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Wind, Sand and Stars (Harbrace Modern Classics 18)

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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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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.

30 review for Wind, Sand and Stars (Harbrace Modern Classics 18)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    oh... maybe I'm just a sucker for Saint-Exupéry. Let me go on about the title. It just doesn't translate into English. I LIKE the traditional English title, Wind, Sand, and Stars, but the puns all get lost. They'd get lost no mattr how you translate it, though. In French, la terre is not just the world, the earth, but also earth, dirt, ground and land; there are puns on terrain--terraine, landscape--and territoire, territory--the word atterrir, TO LAND an aeroplane, literally means to alight on oh... maybe I'm just a sucker for Saint-Exupéry. Let me go on about the title. It just doesn't translate into English. I LIKE the traditional English title, Wind, Sand, and Stars, but the puns all get lost. They'd get lost no mattr how you translate it, though. In French, la terre is not just the world, the earth, but also earth, dirt, ground and land; there are puns on terrain--terraine, landscape--and territoire, territory--the word atterrir, TO LAND an aeroplane, literally means to alight on earth. So all these things get talked about, man's relationship to earth from above and from ON the earth, but also you get quite a bit of the literal translation "world of men"--a plea for peace and for environmental moderation. (All the early aviators are blown away by the beauty of the earth from the air.) My favorite part of this book is where he lands on an inaccessible plateau in North Africa and, after marvelling that he is the first living thing EVER to have drawn breath here, notices that the place is littered with meteorites. And what is so wonderful about this book is not that St. X experienced that moment, but that through him, *I* get to experience it too. "Nous demandons à boire, mais nous demandons aussi à communiquer." The pages are filled with the desperation to communicate, man's love of solitude tempered and ruined by his dependence on others. This is the landscape of The Little Prince--all the characters are here, and were real. Incidentally, I'd forgotten what a huge influence the core story in this book--plane crash in the desert and subsequent brush with nearly dying of thirst--was on my own book, The Sunbird. This is the first time I've read this book in French. It's not long and it's very accessible to the struggling Francophile.

