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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  19 reviews

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry disappeared at age forty-four during a reconnaissance flight over southern France. At the time he was best known for a career of daring flights over the Sahara, the Pyrenees, and Patagonia and for his contributions to the science of aviation. But the solitary hours he spent above the earth in open cockpit airplanes gave birth to a more famous legac...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Holt Paperbacks (first published 1994)
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The story of Saint-Exupéry is fascinating, and this biography provides a wealth of well-researched details, but sadly Schiff's prose is clunky and sometimes confusing. She had a tendency to--in the middle of a sentence, often intervening between subject and verb--provide extra information, set off by dashes (irony intended). I found it difficult to keep track of who was doing what, and even who was who, in part because of poor sentence structure and ill-constructed paragraphs, in part because Sc...more
Jennifer D
stacy schiff did a great job with this biography of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry the man most well-know for writing The Little Prince. it was clear to me that extreme care was taken with the research for the book, which is always great when reading nonfiction. saint-exupéry was born and lived during quickly changing times - both because of two world wars, as well as because of the advancements in technology. much of the history of the times are framed during this book as well. the book was a slow re...more
The most tiresome sort of biography, made up chiefly of uninteresting and trivial facts, and made far worse by Schiff's prissy and affected prose. Saint Exupery's life is not all that interesting, and Schiff lacks the talent to make it so by dint of good writing.
Best writing I have seen in a Biography. Covers minute details without losing your attention, and should appeal to a wide audience. Emotional without being too sappy. The little prince would be proud.
I couldn't finish it. I loved Schiff's biography of Véra Nabokov, and I love The Little Prince, so I don't know why I was bored to tears with a biography of Saint-Exupéry by the same author.
Jay Honeycutt

I am stunned at the many negative reviews of this book!

I find it the most expressive, engaging, revealing biography I have every read and I have read a boatload.

I am only a third of the way through it and constantly marvel at how much the author conveys in such a conversational, lyrical style. His was a remarkable life and she does full justice to it.

It is dense and there is a lot of words in small print. But, every word and every sentence conveys so much, without extraneous verbiage.

I started...more
Sometimes I wondered whether I wouldn't have been better off with a less detailed biography, but then another gem of his life would turn up and I'd read on happily. It is hard going sometimes, but gives as full a picture as I think anyone could give.
I also wonder whether I should try again to read The Wisdom of the Sands - but read it as showing his state of mind in his last years, rather than for the philosophical work he meant it to be.
He was the kind of person that I am grateful exists in t...more
I couldn't finish this book. She would mention points about Exupery's life that made me think "why is she writing about this? Who really cares?"
Gary Christensen
Aug 15, 2008 Gary Christensen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: If you liked The Little Prince
I'm so glad I read this book and discovered Schiff, got to know Saint-Exupery better, and especially, came to a greater appreciation of Saint-Exupery's writing. It completes a beautiful round when you find out that a French fisherman found his plane off the coast of France having caught Consuelo's bracelet in his fishing net.

I was most appreciative of Schiff's handling of the relationship with Anne Morrow-Lindbergh. It was shown respectfully and tenderly, and wasn't dwelled on.

It's a rare biogr...more
Fabien Couteaud
Like Saint-Ex, I am a pilot, and I was born and raised in France.

After a few decades in Aviation, I thought I knew most of of the truths and legends surrounding this very charismatic gentleman.

So, reading an English language biography by a woman, written half a century after his death, I was interested but more curious than expectant...

Stacy Schiff blew my mind with clear and very profound insights.

Not only does she understand and describe the man with superior clairvoyance, but she also paints...more
Connor FitzGerald
A great read about a great and colourful man.
Colleen Allison
I had high hopes for this one as I am very interested in the author. However, there was SO much description and attention to tedious details, that I just couldn't keep up with it. It never brought me in as a reader. I was bummed because I wanted to know more about his life, but really might need to find a different, shorter and easier to read version that will give some of the facts.
Just could not plow through all the names and details - this book is probably an excellent source for the serious student of early 20th century France looking for day-by-day details of St-Ex's life and times, but for everyone else it will be tough going...
Saskia Garfu
It is very badly written, but because I love Saint-Exupery, then I wanted to know more about his life. So this book gives some facts about him, but I think that Saint-Exupery lovers need better biography than this.
A great study of Saint Exupery's life and time. It adds immeasurably to your knowledge of the man without reducing his poetic posture. He was a poet. If you have read Little Prince you must read this book.
Jude Bee
Schiff offers some of the most uninspired prose I've read recently. Catch a glimpse of the life of Saint-Ex from the first chapter, and leave it. I should have done that.
Kathy Kattenburg
Saint-Exupery is one of my heroes, and he's plainly one of Stacy Schiff's, too. However, she also makes it clear he was a complicated man, and not always easy to live with.
I have long suspected that I was in love with Saint-Exupery. Now I am certain of it. I also realized that I really need to read his other books (i.e. not The Little Prince).
Bob Alexander
Saint Exupery was a pioneer in the early days of aviation and a gifted author. This book is a bit tedious at times, but worth slogging through.
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Stacy Schiff is the author of Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Saint-Exupéry, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; and A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America, winner of the George Washington Book Prize, the Ambassador Award in American Studies, and the Gilbert Chinard Prize of the Institut Français d'Amérique. All three were New York Times Notable Books;...more
More about Stacy Schiff...
Cleopatra: A Life Vera (Mrs.Vladimir Nabokov) A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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“He had never been a believer in systems—his was an overweening faith that life lay in the contradictions, not in the formulae, in the doubting, not the certainties, the needs rather than the riches—and political parties seemed to him little more than artificial structures designed to save man from his loneliness.” 0 likes
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