!http://photos28.flickr.com/37380849_a2291506f9_t.jpg! This book is number 1 on Outside Magazines list of The 25 (Essential) Books for the Well-Read Explorer and National Geographic magazine also named “Wind, Sand and Stars” the third best adventure book of all time. So it had to be good… and turned out to be jaw droppingly amazing. This is not just a book – it’s sheer poetry. See Outside magazine’s review below:
LIKE HIS MOST FAMOUS creation, The Little Prince, that visitor from Asteroid B-612 who once saw 44 sunsets in a single day, Saint-Exupury disappeared into the sky. Killed in World War II at age 44, “Saint Ex” was a pioneering pilot for Aropostale in the 1920s, carrying mail over the deadly Sahara on the Toulouse-Dakar route, encountering cyclones, marauding Moors, and lonely nights: “So in the heart of the desert, on the naked rind of the planet, in an isolation like that of the beginnings of the world, we built a village of men. Sitting in the flickering light of the candles on this kerchief of sand, on this village square, we waited out the night.” Whatever his skills as a pilot – said to be extraordinary – as a writer he is effortlessly sublime. Wind, Sand and Stars is so humane, so poetic, you underline sentences: “It is another of the miraculous things about mankind that there is no pain nor passion that does not radiate to the ends of the earth. Let a man in a garret but burn with enough intensity and he will set fire to the world.” Saint-Exupury did just that. No writer before or since has distilled the sheer spirit of adventure so beautifully. True, in his excitement he can be righteous, almost irksome, like someone who’s just gotten religion. But that youthful excess is part of his charm. Philosophical yet gritty, sincere yet never earnest, utterly devoid of the postmodern cop-outs of cynicism, sarcasm, and spite, Saint-Exupury’s prose is a lot like the bracing gusts of fresh air that greet him in his open cockpit. He shows us what it’s like to be subject and king of infinite space.
This book gets the highest rating possible, and a bit. A book to be cherished, and reread again.
A readers review from Amazon:
In Wind, Sand, and Stars, every word has its place, every sentence has its purpose. It is magical, utterly enjoyable, a triumph of the imagination. It is amazing how the book can capture your mind and heart so quickly and simply.
* Outside Magaine: Goodnight Sweet Prince :: Antoine de Saint-Exupury spent his life defying and outflying death. Then it caught up.
* Guardian: Air of danger :: Robert Macfarlane revels in Antoine de Saint-Exupury’s writing about flight