  2. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    Whenever I am forced to name my most favorite book ever, my automatic response is Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince. I read it first when I was a boy but I did not understand what was it all about except the hat with an elephant inside and the planet with big trees called baobab. The second time was in college when it was a required reading in World Literature. I did not really like it until my professor explained that the novel was about man’s search for friendship. I recall that Whenever I am forced to name my most favorite book ever, my automatic response is Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince. I read it first when I was a boy but I did not understand what was it all about except the hat with an elephant inside and the planet with big trees called baobab. The second time was in college when it was a required reading in World Literature. I did not really like it until my professor explained that the novel was about man’s search for friendship. I recall that there was no internet at the time and I still had to go to the school library to research more on Saint-Ex’s life so I can make a better book report. We were not required to read other books (that was great since you know how busy a college student can be) of the same author and there was no Wikipedia yet. So, my knowledge of Saint-Ex stopped with his tale of this little prince. I re-read it from cover to cover this month as it was voted by the Filipinos here in Goodreads for February 2012 group read. It was for this reason, why I read this other popular Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s book, Wind, Sand and Stars. I wanted to find out more about the man and probably more about The Little Prince. Since this was originally written in French, its title was Terre des homes that literally means “Land of Men” when it was published in France in 1939. Later that year, it was published in the US as “Land of People” But when The Little Prince became a worldwide phenomenon in 1943, the US publishers changed the title to Wind, Sand and Stars maybe to establish its connection between the two books. In the US, this book Wind, Sand and Stars won the National Book Award in 1939 for the Non-Fiction Category. The National Geographic Adventure magazine also memoir as No. 3 in its all-time list of 100 best adventure-exploration books. For you who loved The Little Prince, read this book. You will see semblances of that book’s characters and events with what happened to Saint-Ex in this book. There is a scene here where Saint-Ex, the pilot of Aerospostale (airmail carrier) landed in a place full of meteorites. There is his bestfriend Henri Guillaumet (1902-1940) who in June 13, 1930, crashed in another place and though tempted to give up, he persisted while thinking of his wife, Noëlle, (very similar to Saint-Ex thinking of his rose) until June 19 at dawn when he was rescued by a 14-year-old boy named Juan García (who should be his inspiration for his Little Prince character). Some critics say that Guillaumet is Little Prince himself or maybe the fox but Saint-Ex dedicated that book to Leon Werth, his other friend who he met in 1931. Léon Werth (1878-1955) spent the war unobtrusively in Saint-Amour, his village in the Jura, a mountainous region near Switzerland where he "was alone, cold and hungry", and had few nice words on French refugees. Saint-Ex returned to Europe in early 1943, rationalizing, "I cannot bear to be far from those who are hungry... I am leaving in order to suffer and thereby be united with those who are dear to me." The book is very insightful. He reminded me of Richard Bach who wrote my favorite love story, The Bridge Across Forever. Saint-Ex brilliantly connected love, life, flying and male friendship. I am sure that he inspired Bach who is also a pilot and a novelist. The only difficulty I had with this book was my zero interest on flying. I am more of a sea or mountain person. Thus, there were parts when I could not stop hum-hum while reading. But overall, since I love The Little Prince, I appreciated to the answers this book provided me. Answers to the questions that I had when I was a little boy for the first time reading about the little prince in the desert up to the time when I re-read it in college and learned that it was about man's search for friendship.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    I know nothing, nothing in the world, equal to the wonder of nightfall in the air. [...] Mermoz said once, “It’s worth it, it’s worth the final smash-up.” Flying in 2015 has become about as commonplace and unexciting as taking the subway to work or the train to the weekend lodge. It is safer than driving a car and most of the work, beside take-offs and landings, is done by sophisticated instruments. What we have gained in safety and comfort. We may have lost in our sense of wonder and our I know nothing, nothing in the world, equal to the wonder of nightfall in the air. [...] Mermoz said once, “It’s worth it, it’s worth the final smash-up.” Flying in 2015 has become about as commonplace and unexciting as taking the subway to work or the train to the weekend lodge. It is safer than driving a car and most of the work, beside take-offs and landings, is done by sophisticated instruments. What we have gained in safety and comfort. We may have lost in our sense of wonder and our perspective. Antoine de Saint-Exupery, poet and pioneer aviator, is probably our best guide back to the miracle of flight, and this present autobiographical novel is I believe the best example of his profound humanism and lyrical prose. Considering some common details about a plane crash in the desert, the eagle-eye view of humans struggling to fill in huge empty spaces on a planet hurtling through a vast emptiness, the common themes of friendship, love, death, peace, Terre des Hommes is closely related to Le Petit Prince, the more famous novella about the boy who looks at earth with innocent and hopeful eyes. In structure, the novel pays homage to the early days of the Aeropostale, the first French company who opened up new routes of travel from Europe to Sahara, over the Andes in South America, to the Far East and beyond. It shows us the people for whom courage was only a short step away from suicidal madness, throwing themselves with reckless abandon in the middle of the storm without navigation instruments and with weak radio stations to guide them back to ground. I could quote whole pages, but I tried to restrain myself to a couple of the best examples: Thus, when Mermoz first crossed the South Atlantic in a hydroplane, as day was dying he ran foul of the Black Hole region, off Africa. Straight ahead of him were the tails of tornadoes rising minute by minute gradually higher, rising as a wall is built; and then the night came down upon these preliminaries and swallowed them up; and when, an hour later, he slipped under the clouds, he came out into a fantastic kingdom. Great black waterspouts had reared themselves seemingly in the immobility of temple pillars. Swollen at their tops, they supported the squat and lowering arch of the tempest, but through the rifts in the arch there fell slabs of light and the full moon sent her radiant beams between the pillars down upon the frozen tiles of the sea. Through these uninhabited ruins Mermoz made his way, gliding slantwise from one channel of light to the next, circling round those giant pillars in which there must have rumbled the upsurge of the sea, flying for four hours through these corridors of moonlight towards the exit from the temple. And this spectacle was so overwhelming that only after he had got through the Black Hole did Mermoz awaken to the fact that he had not been afraid. --- Mermoz and his mechanic had been forced down at an altitude of twelve thousand feet on a table-land at whose edges the mountains dropped sheer on all sides. For two mortal days they hunted a way off this plateau. But they were trapped. Everywhere the same sheer drop. And so they played their last card. Themselves still in it, they sent the plane rolling and bouncing down an incline over the rocky ground until it reached the precipice, went off into air, and dropped. In falling, the plane picked up enough speed to respond to the controls. Mermoz was able to tilt its nose in the direction