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The Little Prince [Paperback]

Antoine De Saint-Exupery
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 17 2011
A pilot stranded in the desert awakes one morning to see, standing before him, the most extraordinary little fellow. "Please," asks the stranger, "draw me a sheep." And the pilot realizes that when life's events are too difficult to understand, there is no choice but to succumb to their mysteries. He pulls out pencil and paper...Thus begins this wise and enchanting fable that, in teaching the secret of what is really important in life, has changed the world forever for its readers.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Amazon

You could be excused for thinking that this book is one containing a simple story for young children about a Little Prince. How wrong you would be! This is far from the truth: it is much more. It is a complex story containing lots of ambiguities about a child with golden hair. These are all eruditely discussed before the actual story begins, in a section entitled "How It All Began". "Is The Little Prince a story written for children or is it a meditation intended for adults?"

The Art of Living is discussed, along with a system of values, and the train of thought behind them is the unifying element. You are invited to "look at the book, and allow yourself to travel from one image to the next... " It was written and published more than 50 years ago in the USA, and the author was a Frenchman who illustrated the book himself; it was later translated by Kathryn Woods. The Little Prince is still very popular and has now been translated into many languages. Shortly after it was first written, the author died--disappearing together with his plane somewhere over the Mediterranean. This Gift edition contains all the original illustrations, plus some more original drawings that came to light later and have been published here for the first time.--Susan Naylor

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Young Osment (The Sixth Sense; Pay It Forward) again proves his mettle as an actor, giving voice to the Little Prince in this crisp, full-cast production of the literary classic. He approaches the role with a gentleness and sensitivity that touches the heart and never sounds maudlin. As the pilot whose plane has crashed in the Sahara, Gere plays it low-key, creating a perfect partner for Osment's interplanetary-traveling, wise-beyond-his-years prince. Gere expresses just the right mix of amusement and bewilderment as the prince interrupts the pilot's efforts to repair his plane with a request that he draw a sheep. The adept performances capture the timeless nature of Saint-Exup‚ry's fable about how a child sees the important things in life much more clearly than many adults do. All ages. (Dec.) birth.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the CD-ROM edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Human Heart Is Very Mysterious June 10 2002
Format:CD-ROM
In this recording the stars shine, & you can hear a thousand bells jingling with the laughter of innocence & love. This isn't the complete text of St. Ex's masterpiece, yet it's so good that it adds to the understanding and to the joy of hearing old friends for the first time. Gere's voice is perfect. I could hear the voice of St. Ex, his imagined voice, the voice of his soul given life by his words. St. Ex's words created a wonderful story NOT for grownups but certainly not just for children, either.
The little prince encounters the major vices & illogic of a grownup-structured system. These representative grownups include the power hungry King happily giving orders; the businessman who grossly consumes the heavens: But, why? To get more. What do you do with more? Use it to get more of more. The little prince would say: grownups are very mysterious.
The fox is unique in knowledge about friendship. He's an outsider hunted by men. His persecution develops deep perceptions into the heart of life and relationships. This recording is a perfect stress buster for living in a world with grownups. Don the earphones, listen to the gentle, intelligent voice of St. Ex and hear what is truly essential.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely for everyone Oct. 16 2001
By A Customer
Format:CD-ROM
I got the CD on Monday 15th, 2001 and listened to it right that evening. It was like Richard Gere was sitting next to me and telling me the story with all his friends supporting him. All actors were great and made a wonderful story. A gift to everyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC Sept. 17 2001
I love this book. It's a classic. It's about a boy from another planet and a pilot.The Adventures the boy had is amazing and the book has a wonderfull philosophy inside the pilot gets valuable life lessons fromthat amazing kid such as being an adult, notto kill the inside child and what is most valuable are not seen with eyes, with heart.The part that prince said goodbye to wollf is amazing,real touching.After reading that book I look at the stars to see the amazing little prince. I recomend this book to everybody espacially adults and I think adults enjoy this book more.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:CD-ROM
Richard Gere is the principle narrator in this superbly produced CD format version of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's classic children's story The Little Prince. This fifty minute production is a technically flawless audio version of a pilot stranded in the desert and wakening one morning to see before him a little fellow who captures the hearts and imaginations of all who read (and now hear) this remarkable modern fable. Haley Joel Osment gives voice to the Little Prince, while Marina Orsini, Adam Frost, Richard Allen, Dave Walsh, Ara Y. Kentenjian, Patrick Selitz, and Mickey Kessler lend their talents to this multicast production, with music by Alexandre Stankevicius. The Little Prince is highly entertaining, enthusiastically recommended, and a "must" for school and community library audiobook CD collections.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BN Publishing: Improving no-one's life! Feb. 8 2011
By Freya - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have absolutely adored the Little Prince since I was a little girl. I thought I'd buy a basic back-up copy to give to a friend as cost-friendly as I could and it was a huge mistake!
This BN Publishing version of The Little Prince is HORRIBLE!!! DO NOT BUY IT FOR ANYONE, especially if they have never heard the real story before! I own several copies of this book and this is the most AWFUL translation from the original French that I've ever read. The pictures are black and white and awful quality and it completely misses the point and beauty of the original story in EVERY WAY!! It's DREADFUL!!!!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open the box Oct. 22 2011
By Marie-Jo Fortis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Let me start by saying that this is one of my favorite books. I read it before at least twice, once when a young girl --or an adolescent, another time in my twenties, and possibly a decade later. Lately, I was asked to place chapter 26 in its context. The occasion was a sad but moving one. That chapter had been read during a funeral, and now we were a group of women celebrating the interrupted life of a sixteen year old young man.

