Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (3/5)


First published: 1923
Page count: 128
The back says: Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece, The Prophet, is one of the most beloved classics of our time. Published in 1923, it has been translated into more than twenty languages, and the American editions alone have sold more than nine million copies.

The Prophet is a collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. Gibran’s musings are divided into twenty-eight chapters covering such sprawling topics as love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, housing, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.

I say: This is going to be a short review because I’m not even sure what to say because I was so disappointed in this. People have always passed it on as this really profound work, and maybe I would have agreed if I had read it as a teenager, but now it merely felt contrived and self-important.

Ugh.

A prophet has been in some land for 12 years and as his ship arrives to take him home the people ask him for advice on different aspects of life. Yes, there are interesting thoughts in here that warrant further discussion, but I just couldn’t get over the way it’s written. I would have preferred it if the premise was that he left the people with a book of his thoughts rather than them asking him just as he is about to depart; and him lecturing them right then and there. How much of it are they really going to remember?

Meh.

I’m giving this 3/5 because it was worth reading even though I didn’t really enjoy it. 

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