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The Happy Prince: 08/24/07

The Happy Prince

The version of The Happy Prince and Other Stories I read is a Penguin 60s and only has half the stories of the original collection: "The Happy Prince", "The Young King", "The Devoted Friend" and "The Model Millionaire." The longer collection also includes: "The Nightingale and the Rose", "The Selfish Giant", "The Remarkable Rocket", "The Birthday of the Infanta", "The Star-Child" and "The Fisherman and His Soul." As I have not read these stories, my review won't include them except to say, I'm glad I read a short version because the four I read were pretty tedious reading.

I have read other Oscar Wilde works and have enjoyed them for their wit and humor but these stories that are something between a fairy tale and a parable were rather dull reads. The only I really enjoyed was "The Model Millionaire" which I'm sure was originally from a different short story collection. The Model Millionaire, while it contains a lesson like the other three, is still aimed at an adult audience and the moral comes in a true shaggy-dog story fashion.

The other three seem to be about the importance of self sacrifice and the futility of doing good works but they are told in such a heavy handed fashion that I wanted to toss the thin book across the room on a number of occasions. As the book is only 60 pages long, I decided to persevere and finish the damn thing before I tossed it.

Comments (15)

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Comment #1: Sunday, June, 15, 2008 at 16:47:37


Thanks for fixing this :)

I normally enjoy Wilde's wit and humour too. I own this book, but I haven't read it yet. I wonder how I'll feel about it. "

Comment #2: Sunday, June, 15, 2008 at 17:55:48


No worries. Let's just say that some folks shouldn't write for children. "

Comment #3: Sunday, June, 15, 2008 at 19:23:02


I remember reading these when I was a child. I liked them back then, but I don't know if I still would now."

Comment #4: Sunday, June, 15, 2008 at 22:43:54


I haven't read much Wilde. But now I know to go with something else."

Comment #5: Sunday, June, 15, 2008 at 21:24:52


I've read positive reviews of the book. It's so short, I recommend trying a story or two before you write it off completely."

Comment #6: Sunday, June, 15, 2008 at 23:53:55


I just picked this up last month and wondered how it would be. Wilde doesn't seem like the type to fit this genre...

(jumped here from Bookworms Carnival)"

Comment #7: Sunday, June, 15, 2008 at 21:28:54


Oscar Wilde did live a conventional life for a while with a wife and children. He wrote the book for his children."

Comment #8: Tuesday, June, 17, 2008 at 13:09:48


Gee, I've read the "grownup" works of Oscar Wilde and definitely enjoyed them. A lot. The plays I mean.

I don't know much about this though. And methinks I shouldn't feel sad if I don't get to read this at all :)"

Comment #9: Tuesday, June, 17, 2008 at 11:17:35


If you're a fan of his work, you should give the book a try. It's very short and who knows, you might ike it even though I didn't."

Comment #10: Tuesday, June, 17, 2008 at 14:29:52

Mrs S

I have to admit to never reading anything by Wilde - maybe I should start..."

Comment #11: Tuesday, June, 17, 2008 at 18:30:22


Sure. Why not?"

Comment #12: Tuesday, June, 17, 2008 at 17:25:40


I had no clue Wilde wrote stuff like this. How did I miss this? Thank you for the review."

Comment #13: Tuesday, June, 17, 2007 at 18:36:34


You're welcome."

Comment #14: Tuesday, June, 17, 2008 at 22:19:02


This was a new one for me to hear about, thanks for the review:)"

Comment #15: Thursday, June, 19, 2008 at 19:38:44

Rebecca Reid

It's too bad it was a disappointment. Some retellings just don't work, especially if they're trying to make a point..."