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Wind, Sand and Stars (1939)

by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Airman's Odyssey (2)

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2,963593,891 (4.07)94
Recipient of the Grand Prix of the Académie Française, Wind, Sand and Stars captures the grandeur, danger, and isolation of flight. Its exciting account of air adventure, combined with lyrical prose and the spirit of a philosopher, makes it one of the most popular works ever written about flying. Translated by Lewis Galantière.… (more)
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» See also 94 mentions

English (46)  Catalan (4)  French (3)  Danish (2)  Dutch (1)  Slovak (1)  Arabic (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Exupery is, of course, better known for his book The Little Prince.
  SteveJohnson | Nov 11, 2021 |
I'll admit I wasn't a big fan of 'Wind, Sand and Stars' when I first started reading it. Now that I've closed it's pages, I don't love it but it's not as bad as I first thought it was. I'm giving it four stars (or maybe, three and a half) because it was a solid book with vivid descriptions, beautifully written lines, and interesting philosophical beliefs embedded in it's lines.

However, the prose and writing style that made this story so unique, may have also been it's partial downfall, in my opinion.

Reading 'Wind, Sand and Stars' was like reading heavy poetry, the kind where you can analyse two lines and uncover an entire universe, and while it's a nice thing to have in a book, it needs to be balanced. There needs to be shorter sentences, bits of telling instead of showing; at delicate balance, I'm afraid our author tipped the scales. Instead of drawing me into his imagination and his circumstances, the pages were too slippery and I found myself falling out of the story, struggling to keep my eyes on the page and my head in the story.

It did get better -

After chapter five. In the copy I have there are only ten chapters, word of advice to writers: draw your readers into the story before it's half over.

I love the snapshots, characters, and little stories that he folds into this story. At first they didn't seem connected but I began to realize that every little story he told, gave us a vision into his worldview. His explanations for human nature, for the ways of the sky and the sea, built upon the tragedies he's seen and walked through as a pilot.

This book is a collection of stories essentially, speaking of the wonder and marvel of the world and its inhabitants. The author marvels at the people he meets and impact they make on his narrow view of the world. He talks of the dangers and troubles he saw and encountered. Then he slowly weaves it together with yarns of the magnificent world we are gifted to explore, enjoy, and care for

So yes, while there were stylized matters that bothered me, over all it was a good, solid read. I definitely recommend you read it. Even if I had only given this one star, I would still recommend you read it. It's always good to ponder another man's perspective on life.

Stay Safe.

Elisa ( )
  elisalr22 | Jul 11, 2021 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
Tierra de hombres es un libro que contiene una recopilación de ensayos autobiográficos de Antoine de Saint-Exupéry publicado en Francia el mes de febrero del año 1939, donde recibe el gran premio de la novela de la Academia Francesa. Más tarde, en junio de ese mismo año se publica en los Estados Unidos, bajo el tirulo Wind, Sand and Stars y obtiene el reconocimiento de National Book Award. ( )
  NINALUCIA | Feb 1, 2021 |
(French title: Terre des hommes, literally "Land of Men") memoir by the French aristocrat aviator-writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Recipient of the Grand Prix of the Académie Française,
In this autobiographical work Saint-Exupéry, an early pioneering aviator, evokes a series of events in his life, principally his work for the airmail carrier Aéropostale. He does so by recounting several episodes from his years flying treacherous mail routes across the African Sahara and the South American Andes. The book's themes deal with friendship, death, heroism, camaraderie and solidarity among colleagues, humanity and the search for meaning in life. The book illustrates the author's view of the world and his opinions of what makes life worth living.
The central incident he wrote of detailed his 1935 plane crash in the Sahara Desert between Benghazi and Cairo, which he barely survived along with his mechanic-navigator, André Prévot. Saint-Exupéry and his navigator were left almost completely without water and food, and as the chances of finding an oasis or help from the air gradually decreased, the two men nearly died of thirst before they were saved by a Bedouin on a camel.
  MasseyLibrary | Jan 7, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Saint Exupéry pilotava aviões nos tempos heróicos da aviação comercial - tempo em que os aviões voavam a mil, dois mil metros e, nos dias de céu limpo, podia-se admirar a paisagem lá em baixo. Foi ele um dos primeiros pilotos da Air France a estabelecer a rota do correio aéreo para a África e a América Latina, enfrentando, com instrumentos rudimentares, as travessias do oceano, Sahara, Patagônia e Cordilheira dos Andes.

Pilotando os pequenos aviões na quietude de noites estreladas ou sobrevoando durante horas de um dia interminável a imensidão de desertos e de planícies despovoadas, Saint Exupéry perscrutava agudamente a alma humana. Surge dessa reflexão uma proposta humanista muito peculiar, que entusiasmou muita gente nos anos que se seguiram à Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Panes eram comuns nos tempos heróicos da aviação comercial e nem sempre tinham conseqüências fatais. Os aviões eram menores, menos velozes e planavam com facilidade. Porém, escapando da morte na queda do avião, pilotos e mecânicos tinham de lutar pela vida na caminhada em busca de socorro. Terra dos Homens narra vários desses episódios nos quais foram os valores morais que levaram esses homens a fazer enormes sacrifícios e a encontrar insuspeitadas reservas de energia para vencer desertos, neves eternas, hostilidades de beduinos sublevados.

Não se trata, porém, de livro de aventuras ou de explorações. Terra dos Homens é, na verdade, uma amorosa meditação sobre o senso de responsabilidade; o valor do coleguismo, o prazer de uma conversa solta numa roda alegre após um dia duro de trabalho; a emoção de ver o sol se pôr na imensidão do mar, a alegria do aceno da menina aos pilotos que, na rota para o Chile, sobrevoavam um rincão perdido da Patagônia - episódios de um poema em prosa que celebra a natureza, o sentido da vida, a dignidade do trabalhador.
 
We have here not only a poet who sings of the witchery of flying and of the crystal delight of gazing down upon the "virginity of a soil which no step of man or beast had sullied," but a seer who understands the menace to the human spirit that lies in our maladjustment to the machine age. It is in this understanding that he makes one of his biggest contributions . . . .

This book is drenched clean of all the petty cloying values of the earth. It is a beautiful book, and a brave book, and a book that should be read against the confusion of this world, if only that we may retain our pride in humanity and our excitement in this modern age.
added by NinieB | editNew York Times, Clare Leighton (pay site) (Jun 18, 1939)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Saint-Exupéry, Antoine deprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cosgrave, John O'HaraIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bieńkowska, WieraTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brouwer, JohannesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galantière, LewisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kitson, LindaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rees, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This book is dedicated to Henr Guillaumet, my comrade. [there is no dedication in the Harvest edition 1992]
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La terre nous en apprend plus long sur nous que tous les livres. Parce qu'elle nous résiste.
In 1926 I was enrolled as student airline pilot by the Latecoere Company, the predecessors of Aeropostale (now Air France) in the operation of the line between Toulouse, in southwestern France, and Dakar, in French West Africa.
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Recipient of the Grand Prix of the Académie Française, Wind, Sand and Stars captures the grandeur, danger, and isolation of flight. Its exciting account of air adventure, combined with lyrical prose and the spirit of a philosopher, makes it one of the most popular works ever written about flying. Translated by Lewis Galantière.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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