The popular author of The Book Thief , Markus Zusak aptly says in his introduction of this book: "There's something in these fairy tales that reminds me why any of us would want to be readers and writers in the first place, and that is that, the more amazing the stories become, the more I believe them, and the more I realize that I will not forget them. " > For me, these stories are truly unforgettable!
The Happy Prince : 5 stars (Amazing!)
A formerly rich and only child prince is now a regal statue. The town people look up at him and marvel at his beauty. One day, a swallow gets separated from his fellow birds going to Egypt since winter is forthcoming. While the swallow is about to sleep at the foot of the statue, a tear falls from the weeping statue and a series of "Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow" follows.
Heartbreakingly nice Good deeds get their paybacks in the end.
The Selfish Giant : 3 stars (I liked it!)Giant is so selfish that he does not want children to play in his yard with a beautiful garden so Nature (the Wind, Hail, Snow) work against him. Winter stays forever in his yard even if, outside its wall, is already at the height of summer. The Giant becomes lonely (I know, winter could be depressing) so he breaks down the wall and let the children play again in his garden.
The Devoted Friend : 1 star (I did not like it !)
I almost really liked this except that there is no redeeming value in the end. The good Little Hans seemed to have died in vain. He was fooled by Miller into believing that the latter was his friend and would get his damaged wheelbarrow. I am okay with being friendly but not to the extent of sacrificing myself or going hungry just to make my friend happy. That's balderdash!
The naive self-centered rocket thinks highly of himself. He is the drama king so he wets himself crying of joy thinking that he is being reserved by the palace for special occasion. So, he just stays there unlighted and eventually left and thrown out in the gutter.
We all know about these people. Sad but true. There are rockets around us.
The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists
The Nightingale and the Rose : 4 stars (I really liked it!)
I agree with Zusak: this is so sad, so brave of a nightingale to give her own life so that the daughter of the teacher would dance with the young student. But the nightingale is just too naive with the ways of the heart for the girl does not reciprocate the student's love. The nightingale ends up on the gutter: unappreciated and dead. Sad, Zusak but in redeeming value.
The Star-Child : 4 stars really liked it!)
The Fisherman and his Soul : 5 stars (It's amazing!)
A young man is in love with a mermaid who says that they can not live together under the sea if the young man will not leave his soul. So, the young man asks the witch to separate himself from his soul. The soul is afraid and asks for the fisherman's heart. The fisherman can not give his heart away since he needs to love the mermaid.
I do not know what happened to me. This is my first time to read this story so probably that made it more impact to me than the Happy Prince (first story). This story reminds me of Murakami's Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World where the man and his shadow are separated. Like the other stories, this is still a sad one. But Wilde's storytelling is truly remarkable that you feel with the characters even how implausible, this being a fairy tale, the plot is.
This is my second book (first was De Profundis) by Oscar Wilde and I have only one word for him: genius.
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