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5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
no words can describe the lessons in this book. Absolute pleasure to read! I will read it again!! No doubt it's a classic!
Published 2 months ago by eve

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 10 Star Book, 1 Star Translation
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...
Published on July 3 2003


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 10 Star Book, 1 Star Translation, July 3 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Little Prince (Paperback)
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Matters of Consequence rewritten, Jan. 10 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Little Prince (Paperback)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING WARNING!!, Dec 23 2003
By 
Benjamin F Martin (Pittsburgh, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Little Prince (Paperback)
I almost bought the new translation for a friend who had never read the little prince!! Fortunately I read through it first. OUCH! It reads NOTHING like the original; the beauty and simplicity of the reading has been replaced by something that seems written for a first grade reader. (Maybe its more readable for first graders, but not for those who care about words...).
I actually went home and read my original to make sure I wasn't imagining the difference (maybe it wasn't as good as I remembered!)
Caveat Emptor!!
BFM
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inadequate translation, Dec 21 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Little Prince (Paperback)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful tale. Flat translation., Oct. 1 2003
This review is from: The Little Prince (Paperback)
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. It's not easy to define the full extent of what I'm referring to in expressing my preference for, my valuing of, Woods' version over Howard's. I could speak of differences in associative power in the language used, of interplay between words and how they work within, of narrative flow and persona - one can analyse and hypothesize, but the key remains something vital and tricky to formulate, as with the impact of verbal style in Hoban's "Riddley Walker" or Mitchell's "Hog's Wholey Wash". Not that Katherine Woods' tailoring of words makes for such a challenge to read; her version of The Little Prince both reads better immediately and yields more on digestion than what we are now presented with as the "new and improved version". One might simply speak of what is felt as going to depth and echoing with a ring of magic, compared to what rings with a muted industrial clank.
However true it may be to the letter of Saint-Exupery's original, Howard's version is, sure as eggs is eggs, not as true as Woods' to the spirit of The Little Prince.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Book Twisted in this Translation, July 9 2003
By 
Gavin (Sparks, NV) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Little Prince (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What are you thinking, Harcourt?, Nov. 13 2002
By 
Eric Schaper (Mankato, Mn United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Little Prince (Paperback)
First of all, this is my favorite book, ever, and gets five stars. When I'm very sad or going through a difficult time, reading this little book always cheers me up and makes me feel happy. It makes the world seem right again and makes me see with my heart. And it makes me cry in that very good way we all (those who cherish this book) love so much.
However, the new translation is simply dreadful, and gets one star. It somehow manages (with a few exceptions) to miss the charm of the original at every step. The original English translation, by Katherine Woods, is a classic, and Harcourt's attempt to "improve" it seems ill-informed and gratuitous to me. I see from a number of other reviews that I'm not the only one who feels this way, so I hope that Harcourt comes to their senses and goes back to the original before it's too late. I'd hate to think that future generations will know this book only by its new translation, and will never know how exquisite it was before that.
If you've never read this book or are going to buy a copy, please get an old one (Woods translation) so as to maximize your enjoyment while at the same time foiling Harcourt's dastardly plot to destroy a classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars New version is off planet!, June 6 2001
By 
Charles J. Conway (New York, New York USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Little Prince (Hardcover)
I was highly disappointed with the new translation of The Little Prince. After reading the first page alone, I knew I would be shaking my head throughout. The poetic beauty Katherine Woods extracted from the original French version is missing completely from this new version. Had I never read the Woods version, I would say that this is a good book, but not really a great one. However, since I have read the original, I must say the new one is simply too mundane and easy to read. It's a watered down version of a literary masterpiece.
As an elementary school teacher I buy a copy of The Little Prince every June for each of my students as a gift. We read the book together, and we embark on a journey to uncover the mysteries of the universe through the adventures of the interplanetary traveler. It is a fitting way to end a school year. My students love the original language, and they love to construct personal meaning from the text. We have some wonderful discussions about the language and the meaning of the words. Part of the beauty of The Little Prince is pausing momentarily while reading to absorb meaning. I'm afraid the new version leaves very little to the imagination, and leaves little room for juicy conversation.
I hope the publisher will continue to publish Woods version, or else I'll have to find another book to give to my students at the year's end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The little Prince...., June 10 2014
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This review is from: Little Prince (Hardcover)
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....now I am reading it again as I have bought a copy for my grandson.....every household should have a copy ;)
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5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, May 3 2014
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This review is from: The Little Prince (Kindle Edition)
no words can describe the lessons in this book. Absolute pleasure to read! I will read it again!! No doubt it's a classic!
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The Little Prince
The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery (Paperback - June 1 2000)
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