Sunday 31 December 2017

Book Review: The Happy Prince & Other Stories; Oscar Wilde.

Being the last day before the end of December, I decided it would be nice to read a couple more, shorter books. I've always been intrigued by Oscar Wilde's fairy tales, especially after my fiancĂ© read them for his course and recommended them to me.

SOURCE: Borrowed
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: The Happy Prince & Other Stories
AUTHOR: Oscar Wilde
Wordsworth Editions Ltd
GENRE: Short Stories, Classics, Fantasy, Fairy Tales

RATING: 4/5 Stars

In these delightful tales, Oscar Wilde employs all his grace, artistry and wit. The Happy Prince tells of the statue of a once pleasure-loving Prince which, with the help of a selfless Swallow helps people in distress. 

As well as The Nightingale and the Rose, The Devoted Friend and The Remarkable Rocket, this collection contains The Selfish Giant, a remarkable story of the redemptive power of love.

What I Liked:
  • Everything I know about Oscar Wilde points towards a lively personality. So do these stories! You can't miss the satirical, cynical nature of them all and I actually really liked it. They were funny. Wilde clearly had a great sense of humour and I loved the way the he mocked his characters.
  • Some of these reminded me a little of Hans Christian Andersen's tales. Pretty stories with dark endings most of the time. I liked the way that they were written, that is to say, cleverly. Wilde's writing is beautiful at times too, and completely immersive.
What I Disliked:
  • As I said, a lot of these stories were dark and cynical. As a result, there wasn't much in the way of happy endings! That was the point of course, but it meant I didn't enjoy stories like 'The Devoted Friend' as much because absolutely no one learnt anything from it. The 'bad guys' won as it were. There was a point to those stories of course, but they were a tad dreary.
Overall Conclusion:
These were five, well-written little fairy tales that each focused heavily on themes of selfishness and self importance. They were political more than anything, but I still rather liked them! My favourite, despite the rather hopeless ending, was 'The Nightingale & The Rose'. The message behind it was harsh but thoughtful and I liked that a lot.

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