of a peak, sweep over the peak and, while the water spurted through all the pipes burst by the night frost, the ship already disabled after only seven minutes of flight, he saw beneath him like a promised land the Chilean plain. And the next day he was at it again. When I think of Guillaumet, Mermoz, Saint-Exupery and of their colleagues in the Aeropostale , I have this image of one of our Romanian monuments to the early aviators: their arms spread out and covered with feathers, they went to the sky as naturally as we walk, they fought singlehanded against wind, darkness, cold and tiredness, and they paid dearly for their daring, falling back to ground in flames, like Icarus. In their own words: It was worth it! Even as the peasant strolling about his domain is able to foresee in a thousand signs the coming of the spring, the threat of frost, a promise of rain, so all that happens in the sky signals to the pilot the oncoming snow, the expectancy of fog, or the peace of a blessed night. The machine which at first blush seems a means of isolating man from the great problems of nature, actually plunges him more deeply into them. As for the peasant so for the pilot, dawn and twilight become events of consequence. His essential problems are set to him by the mountain, the sea, the wind. Alone before the vast tribunal of the tempestuous sky, the pilot defends his mails and debates on terms of equality with those three elemental divinities. An interesting chapter describes the flying machines they used on their missions, and Saint-Exupery uses the occasion to lash out at those who complain about the modern man’s dependence on technology. It is not the tool itself that drives us away from nature, but the way we use it. Like the ever-present so-called ‘smart’ phones, they are not making us lonely by breaking up our direct contact with our fellow men, their role is actually to make it easier to communicate and get in touch. Airplanes also bring us closer together by reducing the travel times and thus the distances that separate us. Transport of the mails, transport of the human voice, transport of the flickering pictures – in this century as in others our highest accomplishments still have the single aim of bringing men together. Do our dreamers hold that the invention of writing, of printing, of the sailing ship, degraded the human spirit? While acknowledging the dangers of man being made to serve the machine (industry), the poet sees further and deeper, and argues for the spiritual liberation that the conquest of the air brings us: A man cannot live a decent life in cities, and I need to feel myself live. I am not thinking of aviation. The airplane is a means, not an end. One doesn’t risk one’s life for a plane any more than a farmer ploughs for the sake of the plough. But the airplane is a means of getting away from towns and their bookkeeping and coming to grips to reality. Flying is a man’s job and its worries are a man’s worries. A pilot’s business is with the wind, with the stars, with night, with sand, with the sea. He strives to outwit the forces of nature. He stares in expectancy for the coming of dawn the way a gardener awaits the coming of spring. He looks forward to port as to a promised land, and truth for him is what lives in the stars. The winds, sand and stars of the title are revealed here as the keepers of the ultimate truth about life and about our place in the universe. An eagle-eye look at our planet from several thousand feet up in the air helps to put life in perspective, showing how insignificant some of our daily worries are, how feeble is our grip on the earth’s crust, how much a simple drink of water may mean to a man dying of thirst, and how the most important thing we can do is to share the burden with another human being. The main event in the novel is a plane crash in Sahara. The desert, like it did with countless prophets, is one of the best places in the world to bare a soul naked and bring it closer to divinity. It is not surprising that such a powerful revelation will mark the author’s writing both here and in Le Petit Prince: When I opened my eyes I saw nothing but the pool of nocturnal sky, for I was lying on my back with outstretched arms, face to face with that hatchery of stars. Only half awake, still unaware that those depths were sky, having no roof between those depths and me, no branches to screen them, no root to cling to, I was seized with vertigo and felt myself flung forth and plunging downward like a diver. But I did not fall. From nape to heel I discovered myself bound to earth. I felt a sort of appeasement in surrendering to it my weight. Gravitation had become as sovereign as love. The earth, I felt, was supporting my back, sustaining me, lifting me up, transporting me through the immense void of night. I was glued to our planet by a pressure like that which one is glued to the side of the car on a curve. I leaned with joy against this admirable breast-work, this solidity, this security, feeling against my body this curving bridge of my ship. From the austere purity of the desert, the poet turns reporter and takes us on a trip to Spain during the civil war, trying to understand the impulses and the failures that drive brother against brother: Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction. There is no comradeship except through union in the same high effort. Even in our age of material well-being this must be so, else how should we explain the happiness we feel in sharing our last crust with others in the desert? [...] What sets us against one another is not our aims – they all come to the same thing – but our methods, which are the fruit of our varied reasoning. With this last quote I move from the English title to the original French one: Terre des hommes. For Saint-Exupery we are all one nation, one people, rich in diversity, but united in spirit, divided by language, religion or politics but brothers in arms before the court of desert and stars. Flight is a tool, not a destination, and the best use we can put it to is to open us up to the beauty of companionship. From his whole career as a pilot, the poet values most the times he shared his passion and his experiences with his comrades, a beautiful word that should not be held hostage to political propaganda: We told stories, we joked, we sang songs. In the air there was that slight fever that reigns over a gaily prepared feast. And yet we were infinitely poor. Wind, sand, and stars. The austerity of Trappists. But on this badly lighted cloth, a handful of men who possessed nothing in the world but their memories were sharing invisible riches. We had met at last. Men travel side by side for years, each locked up in his own silence or exchanging those words which carry no freight – till danger comes. Then they stand shoulder to shoulder. They discover that they belong to the same family. They wax and bloom in the recognition of fellow beings. They look at one another and smile. They are like the prisoner set free who marvels at the immensity of the sea. Happiness! It is useless to seek it elsewhere than in this warmth of human relations. Our sordid interests imprison us within their walls. Only a comrade can grasp us by the hand and haul us free. Saint-Exupery died, like many of his comrades he shared a meal with in the desert, doing what he loved best in the world – flying. Or maybe like his Prince he visited us for a while and then went back to his tiny planet to tend his volcano and his flower. He left behind a message of hope for the future and of trust in our ability to gather together when danger threatens us. I tried here to explain why he is more than a favourite author, he is an old friend that walked beside me and pointed out the beauty of a sunset or of a child’s smile, the necessity of sharing: Old friends cannot be created out of hand. Nothing can match the treasure of common memories, of trials endured together, of quarrels and reconciliations and generous emotions. It is idle, having planted an acorn in the morning, to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the oak. So life goes on. For years we plant the seed, we feel ourselves rich; and then come other years when time does its work and our plantation is made sparse and thin. One by one, our comrades slip away, deprive us of their shade.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robin Sloan

