RC’16: A Book Translated Into English

Book: The Little Prince
Author: Antoine De Saint-Exupéry (translated from French by Irene Testot-Ferry)
First published: 1943

A confession: I have read The Little Prince before. I was lent it in high school by one of my teachers, and I absolutely loved it. However, books I have to hand that have been translated are few and far between, so I thought I’d start off with this one so I can be on my way.

As a side note, this book also fulfills some other challenges, such as ‘books under 150 pages’ and ‘books you read in high school’. However, I’m going to try and use a different book for each challenge.

Summary: A pilot crashes in the Sahara desert and while fixing his plane comes across the Little Prince, a traveller from a planet far away who has made a journey across the galaxy.

“To me, you are still just a little boy like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you have no need of me, either. To you, I am just a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, we shall need one another. To me, you will be unique. And I shall be unique to you.”

My thoughts: This book is just delightful from the first page – the dedication, even. The prose is wistful and poignant feelings are described perfectly. Each chapter made me smile; some of the observations of adulthood are so truthfully funny. It’s a very clever book, but also very simple.

The book contains some fantastical elements, but what grounds it is the heartache in the story of the unlikely friendship between the pilot and the Little Prince.  The reader comes to the end of the story feeling they’ve both travelled the same journey as the Prince and experienced the friendship of the two characters; because of this, the feeling of loss at the end is immense.

Just as profound and beautiful on reading again. Definitely a book that stays with you.

Rating system:
★☆☆☆☆ = I didn’t like it
★★☆☆☆ = It was okay
★★★☆☆ = I liked it
★★★★☆ = I really enjoyed it
★★★★★ = New favourite book

My rating: ★★★★☆

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