Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


The Little Prince was like a many tiered cake or some such dessert like that. There were all these little nuggets of wisdom hidden deep within the simple lines and pictures that exploded in the brain only a good while after I had finished the book.

The Little Prince is at first deceptively simple, it is such a childlike book with words and drawings that will endear themselves to you and lacing this seeming childishness is an undercurrent of pure insight that few readers will be hard pressed to understand. This is not so much a review as a sort of note on the book. Of all the books I have ever read, it is The Little Prince that baffles me. I can't seem to grasp it's soul quick enough or strong enough to write a nice meaty review. I have read it over half dozen times and each time some new aspect of it strikes me. And I take that idea to examine it only to find it blurring away to be replaced by another one, the next time I read the book.

The little prince and the unlikely friend he makes of the pilot stranded in the desert are a kindred pair. They hit it off immediately, from the moment the prince recognizes the pilot's boa constrictor, you know that there is something special about this little boy, and about the book. Through them both, you learn to hate baobabs, learn wisdom from a fox, learn to handle the vanities of the prince's rose and to fall in love with it too and most of all, learn about the idiosyncrasies of man.

It is a strange, slightly disturbing nevertheless enjoyable journey and as you travel with them, you will learn valuable lessons on love, passion and loyalty. The end might bewilder you and break your heart just a little bit, but that is only because like the pilot, you have grown to love the little boy who has come such a long way from his home planet.

Read The Little Prince and enjoy it in your own way. In the end, you will also be on the lookout for the little boy with golden hair.

15 comments:

Whitney said...

The Little Prince looks like a fun read, and I love the dessert comparison. :}

Bedazzled said...

sounds like a nice spirited book .YA?.and i like the dessert analogy too !!

Kals said...

This looks interesting and I love the cover :)Will try and get this book!

Shweta said...

It was lovely reading this book. I understand how it feels on re reading it. Great u reminded me of it . Need to give this another read.

Vaishnavi said...

@Whitney - Yeah, it is a fun read and thanks! :)

@Bhargavi - No it is not YA. It is actually difficult to say what this comes under....motivational..inspirational or magic realism?? Something like that I guess :)

@Kals - The cover did it for me :) Apart from about a million people recommending this book to me! :)

bikerguy said...

sounds like a good read - a little fun, a little reality :)

Pavi said...

Many tiered cake?? will read it!! ;-D

Sayantani said...

Nice review, Vaishnavi! But, too short *sob*! We surely deserved a bit more?

It has been just over a year that I read this book. But, unlike you, I have read it only once and don't possess a personal copy yet *sob sob*. Simple but wise, like you say. The inquisitive beautiful mind of our little prince opens the gates of the minds of many whose skins, like me, have thickened in the Mad Rush of the modern times. But, I suppose, some of the wisest of men would fail to absorb the real fervour of this book...

A lifetime treasured read.

priyaiyer said...

i read this book a couple of years back and LOVED it.. it is a book worth treasuring for sure!!! :)

Vaishnavi said...

@Sayantani - Thanks a lot! It is so nice to see you here :) This is one of those rare books that really truly give the reader something new each time you read it. I wish the book was longer too :) But yeah, it is up to the read to take what he will from this book. From any book for that matter...

@Priya - It is an incredible read isn't it :) Welcome here :)

Suvro Chatterjee said...

A truly great book - and, if you have noticed, the appeal never fades (TLP was written a long time ago). You should have mentioned the poignant dedication, though!

I wonder, however, how many readers, though they gush over it, are truly changed forever by a book like this. I was. I read it when I was 15, and now I am 47, and this book is one of the permanent reasons why I have regarded grown-ups sometimes with ridicule, sometimes with despair, and sometimes with loathing - though I have been a grown-up myself for a long time now!

Lovely review. I hope a lot of people read this book because of you.
Sir

Vaishnavi said...

Dear Sir,

I totally agree with you! TLP's appeal is incredible, I have taken to remembering the boa constrictor thing as often as I can. Thank you Sir, I am glad you liked the review and if it actually makes someone read it I shall be very happy :)

kerala said...

Thanks for reminding me of a little classic that I had read as a young man and had instantly fallen in love with it. I must now read it again and "enjoy it in my own way" as you so righly said. Every time you read it, you'll enjoy it in your own another way!

Sathej said...

Really liked this book..wrote my impressions long back in this highly dormant book blog of mine :-(

http://bookishmusings.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/the-little-prince-antoine-de-saint-exupery/

Sathej

Vaishnavi said...

@Mr.Varma - Thanks a lot and welcome here! You are absolutely right, it is simply not possible for The Little Prince to not strike a chord with anyone who reads it.

@Sathej - On my way to bookish musings :)