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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure Book
This is one of the best non-fiction adventure books that I have read. The writing is clear and very desciptive, evoking the wonder and excitement of pioneer flying in the early art of the 20th century. Saint-Exupery's comments on life are very wise.
Published 16 months ago by Weldon Thoburn

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3.0 out of 5 stars As lofty as flight itself
First off, let me say that there were parts of this book that I thoroughly enjoyed. That truly transported me to another place. And for those moments alone, the book is worth reading.
But as far as a consistently good read, it falls a bit short. The writing style is eloquent and high-minded, sometimes to the detriment of enjoyable reading. It seems as though he...
Published on Sept. 6 2000


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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure Book, March 23 2013
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This review is from: Wind, Sand and Stars (Paperback)
This is one of the best non-fiction adventure books that I have read. The writing is clear and very desciptive, evoking the wonder and excitement of pioneer flying in the early art of the 20th century. Saint-Exupery's comments on life are very wise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of aviation and adventure literature, June 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Wind, Sand and Stars (Hardcover)
An absolutely brilliant work. Keep in mind that many of the bad reviews here were for a different version/translation of this book. This one is almost twice as long and sticks far better to the author's orginal work.
This collection of stories is the perfect bedtime reading. You can finish off each story in an hour or so and drift to sleep with dreams of adventure and travel. The author relates the early days of air travel, when the pilots were quite often taking their lives in their own hands each time they took flight. Crash landings in the Sahara were part of job, and rather commonplace for those daring pilots that dared to carry mail and supplies over the great desert.
The author writes in a simple and magical prose that carries all readers to the co-pilot seat on these amazing true adventures.
It is rare to find an individual who lived such an amazing life as Saint-Exupery, and rarer still to find one who could write about their experiences with such clarity, beauty and detail.
Highly recommended. A great treasure of literature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pilot-Philosopher laureate of France, March 17 2002
By 
David W. Nicholas (Van Nuys, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wind, Sand and Stars (Paperback)
Antoine de Saint-Exupery was one of the most interesting figures of 20th century literature. He wrote The Little Prince, a children's book that sold 200,000 copies in the U.S. alone in one year several years ago, and was also the author of several novels and memoirs, all relating to flying, of which this is one. The author was MIA over his beloved France while flying for the Free French Air Force in 1944 (after having to argue to be allowed to fly in combat; he was considered a national treasure). It appears the site of the wreck was discovered in the water just off the Riviera a couple of years ago, though no one's certain.
Wind, Sand and Stars is a recounting of several episodes in Saint-Exupery's life as a pilot, told to illustrate his view of the world, and especially his opinions of what makes life worth living, and who we are or should be. He was a wonderfully insightful individual, and his prose and ideas are the sort of thing you'll carry with you for years. I would highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wind-swept Whimsy, April 16 2002
By 
M. Mcfarland - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wind, Sand and Stars (Paperback)
I'd been meaning to read Antoine de Saint-Exupery's 1939 tale of his early flying days for many years. It's only a little book, some 120 pages long, and you can read it easily within a day. Overall, I sort of enjoyed it and the introduction by the English translator. (I read the new 1995 translation published by Penguin Paperbacks).
Antoine de Saint-Exupery was an aviation pioneer and he and his friends' many crash survivals are retold in lurid detail. There are tales of fantastic escapes following mountain-side crashes in the Andes. There is also lament for those free-spirited pioneers who never returned. Even so, I wouldn't say this is the classic that many have made it out to be. It's fairly entertaining. His earlier works are supposed to be better and more fluid and I'll give them a go at a later date.
But for now, the main problem I found with Wind, Sand and Stars is that it is more a collection of shorts inter-woven with Saint-Exupery's philosophical musings on life and death behind the joy-stick. As such, it isn't a tale that begins, gains momentum and races towards a final frenetic conclusion. It reads more like a series of diary entries with orders to the existential milkman thrown in between.
The biggest disappointment for me was the so-called classic account of his miraculous escape from the clutches of the sandy Libyan desert. Try as he might de Saint-Exupery's writing didn't inspire the same dry-mouthed anticipation made marvellous by Camus in his shorter works.
