K.D. Absolutely's Reviews > The Little Prince

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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Feb 08, 12

bookshelves: 1001-core, 501, childrens, favorites
Recommended for: Jillian
Read from January 15 to February 02, 1987 — I own a copy, read count: 3

Review After Re-Reading - February 9, 2012

Rating: 3 stars!

Although I still liked it, I have to lower the rating by two stars because:
1. The book is really intended for children as it is very whimsical and illogical. We husbands cannot give an empty wallet to our wives and tell them that there is our salary inside and expect them to be happy. Honey, here is my wallet, what is essential is invisible to your eyes!

2. Saint-Ex contradicted himself so several times via his characters. For example, he left his small planet because he was unhappy with his rose. So, why did he not go back right away since he was able to do so via the migratory birds. Why did he have to let the snake bite him for his soul to go back to his planet? (Ok. This is just my interpretation).

3. This just cannot be in the same rank together with my other top favorite books like Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook or Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. Although I admire Saint-Ex, his works (I read two including this) cannot hold candle to the works of these 3 favorite authors of mine. I know this is debatable but it's just a matter of preference.
However, this is still my favorite children's book along with E. B. White's Charlotte's Web.

To took me so long to figure this for myself: sometimes we love books not because they are really good but because of the memories associated with them. I think that's the main reason why I rated this 5 stars when I joined Goodreads.

Don't get me wrong. While re-reading, this book still put a smile on my face. I just figured today that the reason was the memories. Had this been my first time to read this, I would have rated this, for whatever it's worth, also with 3-stars (I like this!)


Original Review in March 2009 when I joined Goodreads

Rating: 5 stars!

First read in full sometime in 1992 when I was in college

I will not be ashamed to admit that this is my favorite novel of them all. I read this when I was young and I can still recall the detail of each encounter or planet where he went. Who can also forget the famous line: "What is essential is invisible to the eye"? Even Ruffa Gutierrez quoted this line when she competed in Miss World beauty pageant a couple of decades ago. For all its ethereal beauty, meaningful lines and timeless messages, this novel is one that I will read again before I die and I hope Jillian will encourage her kids in the future to read this too.
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Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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K.D. Absolutely Thanks for the vote, Dottie.


message 2: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich ethereal beauty, meaningful lines and timeless messages... Well said.
I forgot about how much I loved this when I was younger. Perhaps I'll read it again before I die as well!


K.D. Absolutely Thanks, S. It still amuses me. It is really beautiful. No matter how many books that have come in between. No matter how many years have passed. This is still a nice book. This is a "deathless" book.


message 4: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich 'Deathless book', I like that. Books such as that are few and far between. Especially one like this that can reach and move readers of all ages. I'm having a hard time thinking of any other book that meets this.


K.D. Absolutely I can think of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Days of Solitude", Anne Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl", Alcott's "Little Women", Ellie Wiesel's "Night", Salman Rushdie's "The Midnight's Children" etc. I think people in this planet will be reading them forever.


message 6: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Ah yes, One Hundred Days of Solitude is a great one. I will definitely revisit that one day, Shamefully I have yet to read Midnights Children, or anything by Rushdie for that matter. I should get on that.


LadyJane He couldn't go back with the migratory birds because when his planet was in the earth's sky again a year later, the birds would be travelling towards Earth rather than back to the planet. And maybe the birds didn't go back anyway, his death made everything more meaningful. The aripilot realised why he loved the Little Prince because he had a feeling of what was going to happen. We realise why we love those we love and we feel grateful for them more when we know that they are going to die. maybe that is part of what the author is telling us not what to do. He is saying to be grateful for those you love whilst they are living. Don't take them for granted.


K.D. Absolutely Well said, Jane. Thanks. :)


LadyJane No thanks necessary ;)


message 10: by Aldous (new)

Aldous Snow I'm lowering your rating by two stars... negative-two.


message 11: by K.D. (new) - rated it 3 stars

K.D. Absolutely Aldous, may I know the reason why?


message 12: by K.D. (new) - rated it 3 stars

K.D. Absolutely I know. I just made the dumbest example to prove that that "what is essential is invisible to the eye" does not always work! :)


Annamaria Dosseva To your first point, I think you`re missing the point. It is not that we do not need material objects, but that their value is something we assign to them. That paper (or plastic) money is just paper until we assign it value. It represents the hard work, the contribution to society that you have made, and in the context of our society, that is understood; however, if you were to travel back in time and tried to buy food with that money, people would not understand its significance, what it stands for.

The lesson is not that you don`t need money, or water, or other material objects, but that you should take the time to value them, to appreciate the process which it took -the hard work- to acquire it.


message 14: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Saltarelli This is a metaphoric book, its time was in the occupation of germans in france. you must know this before you may understand meaning of metaphors.


message 15: by K.D. (new) - rated it 3 stars

K.D. Absolutely Thanks for the explanation, Annamaria. Now I feel guilty writing that part of the review. :(

Thank you too, Maureen. Yes, I think I should read more books about that time in France. Good point.


Bridgette H From the articles about Saint-Exupery, there is a ton of metaphor in this book which is only speculated on as the author was shot down(?) over the Mediterranean while a pilot during WWII for the Free French Air Force...a year after the book was published. It is said the rose represented his stormy marriage to his wife, the baobab trees represented the Nazi's fight for domination, and the pilot stranded in the desert is based on his own experience after crashing in the Sahara and almost dying of dehydration. I feel in the grand scheme of his life (he also suffered from illnesses brought on from high stress and carried on multiple affairs) he became reflective near the end (I put shot down earlier with a question mark because it is speculated that Saint-Exupery possibly crashed his plane on purpose) and this book was a way to revisit a simpler time in life (ie childhood) as a way to put everything into perspective. Major themes include perspective, responsibility, priorities and determining what is important...among MANY other things. I never felt this was a children's book, but a primer for adults who have lost their innocence through experience and the pure stress of being an adult. I stated in my review that this was chosen for a book club discussion and NOBODY got it. I was upset because I thought this would lead to an awesome discussion...


message 17: by Kt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kt Couldn't say it better than Annamaria and Bridgette, thank you for interesting facts. I thought a lot about the little prince choosing the snake bite to go home. I've read his bio, and I think maybe it does tell us something about his plane crash.
regarding the 1st point of the author of this review, I'd tell you, if your wife doesn't know that "what is essential is invisible to your eyes", maybe you married the wrong woman? (nothing personal, just referring to the notion of empty wallets) I think what this book does along with everything else is that it gives you the hope,and makes you think about little things that are so common and usual for us that we never think about them, are they really worth of all the hassle?


message 18: by K.D. (new) - rated it 3 stars

K.D. Absolutely Bridgette wrote: "From the articles about Saint-Exupery, there is a ton of metaphor in this book which is only speculated on as the author was shot down(?) over the Mediterranean while a pilot during WWII for the Fr..."

Yes, I agree about the metaphors. Thanks.


message 19: by K.D. (new) - rated it 3 stars

K.D. Absolutely Kt wrote: "Couldn't say it better than Annamaria and Bridgette, thank you for interesting facts. I thought a lot about the little prince choosing the snake bite to go home. I've read his bio, and I think mayb..."

Kt, I was just kidding about the wallet. Peace. :) I am sure I married the right woman.

About hope, it was there I guess as the pilot was in the same location each year hoping the Little Prince would come back. But it was a sad feeling. I'd rather hope with a smile on my face.


message 20: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Sotolombo you are obviously a grown up


Terry pour sole


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