Because I was given that task --a lovely one at that-- I went on to find my old edition of Le Petit Prince and read it once more. It was a masterpiece before; it is a masterpiece now. After all these years, it has remained wrinkle free. Vivid. Vibrant. Witty. Filled with wisdom.

What struck me this time was the structure --the box motif. First, when the narrator humorously declares that he had to give up a career as a brilliant artist because the adults couldn't tell that he had drawn a boa swallowing an elephant. Instead, they saw a hat. Incidentally, a hat boxes a head. They refused to see beneath the surface, or were too lazy to try. So here we have a creator who renounces creating, simply because his audience lacks imagination. Although, in exchange, he becomes an aviator, thus getting closer to the stars. Amusing in appearance. Tragic in content. The boa is the box. The elephant is the content.

If you take these two animals for what they stand for, you can say that intelligence (for which the elephant is known) is being constricted. Absurdly suffocated.

Isn't that the essence of the whole story?

It's all in these first pages. All the satire and the spirituality. The rest is poetic elaboration. But what poetic elaboration!

Let's meet le petit prince who asks the narrator, whose plane breaks down in the desert, to draw him a sheep. Although the plane accident is based on a real Saint Exupéry's experience, the desert itself is a marvelous metaphysical metaphor for the white page / canvas / creativity / possibility.) When the narrator humors him, none of the sheep drawn by the aviator pleases the little prince. One looks sick, one looks old. Eager to repair his plane and starting to lack patience, the aviator sketches a crate and tells the little prince that his sheep is inside. That's exactly what I was looking for, says the young boy. The imagination of the child completes the work of the artist. In the world of childhood, creator and creation are one. There is a sense of unity that adulthood eventually breaks apart. Classifies. Categorizes. Boxes in.

For Saint Exupéry's motif of box has a double entendre. The first entendre is liberating. Open the box with your imagination, and you will see infinite possibilities. The little prince knows that. The other entendre is more familiar to us. A box implies something limited, locked, conventional. To oppose this notion comes the expression, "Thinking outside the box." So when our petit prince visits the Conceited Man, or the King, or the Businessman, or the Drunkard, each lives in his own sphere, basically unaware of his surroundings and victim of the isolation he has himself created. In other words, instead of giving and expanding his spirit toward the universe, each one of these men builds a box around himself. No wonder le petit prince thinks these are strange creatures and tries to get away from them as fast as he can. Only the lamplighter starts to get it when he seeks the contemplation of sunrises happening every minute on his planet. But only after listening to his oneiric visitor.

The desert, of course, is the opposite of a box. And if basically devoid of humans, it is not devoid of animals. The most important lesson le petit prince learns there comes from a fox in what is perhaps the most moving chapter of the book. The fox, who holds the wisdom of the heart, sends him back to his planet and to his rose.

