The Little Prince The Little Prince question

What is so wrong with this book?
Tim Turnip Tim Sep 01, 2013 02:15PM
I read this at a young age, and now still enjoy it. But some people simply don't...
Why is that? People are allowed opinions, but people seem to abhore it...?
Help or suggestions?

I think it would depend on why people abhor it. If they say it's too dark for children, they may have a valid argument worth exploring; if they condemn it because it's 'boring', that's just a subjective opinion without any value except to those who share their taste in literature. There's a kind of reverse book snobbishness shown by some people on GR. There doesn't seem to be a single classic which hasn't been disparaged by someone to dozens if not hundreds of 'like' votes. My favourite was the guy who claimed he'd read Joyce's Ulysses in an hour while cleaning his fish tank and said it sucked because 'it had no plot' -stream of consciousness anyone. Pride and Prejudice has been called a 'stinker' and not 'modern' enough, The Three Musketeers boring and cliche, Dickens' books too long and wordy. My guess is the people who write these kind of reviews think it makes them look very avante garde and quite the rebel. Everyone is entitled to their subjective opinion but subjective opinion is not objective analysis. When it comes to the classics, it's probably best to ignore, in the words of a once VP, the 'nabobs of negativity' on this site.

I am not sure I will sort this book under child lit only. Of course it is very suitable for children, and reading it early allows you to get caught by its magic. But it is definitely a book to reread when you get older. There are so many philosophical thoughts and it tackles a large spectrum of very serious subjet that can be only understand when older (responsibility, love, friendship, death, sense of life...)

For myself I am completely in love with this book since my mum read it to me as a child. However sad it is, it also reminds you of this sadness comes because you were lucky enough to be happy... And even if it is now somehow over, you can still be happy at the remembrance: Et quand tu seras consosle, tu seras heureux de m'avoir connu... (And when your grief will be over, you will be happy to have known me...) Moreover it is very metaphoric, which makes 2 levels of understanding, which is great because when you have kids to read it to you can also enjoy the second level yourself :D

Of course I could talk for hours on how beautiful it is, but I am afraid that I might be useless in trying to find reasons for why people might not like it :)

I recently started reading all the classic kid lit that I somehow missed reading as a child. I bawled like a baby for the little prince! This is, by far, my favorite children's book but that is the opinion of an adult so take it for what it's worth. :)

deleted member Sep 04, 2013 05:24PM   1 vote
This is a great book. I have read it several times, and grown to love it and laugh and sob more at it every time. If I ever have kids, I'll read this beautiful book to them.

This is one of my all time favourites.

Just re-read it yesterday in the middle of the night! Still love it and the lessons it not-so-subtly gives entwined with a wry humour...

I wish I could explain what draws me to return to this story. It makes me sad too....I get so upset over this little guy....and I watch the movie...(adore Fosse and Wilder) and recently found an audio with Richard Gere and Joel Osmont....the story like the snake...wraps around you and pulls you in.

I personally liked the book. I found it to have much meaning. I too do not understand why some people just hate it and won't elaborate. Maybe it's just the way they feel when they read it. I mean, if I were to watch a certain episode from a show that I like, I hate it because I can anticipate the outcome and it just makes me cringe. I can't really explain this feeling.

I don't think the Little Prince is a children's books, at least not in its deepest meaning. It can be read as a bedtime story, but so can "The Selfish Giant" by Oscar Wilde and they both deal with very "adult" and deep themes.
The relationship between the Prince and the flower, as well as the one with the Prince and Exupery himself go well beyond the superficiality of a children's book. The people the Prince meets during his travels are stereotypes describing most people on earth, people that did not understand the true essence of the Little Prince;This book asks the reader to look at the world not in a childish manner but to keep the same "pure", so to speak, way of looking at things as a child, to see the true essence of things.

Well, to each their own. I love this book and I read it at every possible age stage of my life. I love it for many reasons, most of which others already mentioned.

However, I think that some people may need or enjoy better different ways, different styles, to perceive the same messages or learn the same lessons that I learned with this book.

Mkfs (last edited Jul 04, 2014 11:19AM ) Jul 04, 2014 11:16AM   0 votes
It's a fine children's book.

I am always surprised by adults that cling to it, though, as the worldview is rather simplistic. It is a childish view of the world, and people who express an affinity for it are declaring themselves unfit for, or otherwise unsatisfied with, the world of adults.

So, what "is wrong" with The Little Prince is not necessarily in the book, but in the audience.

If you hand this book to a successful, well-adjusted adult who hasn't read it, and tell them it is your favorite book, they are likely to be disappointed by the book -- and they may look at you funny thereafter. If, on the other hand, you tell them to read it to their kids, they are likely to enjoy it a lot.

I watched the 'Le Petit Prince' movie first before I started reading the book. I remember watching it when I was in high school and can't even grasp the meaning of it. "Her mother is so strict" was the only think inside my head, and even at the end of the movie, I don't understand the relation between the Little Prince and the little girl story.