    If I had to choose between The Little Prince and this book, I'd choose this book, because in a way you can use it to derive Saint-Exupéry's classic. If The Little Prince is the diamond, this book is the coal: a hard-earned mass of adventure and experience. The book reads like a long letter from your most astonishing friend. Sublime.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lynne King

    I purchased this book from the Folio Society on 8 January 1993 (I have this rather annoying habit of stating in my books when and where I purchased them. Just a quirk that I have.) I was a member of this book club and just liked the look of the cover and in my stupidity I thought that it would just be about the desert (that I love),the wind and stars. I had no idea that this French aristrocrat, writer, poet and author of the "Le Petit Prince" was a pilot. I must confess that initially I thought it I purchased this book from the Folio Society on 8 January 1993 (I have this rather annoying habit of stating in my books when and where I purchased them. Just a quirk that I have.) I was a member of this book club and just liked the look of the cover and in my stupidity I thought that it would just be about the desert (that I love),the wind and stars. I had no idea that this French aristrocrat, writer, poet and author of the "Le Petit Prince" was a pilot. I must confess that initially I thought it all rather difficult to absorb but I was determined to enjoy this book and I did indeed. What an incredible individual and a true adventurer. I was inspired by it all and to think that he died in the forties. Such a shame. I hope that there is indeed an afterlife because this gentleman truly deserves it. Plus he has given great pleasure to a minor individual like me and for that I applaud him. Mr. Saint-Exupéry has a place in history which is richly desrved and I just recommend book this to everyone and to all ages.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Transcendant, beautiful, embracing. When I read three books in a row where this book featured prominently (The Goldfinch was one) I felt the book calling to me. For me, it was not the type of book that I could sit down and read in one go. I wanted to mull and linger on the words, and to embrace St Exupery's words demands a kind of internal honesty and emotionality from the reader that can be freeing but also emotionally exhausting. I think that is why I put it down so often. I mean, I started Transcendant, beautiful, embracing. When I read three books in a row where this book featured prominently (The Goldfinch was one) I felt the book calling to me. For me, it was not the type of book that I could sit down and read in one go. I wanted to mull and linger on the words, and to embrace St Exupery's words demands a kind of internal honesty and emotionality from the reader that can be freeing but also emotionally exhausting. I think that is why I put it down so often. I mean, I started this book August 2014, and finished August 2016- how is that for timing? Still, an excellent book, and one I would suggest to anyone that likes a good adventure memoir or wants to question the human condition or spirit. What a man. What a life. What a soul.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Francisco

