quiet awe. "At night when he [Bambi] roamed through the forest or by day as he lay in the glade, he heard the falling leaves whisper among the trees. They fluttered and rustled ceaselessly through the air from the treetops and branches ...more
A very well written children's novel. Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten makes you think about how everything in the world, by nature, isn't claimed by one being (from humans, to other animals, even to plant life). Very, different from Walt Disney's animated film but just as charming. Reading the book you'll come to the realization that Disney cannot be blamed for the death of Bambi's mother because it was Salten who cam up with the idea. Gobo, Bambi's male cousin, was also an interestin ...more
Apr 03, 2009 Dionisia rated it really liked it  ·  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
Karlyne Landrum
Apr 27, 2010 Karlyne Landrum rated it it was amazing
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!
Apr 17, 2013 Trish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 27, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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.
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There is more than one author with this Name.

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
More about Felix Salten...

Other Books in the Series

Bambi (2 books)
  • Bambi's Children

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“...I'm just beginning to understand how kind you are.” 13 likes
“Bambi was inspired, and said trembling, "There is Another who is over us all, over us and over Him.” 8 likes
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