Once on a Time by A. A. Milne (9)

I just completed this little “adult fantasy” by Milne. I saw it recently and since I was unfamiliar with it, thought it worth a look. I’ve always loved Pooh and that gentle world Milne created there. But this book is for adults; not in the bad sense (no bad language or graphic scenes), but as Milne described, it was more about characters than incidents. There is more moral complexity and still the customary humor.

Interestingly, per the notes at the end of my edition, at least in the 1920s, Milne considered this book his “best one.” Milne served in intelligence in World War I as he wrote the book; and it certainly does not suggest a positive view of warfare (the cause of the war was silly, its practice ludicrous and its end comical). The wisdom of rulers is spoofed and yet there remains a recognition of some goodness even in those who sometimes do stupid and even bad things. There were a few spots where I almost laughed out loud, so I’m saying it is worth reading if you like this kind of book. Or even if you just want to see what the author of Pooh would do in a different reality.


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