    This book is in many ways a wonderful background book for The Little Prince. The non-fiction stories of the author's adventures as a pilot allowed me to see the man behind one of my all time favorite books. The Little Prince is one of those books where you can sense the soul of the author and Saint-Exupéry's non-fiction books, like this one, let you see that your initial intuition while reading The Little Prince was correct. This is a very un-sentimental look at courage and at the urge we all This book is in many ways a wonderful background book for The Little Prince. The non-fiction stories of the author's adventures as a pilot allowed me to see the man behind one of my all time favorite books. The Little Prince is one of those books where you can sense the soul of the author and Saint-Exupéry's non-fiction books, like this one, let you see that your initial intuition while reading The Little Prince was correct. This is a very un-sentimental look at courage and at the urge we all have to transcend what Saint-Exupéry calls "the bureaucracy" of our lives. Saint-Exupéry responds to this universal need by delivering mail in the frail two-person air machines of the 1930's over routes that take him through deserts and alps and oceans. Although this book was written after The Little Prince, the events of the book happened before Saint-Exupéry wrote his timeless "children's" book so it is possible to see in some of his adventures the seeds of that great book. I smiled when he talked about seeing a desert fox when he was stranded on top of a sand dune and I understood what he meant when he talked about the stars that reveal themselves only to those who are brave enough to walk into the darkness of solitude. But what will stay with me forever is the hope and love for life that Saint-Exupéry managed to find within himself in order to keep going and keep living and keep walking when all seemed lost and death by sunstroke and dehydration seemed imminent. I understood then how the author could write a book of simple beauty and wisdom like The Little Prince.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This short memoir for me was a wonderful adventure in flying and parallel inward journey by the author. That puts this book on an honored shelf with Mathiessen’s “The Snow Leopard”. St. Expery’s experiences in the 20’s with the French airmail service to North Africa and South America had comparable mind altering impacts and serious humbling in the face of nature’s powers. But instead of a serious quest and a single journey, we get a more open-ended set of stories bound to his flying career and This short memoir for me was a wonderful adventure in flying and parallel inward journey by the author. That puts this book on an honored shelf with Mathiessen’s “The Snow Leopard”. St. Expery’s experiences in the 20’s with the French airmail service to North Africa and South America had comparable mind altering impacts and serious humbling in the face of nature’s powers. But instead of a serious quest and a single journey, we get a more open-ended set of stories bound to his flying career and pathways of development for the author’s core values and sources of hope for the human race. I delayed writing this review for half a year since reading it. It is the kind of delicious book where you want to mark passages on almost every page, so it was hard to pin down the real take-home messages worth sharing. With some perspective now, I can boil my pleasures down. It makes you feel connected to the universe. And part of a human community also struggling to comprehend and come to terms with its mysteries and epiphanies, treacheries and cruel destructions. The mysteries that flying opens his mind to come immediately with its ticket to a leap into different perspectives. How small all our human constructions appear from the air. How quickly you can be in a different world among the clouds get lost among dangerous mountains, vast deserts, or the endless sea. We get to share in the joys and fears of his first flights. The experience of unboundedness is balanced by strange connections with the plane, the technological wonder his life depends on. He is grounded as well with the camaraderie of his team, including the mechanic and radio man he usually shared his flights with and the fellow pilots he bonded with between flights. These connections rise to special prominence when he or others get in storms, fall out of radio communications, or get stranded after being forced into an emergency landing after equipment failure or fuel shortage. Here is a sample passage that contrasts the mild disorientations of a routine flight with the more potent impact of others: So the crew fly on with no thought that they are in motion. Light night over the sea, they are very far from the earth, from towns, from trees. The motors fill the lighted chamber with a silver that changes its substance. The clock ticks on. The dials, the radio lamps, the various ands and needles go through their invisible alchemy. From second to second these mysterious stirrings, a few muffled words, a concentrated tenseness, contribute to the end result. And when the hour is at hand the pilot may glue his forehead to the window with perfect assurance. Out of oblivion the gold has been smelted: there it gleams in the lights of the airport. And yet we have all known flights when of a sudden, each for himself, it has seemed to us that we have crossed the border of the world of reality; when, only a couple of hours from port, we have felt ourselves more distant from it than we should feel if we were in India; when there has come premonition of an incursion into a forbidden world whence it was going to be infinitely difficult to return. … And with that we knew ourselves to be lost in interplanetary space among a thousand inaccessible planets, we who sought only the one veritable planet, our own, that planet on which alone we should find our familiar countryside, the houses of our friends, our treasures. Here the author captures so powerfully some of his altered states of consciousness while stranded in the Sahara at night: Once, in this same mineral Sahara, I was taught that a dream might partake of the miraculous. … When I opened my eyes I saw nothing but the pool of nocturnal sky, for I was lying on my back with outstretched arms, face to face with that hatchery of stars. Only half awake, still unaware that those depths were sky, having no roof between those depths and me, no branches to screen them, no root to cling to, I was seized by vertigo and felt myself as if flung forth and plunging downriver like a diver. But I did not fall. From nape to heel I discovered myself bound to earth. I felt a sort of appeasement in surrendering to my weight. Gravitation had become as sovereign as love. The immense void of night. I was glued to our planet by a pressure like that which one is glued to the side of a car on a curve. I leaned with joy against this admirable best-work, this solidity, this security, feeling against my body this curving bridge of my ship.… I lay there pondering my situation, lost in the desert and in danger, naked between sky and sand, withdrawn by too much silence from the poles of my life. I knew that I should wear out days and weeks returning to them if I were not sighted by some plane, or if next day the Moors did not find and murder me. Here I possessed nothing in the world. I was no more than a mortal strayed between sand and stars, conscious of the single blessing of breathing. And yet I discovered myself filled with dreams. Where it comes to trips to South America, there is a sense of real pioneering. Crossing a mountain range like the Andes without radar or a pressurized cabin was quite a challenge they routinely faced. He shares the story of a close friend who miraculously walked out of the mountains after a winter crash. When St. Exupery first visits the most southernmost town in the Chilean Patagonia, struggles hard to feel a connection with ordinary people: I landed in the peace of the evening. Punta Arenas! I leaned against a fountain and looked at the girls in the square. Standing there within a couple of feet of their grace. I felt more poignantly than ever the human mystery. In a world in which life so perfectly responds to life, where flowers mingle with flowers in the wind’s eye, where the swan is the familiar of all swans, man alone builds his isolation. What a space between men their spiritual natures create! A girl’s reverie isolates her from me, and how shall I enter into it? What can one know of a girl who passes, walking with slow steps homeward, eyes lowered, smiling to herself, filled with adorable inventions and with fables? Out of the thoughts, the voice, the silences of a lover, she can form an empire, and thereafter sees in all the world but him a people of barbarians. More surely than if she were on another planet, I feel her to be locked up in her language, in her secret, in her habits, in the singing echoes of her memory. Born yesterday of the volcanoes, of greenswards, of brine of the sea, she walks here already half divine. …I know nothing. I do not enter into their empires. Man in the presence of man is as solitary as in the face of a wide winter sky in which there sweeps, never to be tamed, a flight of trumpeting geese. This book was a small wonder for me, and I expect it would be so for many of my friends. It reminds me of the line from Leonard Cohen: “We are so small between the stars so large against the sky”. In a couple of sittings, you can be transported and return to earth a better person. I found a free copy on the internet, but I can’t share it because I don’t know if it is an illegal version.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    The steadily growing stream of birth and marriage announcements on my Facebook feed has led me to rethink these “steps” that most people take each passing year. I used to think (and still sometimes do when I’m feeling unsure or cynical) that this seemingly prewritten way of living, of societal norms pushing us forward, was depressing evidence for a lack of creativity. But lately I see these steps not as predetermined chains on a pair of manacles we never knew we were wearing, but as a climb up a The steadily growing stream of birth and marriage announcements on my Facebook feed has led me to rethink these “steps” that most people take each passing year. I used to think (and still sometimes do when I’m feeling unsure or cynical) that this seemingly prewritten way of living, of societal norms pushing us forward, was depressing evidence for a lack of creativity. But lately I see these steps not as predetermined chains on a pair of manacles we never knew we were wearing, but as a climb up a mountain or a neverending game of “I dare you.” I dare you to try more, to do something different, to remember or to learn how best to live. We only have one first. A first time riding in a plane, a first time seeing the ocean, a first time eating an orange, a first time falling in love. It happens and it finishes in the same moment. A simultaneous life and death that will slowly kill us if we don’t realize it. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wants us to realize it. To do so he shares exquisite moments where he realized it during his career as an Aéropostale pilot in Northern Africa and South America. He’s lying atop a pebbled ledge in the Sahara Desert and finds a meteorite and knows he’s the only soul who has ever seen this rock. It’s a first, but one that he wants us to savor. He’s in the desert in Libya, three days without water, and he sees fantastic mirages—they are false, but they are something new only once, and he wants us to appreciate that. What he wants is neither that new nor that radical. By recounting his memories he wants to inspire us to unlock our hands from our keyboards, to put our wallets back in our pockets, to unleash the shopkeepers from their shops, to look in a mirror, to look at each other, and to recognize something. In English this humanist adventure tale is titled Wind, Sand, and Stars, evocative but lacking. The French title, Terre des hommes, or Land of Men, is better. There is no wind, there is no sand, there are no stars, if we are not there to observe them, or even more, to appreciate them. Life is a battle to stay awake. And according to Saint-Exupéry, it doesn’t have to be much of a battle if we just look around every once and a while. Whether we’re flying across the Andes in a snowstorm straining to find the light of a house and human soul below or whether we simply open our eyes while walking down the street, we can win the battle. Being awake will no longer mean adhering to a game of “I dare you,” a set of steps leading to more, more, more to stop us from getting bored. Everyday can have a first, every person can be awake, if we remember every single moment that we’re alive on this sphere in the universe.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Ricker

