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The Little Prince Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 111 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company (1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590129279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590129275
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

It is important to note that this book can be more than a strange fairy tale.
JMack
This is one of the few books that will make you wonder about the true meaning of life and change the way you think.
jamie
Katherine Woods' simple and beautiful translation is the only one that does justice to The Little Prince.
Allie Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

352 of 357 people found the following review helpful By Allie Jones on August 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Katherine Woods' simple and beautiful translation is the only one that does justice to The Little Prince. (See notes.) Published by Harcourt in 1943 and 1971, her translation is the essential --- the translation loved and quoted by English-speaking people around the world, even by members of English- and French-speaking Canadian Parliament! But hers is OUT OF PRINT, so snatch up used copies while you may!

WARNING: there is a "new translation" out by Richard Howard, and I accidentally got one. Ouch! His "New" translation purges meaning, and is not worth the money. It gives a falseness to one of the most sincere stories ever written.

Howard's lacks beauty, and is at times unintelligible: It simply does not make sense. Since Howard has no apparent understanding of the truths expressed in The Little Prince, it is not to be wondered at. One important example says it all: The fox's "secret" told to the little prince in parting ---

Woods' translation reads: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." She uses the beautiful rhetorical mode: "What is essential..." Compare, if you know French, Antoine de Saint Exupéry's original French text: "...on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invsible pour les yeux." "L'essentiel" is in the same mode as is "Les Misérables" -- neither translate exactly into English. "Les Misérables" may be translated as "The Miserable Ones," with less poetic effect. Likewise, "L'essentiel" might be rendered literally "The essential things" or put in the rhetorical form "What is essential...
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407 of 420 people found the following review helpful By Harbor Bookstore on March 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is just a note to say beware of the new translation if you've previously read and enjoyed the Katherine Woods version. Mr. Howard makes the argument in his "translator's note" that the language has changed since the 1940's and that a new translation is needed. I couldn't disagree more. And I [do] speak with some experience on this subject: I read this title at school in the original French language for three different classes, as well as numerous times in English (the Woods version). Katherine Woods beautifully captured the feel of the French original. The new, Howard translation is in a more modern English which mostly succeeds at removing the poetry that previously existed and little else that I can find. It does not make the story any more clear or nuanced than it previously was, rather less so. I find the arguments for a new translation indefencible.
Three stars is not a review of the book, but of the translation. This title is beyond excellent, but you might do yourself a favor and find a used copy with the Woods translation (there are many copies out there). Enjoy!
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108 of 115 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Can't get enough of this book. When faced with the prospect of having to buy -another- copy (I always give them away), I finally bought the hard cover. The illustrations are incredible. Spend the extra money just for them. You miss so much by having to relate to the paperback, much smaller, illustrations.
This is not a children's book. The work is, in fact, far too tragic for younger children, even if they don't grasp all of the imagery presented in the story. The ending is simply too difficult to try to explain to small children.
But, aside from that...this book is so beautiful. It brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. Each planet may be a thinly disguised political lesson, but who cares. The prince's experiences are touching and at times heart-rending.
This book is also best for reading out loud. It'll take a little time, perhaps about an hour and a half, but it's worth it. The translation just rolls right off the tongue, the images become much easier to picture, the dialogues between the prince and the other character seem easier to internalize.
He may have been writing a religious/spiritual statement, it may be a social-political commentary, _The Little Prince_ may be an anti-science manifesto. Point is, it doesn't matter what the "intent" of the story was. The book is so accessible, so deftly written, the story so compelling and honest, that any reader can intepret it in a deeply personal way. Every time you read the book, a different scene will leap out at you. A different line will strike your heart. The fox, the rose, the tippler, the prince, each character is fantastically vivid. As you change in your life, the book will change too. It is a rare and treasured book, indeed.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is an all-time classic and deserves more than five stars!
The story of The Little Prince can be read at many different levels of meaning. In fact, the wider your mind and heart, the more you will appreciate the story. But the narrower your mind and heart, the more you need this story.
On the surface, it is a bizarre tale of an aviator stuck in the middle of the Sahara who encounters a small blond boy who tells him far-fetched stories about travel among the planets. At this level, you need to suspend disbelief and simply go with the story to consider the ways that becoming more child-like are valuable to the aviator. It makes him more understanding and open. He has wanted to maintain connection with his child-based self, and does so. It does not matter if you want to believe that the child actually travels amongst the planets or not.
You can also read the aviator as having been affected by the heat and dehydration, so that he is imagining the Little Prince in his delirium. From that perspective, we are dealing with an internal dialogue of the aviator in evaluating what is most important to him in life, as he considers the possibility of losing his.
At a different level, you can see the Little Prince's travels to other planets as an allegory for all of life. What are we seeking for? How do you know when we have found it? How can we lose what is important? The examples of self-absorbed adults, beginning with the aviator, provide many cautionary tales.
Beyond that, you can read this as science fiction. How would an alien see humans? How would an alien react to humans? Would an alien want to stay or go home?
A religious person can see an allegory to the life of the spirit. Christians will see a Christ-like figure in the Little Prince.
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