The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

136538I have often heard of The Little Prince, so when I decided to increase the number of “translated” books I own. I thought i’d give this one a try. Yet as I worked my way through the story I found myself asking what the heck is this about, It read like a kids book, with matching pictures and i had trouble connecting with it as such.Some crazy trip to different planets with bizarre and weird occupants, was very reminiscent of Hunter S. Thompson.

After finishing it i was still at a loss to describe the book, i have never had to delve deeply to discover what a book was about. In general a book conveys a story but this story didn’t make sense, so i reached out online to try and find help in understanding this story. I remember i used to mock my Shakespeare obsessed, socially quirky English teacher back in high school because she was always trying to over-analysis a story by asking what did the author mean, what concepts was he/she trying to convey. I was like chill Miss he just wrote an entertaining story about adventure why ruin it by over-analysis. But now with this book i needed that over-analysis to figure out what was going on.

I had found a place to discuss this book but before i could even start, The first thing i read was by a woman who wrote, (SPOILER ALERT) firstly are you aware the little prince dies at the end? I mocked her to myself and thought no he didn’t he goes home. But then she goes on to say to reread the book but with the eyes and mind of an adult.

As i begun this second read through, it occurs to me that since i initial thought it was a child’s story i read it as such. So as instructed i approached it differently and it was as if the curtains had been pulled down from my eyes. It was as if the story was like one of those crazy 3D images where on the top is one picture but if you look hard underneath is another. This book is like that, on the surface its a child like bedtime story but if you look through the narrative you see a cleverly crafted world beneath trying to teach a lesson.

Every planet The Little Prince visits has its own Moral, it shows just how weird adults and their behaviours can be to a child. The lamplighter, who follows his orders to the letter without question giving him only 1 minute of free time a day, The business man, so busy counting stars he fails to live his life, or the drunkard who drinks to forget the shame of drinking. Such behaviours to a child come off strange and weird and yet to an adult they are somewhat familiar.As adults we can sometimes get so caught up in what society expects, we forget to think about what we want or whats truly important.

Then we come to the fox, how can a child’s story have such a profound impact on an adult. but yet here i am reading of a fox who tells me that true beauty is invisible to the eyes. Society drills into us so much that looks and appearance are all that matters but when you come to the heart of it that’s all bullshit, its whats underneath that’s truly important

Now i come to the sad part, originally sad because i thought the story was over and the Little Prince goes home but really its much worse than that. The Snake is society, the little prince a child. Society promises the world to a child and in the case of the book, the snake tells the prince i’ll help you get home. But in reality, all society does is kill off the innocence and purity of a child. The Death of the Little Prince corresponds to the death of the child in each of us. We become mindless automatons in society lacking imagination and focus on materialistic things rather than fun. We do things because they are expected of us or because we “have to” not because we want too.

This isn’t really a children’s book, its for us adults who still can remember being a child and have that knowledge that we can never really go back to that time of innocence and youth. This book tells us its important to hold onto that memory and that we don’t have to listen to the Snake. There are still parts of the book i cant quite understand or determine the morals and perhaps that is because society hasn’t fully changed me and i still have a little bit of my inner child still alive in me….

 

Look Who’s Back – Timur Vermes

Look Who’s Back – Timur Vermes

Oh man what a read this was. Some people get so touchy on this subject but damn it was a funny read. Hitler wakes up in a field in Germany in 2011, still in his uniform with no recollection of his last moments in the bunker in 1945.

What then follows is Hitler’s discovery of the modern Germany and surprise surprise he doesn’t like it and starts on his usual rhetoric. However this time instead of flat out blaming the Jews he targets more modern enemies. Soon people start to take notice but here’s the kicker instead of taking him seriously they think he is a satirical comedian and praise him as such. Soon he has his own TV show and YouTube channel.

Sometimes the topic of Hitler can be taboo as some people quite naturally are very sensitive to this topic but i find that its the Germans who crack the best Hitler jokes and this book is right up there. So many funny fish out of water moments, like Hitler discovering the joys of Wikipedia and the internet to him struggling  to decide a ring tone  for his phone.

What adds realism to this story is the author has done his research quite thoroughly the names, places and events Hitler talks about are real and factual. There is even a section in the back of the book that lists all the Nazis Hitler refers to in this book and describes them and when/if the were trialed at Nuremberg.

To be honest there are people who will be offended by this book in fact the author inserts one of these people into the story. But sometimes peoples hate blinds them so much from the truth. The truth is The author isn’t glamorizing Hitler. He isn’t saying he was good or asking us to forget the past.  He is simply putting an historical person in modern day times and letting the madness ensue

Great unique read. in fact i just couldn’t put it down. Dont read this if you don’t have a sense of humour