    I find that reading books about plane crashes while physically in a plane really enhances the flying experience. I told my mother that and she thought I was being facetious, but I was just being honest. I read Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (author of The Little Prince) on the way to Michigan and Wind, Sand, and Stars by the same author on the way back, both of which include plane disasters. Both were exquisite, though not at all in the same way as The Little Prince, and both are about I find that reading books about plane crashes while physically in a plane really enhances the flying experience. I told my mother that and she thought I was being facetious, but I was just being honest. I read Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (author of The Little Prince) on the way to Michigan and Wind, Sand, and Stars by the same author on the way back, both of which include plane disasters. Both were exquisite, though not at all in the same way as The Little Prince, and both are about Saint-Exupery’s experiences as a pilot for the night-mails in South America and Africa during the 1920s and 1930s. Flying was still a perilous business then, and reading about the sort of men who chose that career was utterly fascinating. Perhaps there’s a bit of the philosopher in all pilots, or perhaps Antoine was just of a particularly thoughtful bent, but either way his musings on humanity and life and death were all very thought-provoking.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vika Ivanova

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery is one of the most brilliant humanist-writers. Every person is beautiful in their own way, each of us need to be open and forward in the right direction. "Human Planet," a great book, infinitely good and exciting. It exalted honor, friendship, kindness, helping others. We see how beautiful our planet is. But not only the nature of the world is worthy of attention and admiration - do not forget about the people. Exupery does not stop to admire the beauty of our planet, Antoine de Saint-Exupery is one of the most brilliant humanist-writers. Every person is beautiful in their own way, each of us need to be open and forward in the right direction. "Human Planet," a great book, infinitely good and exciting. It exalted honor, friendship, kindness, helping others. We see how beautiful our planet is. But not only the nature of the world is worthy of attention and admiration - do not forget about the people. Exupery does not stop to admire the beauty of our planet, sand, mountains. He sees beauty even in the hands of the workers, stained with fuel oil. He rejects the political and economic forms of communication between people. After all, how beautiful this man's ability - to make friends! Personally, I feel very sad realizing that many people did not find themselves, stuck in a routine, forget about true human qualities. I would like to see the world around us has become brighter, and people - kinder to each other. In modern society, it is not enough. But we have rights to, and we can change this situation. The main thing - to want and believe that everything is possible. Антуан де Сент-Экзюпери один из самых ярких писателей-гуманистов. Каждый человек прекрасен по-своему, каждого из нас нужно открыть и направить в правильном направлении. "Планета людей" великолепная книга, бесконечна добрая и волнующая. В ней превозносятся честь,дружба,добро, взамопомощь. Мы видим как прекрасна наша планета. Но не только природа на Земле достойна внимания и восхищения - не стоит забывать и о людях. Экзюпери не перестает восхищаться красотой нашей планеты,песков,гор. Он видит красоту даже в рабочих руках,испачканных мазутом. Он отвергает политические и экономические формы связей между людьми. Ведь как прекрасна эта способность человека - дружить! Лично мне становится грустно от понимания того, что многие из людей так и не нашли себя,увязли в рутине, забывают о настоящих человеческих качествах. Мне бы хотелось, чтобы мир вокруг нас стал светлее,а люди - добрее друг к другу. В современном обществе этого очень не хватает. Но мы в праве и можем изменить это положение вещей. Главное - захотеть и поверить в то, что это возможно.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    Read in French. The French author and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry published his book in 1939. It was soon thereafter translated into English with the title Wind, Sand and Stars. The work is a collection of essays focusing on his years as an airmail courier for Aéropostale, flying difficult and dangerous routes across the Andes in South America, the Pyrenees in France and Spain, and the Sahara in north Africa. A number of his experiences are described in detail, the longest and most vivid Read in French. The French author and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry published his book in 1939. It was soon thereafter translated into English with the title Wind, Sand and Stars. The work is a collection of essays focusing on his years as an airmail courier for Aéropostale, flying difficult and dangerous routes across the Andes in South America, the Pyrenees in France and Spain, and the Sahara in north Africa. A number of his experiences are described in detail, the longest and most vivid being his crash in the Sahara with his navigator, André Prévot, and their long struggle to survive until at last rescued by Bedouins. His final essay is a long and beautiful philosophical reflection on the meaning of life. Probably best know for his novel Le Petit Prince, Saint-Exupéry wrote a number of other books, most based on his experiences as a pilot, all of them fascinating. Having joined the Free French Air Force during World War II, old and in declining health, he disappeared while on a mission over the Mediterranean in 1944. Saint-Exupéry’s language is vivid, descriptive, and highly poetic. His books are almost prose-poems. He is able to capture the allure and beauty of flying, especially in the early years of flight, in a way few other authors have.

  13. 4 out of 5

    George

    This book was fantastic, literally...almost hard to believe that its is the author's real life. Crashing in the Lybian desert, life in the Sahara, looking for a lost friend in the snows of the Chilean Andes, and first-hand accounts of the Spanish Civil War. But most of all, it is a poetic book about the beauty of flying, connection with nature, how challenge and suffering turn the boy into the man, how meaningful bonds between humans form, the contrast between the comfortable life of a This book was fantastic, literally...almost hard to believe that its is the author's real life. Crashing in the Lybian desert, life in the Sahara, looking for a lost friend in the snows of the Chilean Andes, and first-hand accounts of the Spanish Civil War. But most of all, it is a poetic book about the beauty of flying, connection with nature, how challenge and suffering turn the boy into the man, how meaningful bonds between humans form, the contrast between the comfortable life of a bookkeeper and the adventurous life. These messages always hit home for me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth☮

    The only book I have ever read by de Saint-Exupery is (and this will come as no surprise) The Little Prince. I even had to read the original French version while in college. I don't know much about the author, but when I saw a review for this book, it intrigued me. I am glad I read it. This is full of great writing of de Saint-Exupery's life as a pilot delivering mail for Aeropostale. I originally picked it up to skim and determine if it would be my next read, but I was so taken by the passages The only book I have ever read by de Saint-Exupery is (and this will come as no surprise) The Little Prince. I even had to read the original French version while in college. I don't know much about the author, but when I saw a review for this book, it intrigued me. I am glad I read it. This is full of great writing of de Saint-Exupery's life as a pilot delivering mail for Aeropostale. I originally picked it up to skim and determine if it would be my next read, but I was so taken by the passages that I read near to eighty pages in one sitting. There is full of philosophical waxing about man and his place in this world. There are many quotable moments and lines: "Fate has pronounced a decision from which there is no appeal." "The reason why writers fail when they attempt to evoke horror is that horror is something invented after the fact, when one is re-creating the experience over again in the memory." "Roads avoid the barren lands, the rocks, the sands. They shape themselves to man's needs and run from stream to stream ... We have elected to believe that our planet was merciful and fruitful." "I, too, in this flight, am renouncing things. I am giving up the broad golden surfaces that would befriend me if my engines were to fail. I am giving up the landmarks by which I might be taking my bearings. I am giving up the profiles of mountains against the sky that would warn me of pitfalls. I am plunging into the night. I am navigating. I have on my side only the stars." This a short book and one full of wonderful insights. I must also say that there are some passages that get trapped in detail too far gone. And, once or twice, there are epithets specific to the time period, but a bit harsh nonetheless.

  15. 4 out of 5

    T.D. Whittle

    Saint-Exupery's talent as a writer and beauty as a human being shine bright as desert stars in this brief, stunning memoir of his flying adventures. I am so glad that I finally got around to reading it, as it's been on my shelf for years. Highly recommend.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Richard Newton

    I read a different version of the book from the one listed, but the one I was given has a different translator and is in many ways a different book. I write the review here as the book I read I have been unable to find here or on Amazon, and this seems therefore the best place to put my review. The book I am reviewing is ISBN 978 0 9559036-6-3, translated by John Watkinson and published in 2017. I make so much of this being a different version as this is a book with a complex past. It is based I read a different version of the book from the one listed, but the one I was given has a different translator and is in many ways a different book. I write the review here as the book I read I have been unable to find here or on Amazon, and this seems therefore the best place to put my review. The book I am reviewing is ISBN 978 0 9559036-6-3, translated by John Watkinson and published in 2017. I make so much of this being a different version as this is a book with a complex past. It is based on a series of articles Saint Exupery wrote in various magazines, pulled into a book - or I should probably say books. There is an original French version (called confusingly Terre Des Hommes), which is heavily edited and misses out some key parts of Wind, Sand and Stars. Then there is the original version in English language version published in the USA and edited in a different way, and missing out other bits. This version seems to have been labour of love, seeking out a more complete version by trying to pull together all the materials edited out in both the original French and English versions. I stress this, as even if you have read another version it may be worth reading this one as well (if you can get hold of it). The book is a joy. It is part autobiography of Saint Exupery's exploits. And its important to recall that the person we mainly know as the author of The Little Prince, was probably better known in his day as a journalist and pilot. The exploits were often daring and dangerous, these were earlier days of flying when it was a dangerous business and crashes in remote places were frequent. If a crash was survived it was quite likely the survivors might never be found. But although his adventures are interesting, it is more his musings on life and existence which are so wonderful. Saint Exupery less tells a story, than uses the stories to paint pictures of the world, humanity and the meaning of life. The translation is excellent. Somehow you know the original author is not English, as Englishmen just don't talk like this. And yet at the same time, the prose flows and is never awkward. I never for a moment was overtly conscious that this was a book that was not originally written in English. I feel lucky to have a copy and will treasure it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Very inspirational book that looks at flight from two very different perspectives: physical flight in a plane and spiritual flight from inside.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rhi

