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The Little Prince [Paperback]

Antoine De Saint-Exupery
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
ONCE WHEN I WAS six I saw a magnificent picture in a book about the jungle, called True Stories. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 10 Star Book, 1 Star Translation July 3 2003
By A Customer
Please, people, do not waste your time on the Richard Howard translation. It is childish, simplified, and simply awful. I really think that Richard Howard took this phenomenal, amazing book and tried to make it as devoid of meaning as he could. The new translation is almost like how a five year old would tell it- small, small words and small, small ideas.
However- I had the Katharine Woods translation before I bought this one. Do not blame this new error on the author. The Katharine Woods translation is superb. Richard Howards- Not so much.
This review has nothing to do with the book, just its differing translations.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Matters of Consequence rewritten Jan. 10 2004
By A Customer
If you would like to experience the Little Prince as the brilliant book it is, DO NOT READ THIS TRANSLATION! The translator obviously missed the key points that make this book the treasure it is. The "Matters of Consequence" phrase is changed throughout the story, completely destroying one of the main themes. Also, more complicated words have been replaced with simple words. Instead of elephants being very cumbersome they now take up a lot of space. Ack! Again, I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS TRANSLATION! It is for silly grown ups who have forgotten what it is to be a child. Big words are okay, they help children learn. If we continue to over-simplify things, not only will we be robbing our children of a stronger education, we will have created a new form of literature that is boring for all. Long live the old version!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inadequate translation Dec 21 2003
By A Customer
I have read the original French version and both English translations, and I must agree with those who say that Howard's translation is terrible. His version loses all the charm of the original work. As I was reading it, I already thought this new translation proved to be quite pointless, but then I came upon the passage concerning the picture of the baobabs. The original adjective used by Saint-Exupery was "grandiose," which holds basically the same meaning as it does in English. Woods translated this as "magnificent and impressive," but Howard! Oh, Howard replaced this with "big." I'm assuming he mistakenly read this word as "grand," which does mean big, but his proofreading should have caught that. The rest of his translation does not sink quite to this level, but it does not nearly match that of Woods. At least she managed to retain some of Saint-Exupery's magic.
I'm also offended that the publishers would try to replace Woods's classic translation with one that has language they consider to be more modern. Le Petit Prince was written in the 1940s with what would assumedly be French of the 1940s. Thus, wouldn't it make sense to keep it in English of the 1940s?
PLEASE do your best to find Woods's translation. Do not let Howard taint your image of The Little Prince! Beware of this new translation!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful tale. Flat translation. Oct. 1 2003
By J.V.
This is a wonderful book in a disappointing new translation. "The Little Prince" is one of the most beautiful, wise and significant books I've ever read. Part of the deep appreciation I have long felt towards Antoine de Saint-Exupery for writing it has now emerged, for reading this new translation by Richard Howard, as an appreciation of Katherine Woods' inspiration and insight in her (1943) rendition of the story.
Publicity for the new (2000) translation criticises Woods' version as "slightly wooden or didactic." I think it could be said that, insofar as this is so, it is 'wood' with a living quality, a 'didacticism' with warmth, irony, understanding and humour, a care and gentleness lacking in Howard's version, which in comparison is rather metallic. It feels a bit of a shame that anyone would read a more mechanical interpretation when they could be reading the Woods version. It is saddening indeed to think that this new translation will actually replace Woods' in bookshops.
Howard's version being widely publicised as superior to me says far more about those standing to profit from sales than it does about the nature of The Little Prince. So I write this as a small appeal to you adults. " 'Children,' I say plainly, 'watch out for the baobabs!' " Endeavouring to advise, it is easy enough to slip into fooling oneself or others in some way. Mr. Howard's own assurance in his Translator's Note to the new version, that he has surpassed Ms Woods' rendition, runs notably foul.
(You may think this is just a matter of opinion. You may think I am being somewhat fussy. You will, perhaps, think like grown-ups on the issue!)
The Little Prince is about feeling; feeling and the relationship of our energy and capacity for this to our changing worlds of perception.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book Twisted in this Translation July 9 2003
By Gavin
Although "The Little Prince" is one of my favorite books and I think everyone should go out (or stay in I suppose :)) and buy a copy, I too feel(see the other one star review below) that the new translation should not be that copy that you pick up. Do yourself a favor and track down a copy of the Katherine Woods version (which seems to have disappeared from stores since the new one came out). As an exaple, compare the line "if I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water" (Woods translation) to Howard's which goes: "[if I had fifty-three minutes...]I would walk towards a water fountain".
This translation (and this is characteristic of almost every passage in it)saps it of its wistful, bittersweet language, replacing it with sentences which are, frankly, boring as all get out. Howard's translation may or may not be closer to the original French wording, but it takes something I love very much and makes it stale and less magical than when I first read it. In my book, that reads: "Bad Translation".
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I had purchased a copy and had enjoyed it very much
Many years ago, I had purchased a copy and had enjoyed it very much.
Published 27 days ago by Jean
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic.
This is a must-read book. People may think it is only for kids... but adults should definitely read it.
Published 1 month ago by Maria Fernanda Mejia Salazar
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm happy.
Exactly as described. I'm happy.
Published 1 month ago by Andrea
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Arrived with pages falling out.
Published 1 month ago by Melissa Alberts
1.0 out of 5 stars A review of three translations
In 2000, the translator Richard Howard was commissioned to create a translation superceding the original of Katherine Woods. Read more
Published 2 months ago by John Lederman
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the Little Prince.
Would give it 5 stars but the drawings are not clear in the book. There is something defective on the printing and the drawings are a very important part of the story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cape Bretoner
5.0 out of 5 stars I like it a lot
Wondeful book to understand and get solutions to life problems
Published 2 months ago by ahr
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Knowing the book, it was sent as a gift.
Published 2 months ago by M.A.W.S.
5.0 out of 5 stars The book it is beautifully done! The details are amazing
The book it is beautifully done! The details are amazing!. When I received it was absolutely more than I expected. I'm really happy with the new addition to my book collection :).
Published 3 months ago by Leyla
4.0 out of 5 stars The little Prince....
This is a book everyone should read in their lifetime. It is a very sweet book. I was given this book as a youngster and loved it dearly.... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Pernille Bojin
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