Pinocchio
by Carlo Collodi
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Pinocchio Is Such A Dick!
Having known only the Disney version reading this came as a bit of a shock. When Pinocchio first meets the talking cricket, for example, he throws a hammer at it and kills it. The cricket, along with a host of other strange creatures, does nevertheless make another appearance. The cricket's purpose is basically to warn Pinocchio that bad things will happen to him if he continues to behave badly and disrespect his father, the carpenter who fashioned him.

The tale is overtly moralistic and it is clearly aimed at boy children only. Apparently little girls were better behaved in Collodi's time (as they tend to be now, too) and did not need the kind of moral lessons the more boisterous and hormone-fuelled boys needed. The tone of the story is very preachy and the scary bits are designed to tell boys that their natural behaviours and likes and selfish thoughts will lead to, if not Hell, some kind of dire punishment and misery. I would therefore recommend this to adult readers who may appreciate the story's literary value instead of boy children, whom I think do not need to be disciplined by scaring them out of their wits with the rather strange events found in the story. I am not sure these fanciful threats and warnings will impress a modern child anyway.

So, Pinocchio is an almost insufferably wilful, stupid, and selfish character. I really wanted to strangle the blighter several times during the story, which, I suppose, is a testament to good writing.

If you keep in mind its moralistic purpose then all the strange creatures and bizarre happenings (and the behaviour of Pinocchio) fall into place. I would recommend this tale to everyone, if only to realize the unnatural extent to which Americans go to Disney-fy their fairy tales. Pinocchio was certainly sacrificed upon a very rude altar of political correctness.