    "... and suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny. Old bereaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be "... and suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny. Old bereaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be perturbed by great problems, having trouble enough to forget your own fate as man. You are not the dweller upon an errant planet and do not ask yourself questions to which there are no answers. Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning." -Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Wind, Sand and Stars

  19. 4 out of 5

    Inderjit Sanghera

    "I looked about me. Luminous points glowed in the darkness. Cigarettes punctuated the humble meditations of worn old clerks. I heard them talking to one another in murmurs and whispers. They talked about illness, money, shabby domestic cares. And suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny. Old bureaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light "I looked about me. Luminous points glowed in the darkness. Cigarettes punctuated the humble meditations of worn old clerks. I heard them talking to one another in murmurs and whispers. They talked about illness, money, shabby domestic cares. And suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny. Old bureaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be perturbed by great problems, having trouble enough to forget your own fate as a man. You are not the dweller upon an errant planet and do not ask yourself questions to which there are no answers. Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning" Brilliant

  20. 5 out of 5

    Meric Aksu

    "What torments me is not the humps nor hollows nor the ugliness. It is the sight, a little bit all these men, of Mozart murdered. Only the Spirit, if it breathe upon the clay, can create Man." My favorite book of all time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leni - The White Book Cottage

    4.5 Stars Beautifully written!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ridhika Khanna

    This book has been an extraordinary read. The spirit of adventure and to look at things as they are have been beautifully put across in this book. Back when air travel was not a luxury, without any sophisticated gadgets or technology, some pilots dared to fly across abandoned regions to deliver mails and other basic facilities. This book is an account of adventures when the aircraft crashed in such regions. I simply loved some of the passages and have re read them many a times. Cant stop myself This book has been an extraordinary read. The spirit of adventure and to look at things as they are have been beautifully put across in this book. Back when air travel was not a luxury, without any sophisticated gadgets or technology, some pilots dared to fly across abandoned regions to deliver mails and other basic facilities. This book is an account of adventures when the aircraft crashed in such regions. I simply loved some of the passages and have re read them many a times. Cant stop myself from including a few in this review: “When I opened my eyes I saw nothing but the pool of nocturnal sky, for I was lying on my back with out-stretched arms, face to face with that hatchery of stars. Only half awake, still unaware that those depths were sky, having no roof between those depths and me, no branches to screen them, no root to cling to, I was seized with vertigo and felt myself as if flung forth and plunging downward like a diver.” “It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.” “Nothing can match the treasure of common memories, of trials endured together, of quarrels and reconciliations and generous emotions. It is idle, having planted an acorn in the morning, to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the oak.” “You, Bedouin of Libya who saved our lives, though you will dwell forever in my memory yet I shall never be able to recapture your features. You are Humanity and your face comes into my mind simply as man incarnate. You, our beloved fellowman, did not know who we might be, and yet you recognized us without fail. And I, in my turn, shall recognize you in the faces of all mankind. You came towards me in an aureole of charity and magnanimity bearing the gift of water. All my friends and all my enemies marched towards me in your person. It did not seem to me that you were rescuing me: rather did it seem that you were forgiving me. And I felt I had no enemy left in all the world.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery has presented his adventures in a true spirit in a lyrical pose. His writing has given his adventure a kind of music and poetry. A combination very hard to find. Highly recommended to everyone

