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Night Flight Paperback – Jan 12 2001
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About the Author
ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPERY, the Winged Poet," was born in Lyon, France, in 1900. A pilot at twenty-six, he was a pioneer of commercial aviation and flew in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. His writings include The Little Prince , Wind, Sand and Stars , Night Flight , Southern Mail , and Airman's Odyssey . In 1944, while flying a reconnaissance mission for his French air squadron, he disappeared over the Mediterranean.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's hard to understand how anyone can run into a lone mountain rising a mile above the otherwise flat Colorado Plateau. Surely one could go around, or over, or do anything but hit it. Yet, "flying blind" was a deadly hazard of early aviation.
This book is really about the decisions of men who send others to face danger. It doesn't have a happy ending. One pilot, his radio operator, and plane simply vanish. Others are on schedule, and the system operates without pause. It's a reflection on the nature of imposed duty, a contrast to today's voluntary acceptance of risk.
Saint Exupery wrote a few years after Charles Lindbergh made the first solo flight across the Atlantic. Aviation progress then rested very much on the courage of pilots, which is why Lindbergh was such a hero. He typified the American spirit, "the lone eagle" accepting great personal risk to be first. 'Night Flight' is the opposite side of the coin, it deals with the willingness of men to order others to endure great risk for a new venture.
Weather's bad? In Saint Exupery's words, "if you only punish men enough, the weather will improve." Pilot's afraid? For the supervisor, "a man was a mere lump of wax to be kneaded into shape." Everyone is trapped within an impersonal system that leaves the supervisor without one confidant, and pilots facing instant death in the pitch black tumbling winds of a storm.
In the 1930's, aviation was the cutting edge of high tech. Today, it's electronics.Read more ›
There is more to this brief novel than first meets the eye.
Most recent customer reviews
This was not a book that I enjoyed. He is indeed a poet, but I found the Nitzschean hero-worship rather dated and the character became clichés to me. Not recommended.Published on March 30 2001 by Patrik Enander
St. X certainly showed his penchant for authoritarianism. His obvious emotional attachment to Riviere was the most frightening part of the book. Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2000
Night Flight is about passion. Rivière is the director of a postal company that is experimenting with Night Flights for the South American mail. Read morePublished on April 7 1998