Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fate of Fausto” as Want to Read:
The Fate of Fausto
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fate of Fausto

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  813 ratings  ·  162 reviews
There was once a man who believed he owned everything and set out to survey what was his.

“You are mine,” Fausto said to the flower, the sheep and the mountain, and they bowed before him. But they were not enough for Fausto, so he conquered a boat and set out to sea…

Working for the first time in traditional lithography, Oliver Jeffers, combines art with prose, hand set
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fate of Fausto, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Fate of Fausto

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  813 ratings  ·  162 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Fate of Fausto
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-books
2.75 STARS: A Coffee Table Book – Ok-ish but Not a Book I will Remember

I like the message in this little book, a good message for kids to learn/discover, but I don’t think this book depicts the message as wonderfully as it could have. The illustrations, for me were disappointing, they didn’t captivate my gaze and have me sighing in pleasure as I wished I could draw like the illustrator.

Plus, very little is written, I know this is a children’s book, but there was more than one page with only
David Schaafsma
A kind of fable or allegory for our times, probably an all-ages book as it speaks to power and greed and man's sense of "dominion" or "ownership" of the natural world. A rich man claims he owns trees, mountains, seas, but in the end he, in all of his hubris, (sorry, spoiler) drowns. He knows how to scream, but he can't swim. He doesn't know how to live in cooperation with the planet. The fate of these natural dimensions did not matter to him except in that he could own them. He didn't know ...more
Kate Wyver
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'd like Oliver Jeffers to come and draw waves all over the walls in my house.
Ellie Labbett
I found myself feeling quite surprised by Jeffers’ latest release. By far, this feels like one of his most daring childrens books, and one that felt far more powerful to me than his other work. Taking on an entirely different, darker and foreboding tone to his previous stories, I felt a shift in Jeffers’ reflections on the world, the power of his narrative and perhaps a sense that he was hoping to evoke a different response in his readers.
The Fate of Fausto is a fable of sorts, telling the tale
More than half of the book was weirdly set with nothing but a sentence written on top. It was disappointing to see all the blank spaces especially in an illustrated book for children.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A surprise ending -- for a picture book anyway -- that I was very happy with. I doubt most parents will like it. I liked it.
Edward Sullivan
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A poingnant modern-day fable about greed and hubris.
Raven Black
This is not really for the picture book crowd. I think if you explain the story to the older child, they will appreciate the message, but may not pick it up right away. This is a book you experience on your own level due to biases and experiences. If anything, this is a coffee table picture book.
Marilyn B
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don’t often review picture books - not wanting to skew my GoodReads book count at the end of the year - and really, as a school librarian if I reviewed every picture book I read, I would have a crazy high count. BUT this might be one of my VERY FAVOURITE BOOKS EVER.

...Pardon the shouting.

I love this book and I love the imagery so much that I had to read it to every class grade 3-7 this week. I could hug this book I love it so much. I would love some of the illustrations to frame.

There is so
Hmmmm. I'm a big Oliver Jeffers fan, and I appreciate this parable about greed, illustrated (surprisingly -- I didn't know until I read it) via traditional lithographic printmaking. Printmaking takes a LOT of compositional planning, so it's a nice study of the book to know that each of Jeffers' minimal lines and gestures is very intentional, even as they still look loose and childlike. Still, this is one of those extra-long, not-quite-clear-about-audience adult/child picture books. The story ...more
Emily Duchon
I did not expect this ending at all. With everything going on in the world regarding climate change, I find this very timely. Life goes on; we don’t own the Earth. I liked it but expect a dark undertone.
Katie Mote
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This is an interesting book. It's about a man who wants to own everything and tries to make everything his. And with all his power he still isn't satisfied, he still wants more. Thats when the sea shows him that he cant have everything. The thing that I particularly liked about this book was the illustrations. How they were simple yet very effective. They move along with the story, we see large pictures and little pictures, sometimes we have not pictures at all. I feel like they represent the ...more
A fable of greed and the over powering need of it. Surprise ending-kudos to the author/illustrator.
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book about Fausto who always wanted more and more, nothing was ever enough. And then he met the sea and tried to claim her too. But Fausto cannot swim and so meets his end. A perfect story for the Christmas shopping orgy reminding us that enough is enough and more will not make us happier. The art is fantastic and I may have clapped my hands with glee when Fausto sank to the bottom of the ocean.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oliver Jeffers does it again! With The Fate of Fausto: A Painted Fable, he has created a timeless tale of greed and hubris completely suited to our current time. With shades of both The Little Prince and the works of Jon Klassen, and a moral that encompasses both the endurance of nature and the importance of understanding, this gorgeous picture book is sure to appeal to adults and kids alike.
Colin Garrow
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
A greedy man who thinks he owns everything, sets out to review his domain. He tells the flower, “You are mine,” and the flower agrees. Fausto declares the same to the sheep and the mountain, who also agree. But when Fausto sets out in a boat, things don’t go his way.

