The Little Snake

The Little Snake by A.L. Kennedy


This is the story of Mary, a young girl born in a beautiful city full of rose gardens and fluttering kites. When she is still very small, Mary meets Lanmo, a shining gold snake, who becomes her very best friend. The snake visits Mary many times, he sees her city change, become sadder as bombs drop and war creeps in. He sees Mary and her family leave their home, he sees her grow up and he sees her fall in love. But Lanmo knows that the day will come when he can no longer visit Mary, when his destiny will break them apart, and he wonders whether having a friend can possibly be worth the pain of knowing you will lose them.


This is almost, but not quite, the whole of the story about a remarkable, wise little girl. She was called Mary. Everything I will tell you here began when Mary went walking in her garden on one particular afternoon.

If you're ever looking for a sweet little tale in the vein of The Little Prince this is the book for you. I think there are people that could possibly even like The Little Snake better than The Little Prince because, while both treat on the same path, their steps are a little different. I, however, am the opposite. While I enjoyed The Little Snake I couldn't quite connect with it as well as I would have expected knowing what little I'd heard about this book.

 couldn't really tell you why it is that this tale didn't really have the impact it had on so many others (as I gather). I enjoyed the modern fairy tale vibe and the setting but sometimes it all felt a little overdone. I enjoyed what Lamno's character was, it's alway nice to read a good book about, you know (I won't say it out loud because of spoilers) but I never understood why he came to Mary in the first place? I enjoyed a lot of things, however, I enjoyed a lot of these things with a little, tiny "but". 

That being said, I'd totally recommend anyone else who's even slightly interested in this to check it out. It's a charming little book and it has the potential to break your heart if you connect to it meaningfully. It simply wasn't quite up my alley (at least not enough to make me fall in love with it), which is to say that I recognize this as "my loss" for, in an objective manner, the craft behind this book is certainly fine. 

So this is almost, but not quite, the whole of the story of how a snake's heart learned to beat. And this is almost, but not quite, the whole of the story about a remarkable, wise little girl called Mary and the friend that she called Lanmo. And this is almost, but not quite, the whole of the story of something wonderful and terrible and strange.


I thiiiink I want to give this something between 3.5 and 4 stars. Meaning, that, on Goodreads I'll give it 4 stars but say it's 3.5 stars. For you, in that case, the 'official' rating is, thus, 3.5 out of 5 stars.


Name: The Little Snake
Deutscher Titel: Leises Schlängeln 
Author: A.L. Kennedy
Publisher: Canongate Boks
Pages: 128
Where?: Amazon (English edition), Amazon (deutsche Ausgabe)


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