Overall, Wind, Sand and Stars is great for a lazy day in the garden when you want a bit of escapism. The world of de Saint-Exupery's, in his early pioneering days, was very different to the cushy world most of us inhabit. Where Saint-Exupery and friends risked life and limb heading off into mountainous terrain in little more than motorised kite, the biggest risk most of us ever take is deciding which stocks to buy to where to go on holiday. For this reason alone, I'd recommend giving Wind, Sand and Stars an afternoon's attention.
Three/four stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wind, Sand and Stars, Jan. 23 2002
This review is from: Wind, Sand and Stars (Paperback)
I lulled over Wind Sand and Stars for a long time, savoring each word to the last drop! Intensely reflective, philosophical and insightful, I felt like I was right in the desert with Saint Exupery, vicariously reaching for that experience of living away from most frivolities of modern civilization in search of that true place and relationship with the sands, the seas, space ... The flight adventures are marvelously described with just enough detail to inform the nonpilots without becoming tedious. The experiences in solitude of the Sahara are vividly portrayed - you definitely can feel you are a part of the landscape. In addition to St-Ex's hallmarked "idealism" and childlike perspective, his thoughts on the importance of duty are equally compelling. St-Ex did seem to lecture a bit excessively close to the end as far as his rampant musings on war and man and such, but all in all this was a fabulous read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it., Feb. 23 2003
By 
"nickhull" (Elora, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wind, Sand and Stars (Hardcover)
It was sometimes slow, sometimes pretentious and not a very long book at all. I don't really know what I liked about it...
It's just one of those warm fuzzy feeling books i guess.
A view of the world from an author who loved life and felt pity for those who couldn't. He was a good story teller. He had a childish romantic view of the world which is part of the charm.
I think if you can't identify with him, then you won't like the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, full of meaning, Dec 6 2001
By 
Dan Reedy (Arlington, MA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wind, Sand and Stars (Paperback)
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. In my opinion, the only book that outshines it is The Worst Journey in The World. It is fantastic. Read and enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You will soar with him, Nov. 2 2001
By 
Kim F. Hill (Rockford, IL. United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wind, Sand and Stars (Paperback)
Just a wonderful book, well thought out wonderfully written. A book you will think about long after you have finished it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What an experience!!!, July 7 2001
By 
FoulMouthedCat (Seattle, Wa United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wind, Sand and Stars (Hardcover)
It's probably all been said before...! This is one of my favorite companion books, for the lessons of (sparce, but vital) comradery and (immense) courage are told in such a humbly personable way, I've felt many times like the Antoine was right here, speaking to me. It's incredible how a single cell of humanity in these desolate places becomes so blinding we can see hardly anything else... Such amazing times, these were!
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5.0 out of 5 stars read this book!, Sept. 30 2000
By 
Paul Jones (Ipswich, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wind, Sand and Stars (Hardcover)
What is truely remarkable about this book are two things :
(a) It provides a vision for mankind which reconciles our need for progress with our (recent!) roots of self sufficiency, community and coexistence with nature. It is a vision desperately in need of voice in these doomed decades of the twighlight of the industrial age. The vision is one of courage to challenge the limits of our secure but meaningless lives and our tamed ambitions. The strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity, when we DARE to challenge ourselves to truely live our lives.
Two passages stick out in my mind to illustrate this underlying theme. In the introduction to the text, Exupery recalls flying over the empty landscape of Argentina; each of the lights of the houses, he recalls, clung to the fragile earth, is a "miracle of consciousness". In the second, he describes his comrades' desperate five day walk to safety after crashing in the wilderness of Patagonia. On reaching safety he said, "no animal would have gone through what I have have been through" (paraphrase). A sentence which returned things to their true heirarchy, adds Exupery.
A vision of man's ascendancy of the beast; a challenge to man to not live as caged animal in robot cities.
(b) The other thing, of course, and more important perhaps, is the beauty of the prose. Full of pronouncements and insights (unlike any other book!) it still flows as a story, full of emotion. In particular in the desert scenes, each sentence transports you in time and space and impacts upon your every feeling. For sections of the book, page after page, each and every sentence has a resonance which brings waves euphoria and despair. To drink water, after reading the desert chapters, is to experience the joy of life!
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Wind, Sand and Stars
Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Paperback - Dec 9 2002)
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