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The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi – Book Review

The Adventures of Pinocchio is still one of the best sold books of all time with over 80 million copies sold. Though it isn’t a book you see in a lot of must-read lists or in recommendations. Time to change that.

            This book is a masterpiece of literature. I am easy to please in the literature genre, but this book is special. Pinocchio is a book about the general human condition and what it takes to be a real human being. The marionet is just a metaphor to make it more suitable for children to read and to make it a little lighter. But make no mistake, there is truth to be found in this book and every time you have a small smile because Pinocchio did something he shouldn’t have done, that’s when you know it hit something.

            The story is about a young marionet called Pinocchio who just wants to have fun all day instead of going to school and learn. He gets scolded by many figures that if he doesn’t think about the people close to him and doesn’t go to school, he will always have a wooden head (read: not be anything worth of value; there is nothing in his head) and he will become a donkey (read: become just an ordinary laborer who can only achieve hard labor). During his adventures Pinocchio realizes his mistakes and finds true value in things that are important instead of fleeting pleasures. In the end he turns into a real boy and the story ends there. Whatever happens in the middle is something you should have the pleasure of discovering yourself (if you think it’ll be like the Disney movie, you are only partly correct; it is much darker than that).

            The book shows how children can become adults. What does it take to be a decent adult? What does it take to be a real person? These are all questions about human nature which Collodi tries to answer in the best way possible: a children’s fairy tale. Because it is a fairy tale there is a lot of light heartedness and everything always becomes fine by the end, but the dark undertone shows the sinister world in which the book is written. Just like in real life, the world is dark but there are people who make it bright.

            This book is an allegorical beauty and I cannot recommend it enough to people. There is a free audiobook on Spotify if you want to listen to it. The speaker has a beautiful voice and tells the story marvelously. The book is down to earth book which shows you not only the ignorance and evils of human nature but also the benevolence and honesty of people. If you want a good read in these times of being in quarantine, then this is a book you should get in your library. I swear it is not a lie.

By elenchusphilosophy

I'm a Philosophy student in Belgium, trying to talk and write about ideas of all kinds of sorts.

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