Books »The Little Prince

the little prince antoine de saint exuperyThe children's book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery is so precious to anyone that's read it that people literally were stopping me in the subway to mention how much they loved it. The very simple truths expressed in the book, about what is actually important in life (hint: it's not making money, gaining fame, or staying drunk) have made the slim novel one of the best selling books ever. Shame then, that two of the three books stores in my neighborhood didn't carry it (and thanks Spoonbill & Sugartown for coming through).

If you haven't read it, I encourage you to take a day for it, it won't take more of your time than that, but it will fill you with the wonder and hope that you hopefully possessed as a child. Saint Exupery creates a world where a flower can be the most important thing in the universe and where all the stars in they sky can be laughing.

The book is graced with many charming illustrations also the work of the author. My favorite are the little sketches of sheep and the elephant inside a boa.

Surprisingly, considering the exotic and fanciful narrative, some of the book was inspired by real life. Saint Exupery was a pilot who crashed in the Libyan desert, nearly died hallucinating and dehydrated until a Bedouin found and saved them. During that incident, he saw a desert fox, also called a fennec fox and totally completely adorable (like the French bulldog of the wild) which inspired the fox character.

Sadly, this was his last book as he was shot down during World War II.

Among the adaptations of this classic are a Japanese animated TV show, a few theater attempts, a hard to find – but perhaps not worth the effort claymation, and probably most famously a failed live action film that I haven't seen but has earned quite a cult following and is easily available for the curious on Netflix.

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Posted on March 2, 2009

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