But then, I read the book and it's all makes sense. Maybe, the movie was a potrayal on how our society does, and how we are constructed to see the world in the little girl's perspective (along with the story of The Little Prince). As in we have to be perfect, and flawless, and all they care was just a number. And reading the book as a young-adult (I'm 20 by the time I wrote this), I feel like taken back to the time of my childhood, to remember what it feels like having a dream and be reckless, just like The Little Prince, who left his planet just because he was dissapointed with Rose.

Saying this book can only be read by childhood doesn't seems right for me, because as a child, you don't really have that perspective and can't understand this books fully. This book is suitable for every ages, and somebody once told me that this book should have been read three times. When we as a child, young-adult, and adult so that we can understand and realized how far have we grown and how our perspective ever changed.

If you read this book as a child, it's great. You keep the good things from it. But if you read it as an adult, you may find some things in common with the Heaven's Gate religious group suicides.
They believed that their "human" bodies were only vessels meant to help them on their journey. "Where do they got these ideas? Hmm." Well, there's this children's book.
Is there anyone who thought the same? I saw the video "Do's Final Exit" before I read the book.
Don't tell me I'm wrong yet! I know the book was written in 1943 and the suicides happened in 1997. I just found a connection between this and didn't like that.
Still a great book for children, though!

U 25x33
Sharon Smith I'm glad to find I'm not alone in my thoughts about Le Petit Prince. From my first reading (in childhood) to my last (while earning a M.Ed. in the 199 ...more
Aug 05, 2016 01:04AM · flag

Yes, I agree. I remember reading it as a child and thoroughly enjoying it. In my opinion that is all I need to be certain that this is a classic, and I would go as far as to say that it's even better than some of what is considered today as children's literature.

Angie (last edited Nov 13, 2013 12:11PM ) Nov 13, 2013 11:57AM   0 votes
I also love this book, I cannot explain it, but it has giving me a sensation of tenderness despite the melancholy tone.

Last week, the topic of the book came with my brother, and he told me that what he disliked was the part where the Little Prince is with the fox, because he cannot understand why the fox encouraged him to domesticate him if both were going to take different paths in the end. A similar idea about why to start a friendship if both persons are going to take separate ways and they are not going to see again.

I just think it's not for children. Well, it may depends on the perception of the person of that word but I just think that this story is so beautiful if only you understand the whole story and that can't be achieved by children just reading it in their own.

The idea of a cute little prince talking to a fox and a fox talking to him is very neat to read as a little kid. The idea of a fox teaching a human being about the responsibility that comes along with befriending another comes later on. Must such things be mutually exclusive? Childhood. Adulthood. First one. Then the other!

This may be an iconic piece of literature but I can't imagine how a 13 year old could possibly enjoy it.
I remember suffering through this book as a child. Every bit as painful and excruciatingly revolting as it gets. Narrative flat and meaningless and boring - I kept reading only because I couldn't break my rule of finishing every book I commit to.

For me it was pretty choppy. There seemed to be way too much action.

I love this story as human nature and social relations are portrayed through the eyes of a child. My problem is that children's book must not just be a reflection of what is there.

The hero is an innocent bystander and desperate to leave. I would have preferred the author offering a solution to the problems and showing the child, or anyone for that matter, a path to resolve them.

My mother read this to us when I was a kid, way back in '68. I can remember the beginning, and remember it had a sad ending, but not much else... and then I reread it last year and found this little gem:

"If I’ve told you these details about Asteroid B-612 and if I’ve given you its number, it is on account of the grown-ups. Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: “What does his voice sound like?” “What games does he like best?” “Does he collect butterflies?” They ask: “How old is he?” “How many brothers does he have?” “How much does he weigh?” “How much money does his father make?” Only then do they think they know him.
If you tell grown-ups, “I saw a beautiful red brick house, with geraniums at the windows and doves on the roof ….,” they won’t be able to imagine such a house. You have to tell them, “I saw a house worth a hundred thousand francs.” Then they exclaim, “What a pretty house!”

That alone is worth getting the book for!!!

Sarah (last edited Feb 11, 2015 07:16AM ) Feb 11, 2015 07:15AM   0 votes
It's probably because they think it's too dark for kids. Ha! I'd love to see claimers of that read Pinocchio or anything by Roald Dahl!

Ruby Emam I have always loved and admired this book, having read it many times. My problem is that the hero of any book written for children should not be an in ...more
Feb 11, 2015 02:30PM · flag

I adored this book as a child, and I adore it as an adult. I look forward to sharing this beautiful classic with grandchildren. I don't get why the opinions of a suicide cult should sway an intelligent reader's mind.

I think it is a lonely and creepy book. I felt that when I was a toddler. I wanted to get him, bring him to earth ,hug him ,give him milk and cookies and tuck him in. but that's me. I am american

I read it as a little girl and loved it. Read it to my three boys and still have my original copy.

Feliks (last edited Sep 01, 2013 03:04PM ) Sep 01, 2013 02:29PM   -2 votes
Surely you're being falsely beguiled by some aberrant, improperly vocal minority here on GR. Its a classic work of children's lit and has been for a long time. The internet might make it seem as if that's not so; but only because every jackdaw and mynah bird out there uses their keyboard to spout indiscriminate nonsense. Ignorant opinions aren't worth weighing up.

back to top