But we're not over with the box theme just yet. There is the little prince's body now, abandoned by the prince's soul with the help of a snake bite, so that he can reach his planet more quickly. There is the box drawn by the narrator that contains the sheep that the prince takes with him to live on his planet with his rose. There are the intrinsic motives of life and death, that Saint Exupéry un-boxes. Not with answers, but with more questions. For ultimately, if Le Petit Prince mocks, satirizes, poeticizes, it is not a work that gives affirmations, but a work that wonders. It is a work that explores. The work of a writer / aviator.

A work where innocence and wisdom go hand in hand.

A work that opens our head --which should never --ever-- be a box.

P.S. I read Le Petit Prince in its original language (which is also my native tongue). But I have been told, and also read that the English translation to rely upon is the one by Katherine Woods. A reviewer here called Allie Jones makes a very good case of this. So I would urge any new reader of The Little Prince who is not familiar with the French language to follow Allie Jones' advice and obtain a copy of Katherine Woods' version of Saint Exupéry's masterpiece. It is unfortunate that Ms Woods' work is out of print, but used copies of her (more accurate) vision of The Little Prince are available.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Crime of a Translation March 30 2009
By Sally J. Nottage - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lost in Translation feedback best describes insight into what has happened with this new translation. This book IS for both children and adults. This new translation treats both as if they are either uneducated or have no comprehension for the writen word. By cutting out and using only the most basic words, this new translation has lost the meaning, depth and beauty that Woods was able to capture. I was insulted and insulted for the future young readers, that this translator took it upon himself to attempt to make something better and instead resulting in a version that could make people put the book down rather than wanting to read on.

I purchased this new version as a gift not realizing the translation was updated. Several times I re-read the first page and kept putting the book down. I thought that somewhere along the years I must have changed as I just felt something "lacking". The book did not come to life as I had remembered.

I then got out my book given to me as a gift by a babysitter over 40 years ago. I wanted to compare new and old as something just nagged at me that my memory could not be that off, even if I hadn't looked at this little book in so long a time. Surprise - I re-read the opening chapter over and over in disbelief at what and how the words had been changed.

My second thought was how could a publisher allow this translation to ever have been published.

Anyone reading The Little Prince with this new translation for the first time should absolutely read the edition translated by Woods.

I almost wanted to cry after I realized that I was unable to purchase a "new" book translated by Woods.

Horrified, I went to all the used book locations in town and purchased all (leaving one for the next person who found themselves in the same situation) of the Woods translations for future gifts.

That this new translator took it upon himself to think he could better what had already stood the test of time, well, I'd best stop but you can see that this book means a great deal to me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures the hearts and imaginations of all who read Feb. 6 2001
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:CD-ROM
Richard Gere is the principle narrator in this superbly produced CD format version of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's classic children's story The Little Prince. This fifty minute production is a technically flawless audio version of a pilot stranded in the desert and wakening one morning to see before him a little fellow who captures the hearts and imaginations of all who read (and now hear) this remarkable modern fable. Haley Joel Osment gives voice to the Little Prince, while Marina Orsini, Adam Frost, Richard Allen, Dave Walsh, Ara Y. Kentenjian, Patrick Selitz, and Mickey Kessler lend their talents to this multicast production, with music by Alexandre Stankevicius. The Little Prince is highly entertaining, enthusiastically recommended, and a "must" for school and community library audiobook CD collections.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Human Heart Is Very Mysterious June 10 2002
By gitanebooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:CD-ROM
In this recording the stars shine, & you can hear a thousand bells jingling with the laughter of innocence & love. This isn't the complete text of St. Ex's masterpiece, yet it's so good that it adds to the understanding and to the joy of hearing old friends for the first time. Gere's voice is perfect. I could hear the voice of St. Ex, his imagined voice, the voice of his soul given life by his words. St. Ex's words created a wonderful story NOT for grownups but certainly not just for children, either.
The little prince encounters the major vices & illogic of a grownup-structured system. These representative grownups include the power hungry King happily giving orders; the businessman who grossly consumes the heavens: But, why? To get more. What do you do with more? Use it to get more of more. The little prince would say: grownups are very mysterious.
The fox is unique in knowledge about friendship. He's an outsider hunted by men. His persecution develops deep perceptions into the heart of life and relationships. This recording is a perfect stress buster for living in a world with grownups. Don the earphones, listen to the gentle, intelligent voice of St. Ex and hear what is truly essential.
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