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hana

    Two and a half stars, rounded up to three for old-time's sake. I loved it when I was twelve years old, but I was a rather odd child, fond of day-dreaming and lying on the grass watching the clouds for hours on end. I wanted to run away on a tramp steamer and dreamed of learning to fly. That must have been the girl who adored this book; decades later, I find I'm too impatient and busy for books like this one. Terre des hommes is less a book than a loosely connected series of rambling essays with no Two and a half stars, rounded up to three for old-time's sake. I loved it when I was twelve years old, but I was a rather odd child, fond of day-dreaming and lying on the grass watching the clouds for hours on end. I wanted to run away on a tramp steamer and dreamed of learning to fly. That must have been the girl who adored this book; decades later, I find I'm too impatient and busy for books like this one. Terre des hommes is less a book than a loosely connected series of rambling essays with no plot to speak of. The action is thrilling, with the focus on guts and survival against all odds, but the fragmentary tales are often interrupted with long lyrical passages, or philosophical musings. Some of these digressions work, others seem superfluous and distracting. It is a young man's book and very much the reflection of a particular time and culture--it was that aspect I enjoyed the most this time around. I read this simultaneously with the English version, Wind, Sand and Stars, which had quite a few added paragraphs not it my French edition. I suspect that the additions in the English version were an attempt to add a little context to these essays and weave them together a bit. The translator of my edition Lewis Galantière captured the feeling of the French version of Wind, Sand and Stars than Stuart Gilbert did with Night Flight, but many of the puns and much of the poetry and philosophizing work better in French than in English.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I really wanted to like this, and in places it was really, really good. I have the utmost respect for this man who has the most wonderful way with words and philosophies. The major problem I had with this book was that most of the way I felt as though I was reading through a brain fog – I often found myself reading sentences and passages over again and again and feeling unable to decipher its meaning; part of this problem lay in the translation from French, which often yielded unwieldy, clumsy I really wanted to like this, and in places it was really, really good. I have the utmost respect for this man who has the most wonderful way with words and philosophies. The major problem I had with this book was that most of the way I felt as though I was reading through a brain fog – I often found myself reading sentences and passages over again and again and feeling unable to decipher its meaning; part of this problem lay in the translation from French, which often yielded unwieldy, clumsy sentences in English. I think another reason for the fogginess was the long unravelling of his philosophies where they deviated from the action of his memoir, as though he had taken a very long stroll away from the house – his mind had wandered very far, and though I’m sure he knew where he was going I often felt myself lost along the way. But still, I like the idea of his memoirs entwined with the philosophies his experiences upheaved. Unfortunately the overwhelming feeling I am left with having finished these books is relief at having finished them, and frustration at how difficult and often unrewarding they were to read. But that is certainly not to say that they were without merit – some pages contained passages that were gorgeous, philosophies which rang so true, descriptions which sang, and stories delighted.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    There is something so beautiful yet hauntingly sad about this adventure story-memoir. Its prose is so lyrical, the words so beautifully strung together that I found myself reading and rereading certain passages over and over again, enchanted. I wish I could write like that! Even though it was written by a pilot and covered his adventures as one, this book engages the reader in what amounts to a philosophical conversation that I, for one, was happy to be a part of. What a life he had! His There is something so beautiful yet hauntingly sad about this adventure story-memoir. Its prose is so lyrical, the words so beautifully strung together that I found myself reading and rereading certain passages over and over again, enchanted. I wish I could write like that! Even though it was written by a pilot and covered his adventures as one, this book engages the reader in what amounts to a philosophical conversation that I, for one, was happy to be a part of. What a life he had! His adventures...his exploration of and foray into places I will never see...and the way he recounts them are truly unforgettable and will mesmerize. And his bravery in the face of challenges I hope never to face are nothing short of inspiring. On the whole, this book made me at once happy and sad for the human condition. While our resilience in the face of tragedy and adversity is something to be proud of, here we are with our struggles which seem to repeat themselves one generation to the next; here we are with our wars. The book touches on so much. It was more than a joy to read, it is truly food for the soul!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    Beautiful prose...exciting adventures.....so glad I finally read this one. Also read his other book THE LITTLE PRINCE. The movie is coming to theaters in March, which I intend to see.

  27. 4 out of 5

    amirMasoud Hadidi

    by far the best book i've ever read ...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Linh Bún

    My word for this book is freedom. It makes me remember the books I read when I was a child, adventurous stories told by the first point of view. I mean the more we grow up the more we tend to search for books that have a clear plot with characters and details that lead to a certain ending. And I was kinda forgot about books that don't specifically tell any story, but a flow of sharing from experiences and life stories. One thing that shines throughout this book is the love of the author to his My word for this book is freedom. It makes me remember the books I read when I was a child, adventurous stories told by the first point of view. I mean the more we grow up the more we tend to search for books that have a clear plot with characters and details that lead to a certain ending. And I was kinda forgot about books that don't specifically tell any story, but a flow of sharing from experiences and life stories. One thing that shines throughout this book is the love of the author to his career. Only a person that deeply in love with the sky and flying can talk about flights and travels like that. And it honors pilots, who are brave and passionate enough to non-stop searching for new skies and new heights, as well as lands that are unknown for mankind. I feel that deep respect for people who never fails to get up, never stop getting back to their job and discovering ways to conquer the world from above. Mountains, valleys, sea, desert, mysterious nature opens up to them, as a friend, and sometimes as an enemy. Crashes after crashes, they fight to come back to life, just for one principle of being responsible for their loved ones, to return to the waiting and prayers of their friends and families. It is mesmerizing the way he described lands he had seen. From the feeling between the clouds, every moves of the sky and wind, to starry nights in the desert, with towns and cities and people he met along the way. And beyond all that, it's his philosophy of flying, living and loving that touches us and makes us think about such lives.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence

    Anthropologists who struggle through translations of french social theory would do well to read this--it makes you realize how many of the topics covered in that stuff are/were actually topics in the general conversation of french pop culture. I guess. Contains some really classic offhand racist remarks, and some weird Idealistic arguments, but still worth taking seriously and well worth reading. A wonderfully written collection of memories by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (of the Little Prince fame) Anthropologists who struggle through translations of french social theory would do well to read this--it makes you realize how many of the topics covered in that stuff are/were actually topics in the general conversation of french pop culture. I guess. Contains some really classic offhand racist remarks, and some weird Idealistic arguments, but still worth taking seriously and well worth reading. A wonderfully written collection of memories by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (of the Little Prince fame) about his adventures as an airmail pilot during the interwar period. No plot at all, just a collection of things that happened to him. The adventure parts are exciting, and the descriptions are fascinating and thorough. The best part is probably the last section where he's like, well enough about flying, let me tell you about my experiences in the Spanish Civil war. Amazing breakdown of why a civil war is like an epidemic/outbreak--in terms of suspicion of friends and neighbors.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Octavian

    This book was recommended to me by one of the greatest professors of astrophysics in the world. Now I can understand why he named it a personal favorite and how important is the overall education and culture to any society. In the year it was published (1939) won the Grand Prize from the French Academy. Its original title is "Terre des hommes" which actually is not that easy to translate and maybe that's why the editor chose to change it. It's meaning is complex. It doesn't mean just "Earth of This book was recommended to me by one of the greatest professors of astrophysics in the world. Now I can understand why he named it a personal favorite and how important is the overall education and culture to any society. In the year it was published (1939) won the Grand Prize from the French Academy. Its original title is "Terre des hommes" which actually is not that easy to translate and maybe that's why the editor chose to change it. It's meaning is complex. It doesn't mean just "Earth of humans" or "Land of humans"- it's about the place where we belong, the groud, how it's observed from the air (the feel from outside, the detachment, the return) and mostly about humanity. How important is building lifelong friendships? It's useless to hope that by planting an acorn in the morning, in the afternoon you'll sit in the shade of an oak. What makes us unique, how important are our aspirations, our dreams and the overall vision of life. Highly recommended!!!

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