Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Salon: Reading Pinocchio (1883)

Pinocchio. Carlo Collodi.  1883. 272 pages.

I've now read Pinocchio twice. It's certainly an odd little classic with dozens of morals within. While the book Pinocchio is many things, it's never boring.

Pinocchio, as a character, is rotten from the start: selfish, pleasure-loving, foolish, rebellious, ungrateful, disrespectful, slow to learn, slow to listen, slow to change. Living by the motto of if I want to do it, it must be right! Who are you to tell me it's wrong or it's a mistake or I'm hurting someone else!

But Pinocchio doesn't know best, he doesn't "know" much of anything of the world and its many dangers. He knows nothing about consequences natural or supernatural. (There are so many fantasy elements in Pinocchio.)

Pinocchio's creation revealing his naughtiness:
Now that he had found a name for his puppet, he set to work on the head, briskly carving out hair, forehead, and eyes. Once the eyes were finished, he stood back, amazed. They were moving. First they looked around a bit, then they stared at him, so intently that he felt quite annoyed.
"Hey! What are you looking at, wooden eyes?" he asked.
There was no reply.
Next he carved the puppet's nose. The moment it was finished, it began to grow. It grew and grew, so that in just a few minutes it was the longest nose he'd ever seen. Poor Geppetto kept trying to whittle it down, but the more he tried, the longer that mischievous nose became.
Next, he carved the puppet's mouth, but it wasn't even finished before it began to laugh and jeer at him.
"Stop laughing," Geppetto snapped. He might as well have been talking to a brick wall. "Stop laughing," he shouted, "or else!"
The mouth fell silent, but stuck its tongue out instead. Geppetto thought it wise to pretend he hadn't noticed. He went on to carve the puppet's chin, neck, shoulders, stomach, arms, and hands.
The moment the hands were finished, Geppetto felt something being whisked off his head. He looked up, and what do you think he saw? His yellow wig in the hand of his half-finished puppet.
"Pinocchio!" he yelled. "Give that back this instant!" The puppet did nothing of the sort. Instead he plonked the wig onto his own head, where it sank down over his eyes.
This was such insulting behavior that Geppetto felt more miserable than he'd ever felt in his life.
"You naughty, naughty boy!" he said. "You're not even finished yet, and already you show your father no respect! I'm disappointed in you, I really am." And as he said this, he wiped away a tear.
Last of all Geppetto carved the puppet's legs and feet. The moment they were finished, he received a sharp kick on the end of his nose.
"It serves me right, I suppose," he sighed. "I should have known that would happen. No use complaining now." (15-16)
Though there are plenty of moral lessons in the text, obvious moral instructions, the book can also be quirky and delightful and very unique.

Have you read Pinocchio? What did you think? Do you like the book or movie better? 

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


hopeinbrazil 5:28 AM  

This is one of those classics that I've put off reading. Thanks for reviewing it in such a way that I might soon give it a try.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP