Dec 3, 2007

Wind, Sand and Stars

by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Lyrical writing, philosophical reflections and the adventures of an early aviator make Wind, Sand and Stars a treasure. I've always loved Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince, and was interested in trying another book by the same author. In 1926, he got a job working as an airplane pilot for the Latecoere Company, an early precursor of what is now Air France. Early planes were unpredictable in nature, often "falling apart in midair," needing constant repairs. Crashes were common. Pilots would sometimes cover their few dashboard lights at night to navigate by the stars. Saint-Exupery recounts many adventures flying through storms, getting lost, surviving wrecks. In one notable incident, he crashed in the Sahara Desert. Along with his navigator Paul, he struggled through the dessert in search of water before being rescued by Bedouin people. Interspersed with the stories of his adventures are the author's philosophical musings on life and death, what we should aspire to, what makes mankind noble... a bit romantic, but well written. In reading this memoir, the reader can find many incidents and ideas the author incorporated into The Little Prince. I really enjoyed it.

Rating: 4/5 ........ 240 pages, 1939

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