I’ve been a fan of Oliver Jeffers since reading ‘How to Catch a Star’ to my son a few years ago. The artwork in this book is lovely and as always, Jeffers’ tale is not a simple one – rather it’s one that prompts questions about
Becky B
Fausto was a man who thought he could own everything. He made flowers, sheep, and even mountains bow to his will. But will Fausto eventually learn that he can't truly own everything?

This feels like something you'd have to read for a high school or college literature course. There's a pretty deep message about humility, ownership, and life purpose. I don't think it is so dense that kids won't be able to get it though. Read this with a child to spark a conversation about values and character. And
Kris Dersch
It's not a terrible book. I'm glad I didn't share it with my kid. I read him most picture books even those over his head (he's 5,) but this one definitely falls in the for big kids and adults category. It's not a bad message and not a bad book but I don't really know who it's aimed at or what it's trying to do and I don't think it does either. Maybe the picture book format isn't its home?
Mostly, I just wanted to see Oliver Jeffers illustrate the poem by Vonnegut that is quoted at the end.
I love Oliver Jeffers' work, he is definitely in the top 5 of my favorite illustrators. The Fate of Fausto was not my favorite when it comes to the feel of the story, but it has a good message for kids to learn about greed. The illustrations are simple, and some pages don't even have illustrations at all, which I think actually adds to the story.
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is certainly an interesting one, with beautiful illustrations that we come to expect from Jeffers and a meaningful message throughout it does have quite a shocking twist to the end.
I can't quite decide if it's a happy ending or not...
Amy Brydon Jones
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A peculiar tale of a man who wants everything and ends up with nothing. I think there are a lot of messages and lessons that could be taken from this book to discuss in PSHE. Beautiful illustrations too.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I thought this was a kids book. It is not a kids book. I enjoyed it, but glad I didn't take it for a first spin by reading it to a child. It's...dark, man. I almost need a Seussian palate-cleanser.
Oct 07, 2019 added it
Shelves: picture-books
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, 2-5-grades
Don't be greedy!
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the simplicity, message, and artwork.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a chapter book, but it turned out to be a cute little picture book about a man who tried to own everything in the world by being angry and demanding, until the fateful day when he tries to own the sea.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I had encountered this as a child, I think it would've stayed with me for the rest of my life. Instead, the fables my father told in lieu of bedtime stories fill that role, and this, while as charming as I find all of Oliver Jeffers' work, serves more as a pleasant reminder of those tales than a new and poignant insight.
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So powerful. Read to find out its message!
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Huh. I'm not really sure who this was written for. It makes sense as a fable for adults and older kids about greed and nature - kind of like if the tree in The Giving Tree gave the guy finger and knocked him out with a tree branch or something. But more fatal. Oh the hubris! I love that word.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Shortest Day
  • Just Because
  • Roar Like a Dandelion
  • Pokko and the Drum
  • Small in the City
  • Birdsong
  • It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
  • In a Jar
  • What Miss Mitchell Saw
  • Just in Case You Want to Fly
  • One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller
  • Layla's Happiness
  • Please Don't Eat Me
  • Saturday
  • I Wonder
  • Most of the Better Natural Things in the World
  • Ping
  • At the Mountain's Base
See similar books…
Oliver Jeffers' work takes many forms. His distinctive paintings have been exhibited in galleries worldwide, and HarperCollins UK and Penguin USA publish his award-winning picture books, now translated into over 30 languages.

In 2007, Jeffers was the official illustrator for World Book Day, and in 2008 Lost and Found became Oliver's first book to made into animation by London-based Studio AKA.