Pinocchio (book) Review

Everyone is familiar with the story of Pinocchio. Hell, the reason for that is because Disney is one of the biggest movie studios in the world and everyone watches Disney movies. What few people know is that Pinocchio was originally a book by Italian author Carlo Collodi. I managed to track down a copy of this book from my library (the Brooklyn Public Library system is awesome, huh?) After reading it, here a few things.

Firstly, the story is a little different than what people remember. Yes, Pinocchio was made out of a piece of wood that talked. However, it was not Geppetto who found the wood, it was Mr. Cherry. Geppetto bought it from him. Also, how Pinocchio looks like is vastly different than what people know. In the book, he wears a hat made from bread and his clothes are made from flowered wallpaper.

Also, the fox and the cat are usually changed in movie versions. The fox and the Cat pretend to be beggars with some kind of disability (the cat is blind and the fox can’t walk.) The blue fairy is actually just a fairy with blue hair.

Oh, and Geppetto gets arrested and lots of violence. Let’s talk about that. Pinocchio’s feet get burned off, he throws a hammer at the cricket and kills him, a snake laughs so hard at Pinocchio so hard a blood vessel in his heart bursts and Pinocchio bites the Cat’s paw off. Remember, this book was written in 1882, what was acceptable in children’s literature was different back then.

The writing style also reflects the era this was written. Since this is a children’s book, it likes to backtrack a lot which was normal at the time. It also has a moral which is “be a good kid or you’ll suffer a lot and become a donkey.”

Is there any particular reason to read this book? Yes. You see, this book may be just one big moral, but this moral and what happens to Pinocchio still rings true today. Bad things happen to those who refuse to follow societal rules. You will encounter hardships worse than what you would if you were good and will become a donkey. Not an actual donkey but society will view you as one.

With that, go out and read Pinocchio because of its importance and the fact that it is a good story despite some of the writing and some exaggerated reactions from the characters.

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