Elements of Silas Marner, A Christmas Carol, andGod help us, every oneSt. ExupÇry's soporific The Little Prince are traceable throughout this maudlin rÇcit about a wounded war refugee who brings joy into the lives of miscellaneous troubled adults. He's Omar-Jo, who lost an arm during the bombings in Lebanon and has consequently become a placid contemplative preadolescent whose metaphysical sweetness (he keeps saying things like ``Life is the movies'') makes the boy All Things To All People. Flashbacks describe his family and history, but God alone knows where he's coming fromor why Chedid, a much-honored French writer of Lebanese descent, is taken so seriously by so many presumably otherwise intelligent people. A suffocating paean to the wisdom of childhood, not to mention the pleasures of arrested development.
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