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Night Flight

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  4,184 Ratings  ·  244 Reviews
In this gripping novel, Saint-Exupéry tells about the brave men who piloted night mail planes from Patagonia, Chile, and Paraguay to Argentina in the early days of commercial aviation. Preface by André Gide. Translated by Stuart Gilbert.
Paperback, 216 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1930)
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Fate Is the Hunter by Ernest K. GannWheels Up by Steve  TaylorWind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryWest with the Night by Beryl MarkhamThe Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
Aviation Books
7th out of 246 books — 133 voters
The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellBrave New World by Aldous HuxleyOf Mice and Men by John SteinbeckThe Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Best Books of the Decade: 1930s
147th out of 457 books — 800 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 30, 2015 Mangrii rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El libro nos narra la historia de una empresa de correos aérea, donde 3 pilotos vuelan desde tres partes diferentes de Sudamérica (Santiago de Chile, La Patagonia y Uruguay) con destino a Buenos aires, para que este correo salga rumbo a Europa. Durante la historia, iremos conociendo al piloto Fabien que está en pleno recorrido y sufre ciertos problemas con un mal temporal que se aproxima. Por otra parte iremos conociendo a Riviére, el director de la red de correos y como tiene que ir tomando dec ...more
Jan 21, 2015 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-language

St Exupéry's short but intense tribute to the pilots of Aéropostale is poetic, moving and suspenseful. I re-read many sentences and paragraphs, struck by their emotional impact and beautiful imagery. This is a novel that I'm particularly glad to have read in French rather than in translation.

If you've ever wanted to know what flying a 1920s plane in a storm in South America was like, then this is the book to read. Based on St-Exupéry's own experiences, the fact that he disappeared while flying
Jul 29, 2013 Mmars rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review on translation by Stuart Gilbert.

Looking for a particular translation of the Little Prince, I found myself in the library "Stacks" section of old, rarely checked out books. There, two other books by Saint-Exupery (do surnames like that still exist?) attracted me through their first lines. I was entranced. What exquisite writing! And like the index of poetry, each chapter of Night Flight is headed on a lead-in page by its first line. The book begins, with Fabian, the pilot silently observ
Five stars for the original French edition, a scant three stars for the 1931 English translation by Stuart Gilbert.

It is 1930. South America. As a golden day turns into night, three planes are bound for an air field in Buenos Aires carrying mail from Chile, Paraguay and Patagonia. At the airfield office, the manager and ground crew wait. Across the continent, a vast cyclonic storm system is building.

The story of this night flight is told from several points of view: the pilot bound north from P
Jul 26, 2016 Haiiro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bản dịch của dịch giả Châu Diên từ năm 1986 vẫn được Nhã Nam giữ lại cho lần in mới này. Trong đó, ông đưa ra những thắc mắc có lẽ cũng là thắc mắc chung của nhiều người đọc: "Saint-Ex trước hết là nhà văn hay người lái máy bay? Một nhà thơ hay một nhà đạo đức học? Một người mơ mộng hay một người hành động? Một nghệ sĩ hay một nhà phát minh? Hay là một anh hùng trong chiến trận?" Tôi e rằng người ta không thể trả lời cho sắc gọn chùm câu hỏi đó khi đọc cuốn sách này.
Máy bay quả là một phát kiến
Dec 07, 2014 Dagny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, read-2013
Sep 18, 2016 tomasawyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Juste planant. La vie dans les nuages, la mort qui rode et ce moment hors du temps où le pilote se sachant perdu prend de l'altitude pour survoler la tempête avant de tenter un atterrissage forcé...
Dec 08, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liz BooksandStuff
May 03, 2016 Liz BooksandStuff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, why did you die so young?
This of course is not his best, it was only his second published work and it needed to be polished. Yet he gave such beauty to his writing, such an artist he was. This piece of art deals with much else he wrote, flight and airplanes. And he uses such a simple thing to convey if long-term goals (and money) are more important than a human life, and it is left to us to choose which side is our own, while him making it seem he chooses human life.
Mar 15, 2008 Carolina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O ônibus balançava. Vazio. Só assim pude enxergar as páginas, sob um espectro de luz focado quase sobre o assento ao lado.
Ainda escuro lá fora. Enquanto lia sobre o dourado início da noite, presenciava seu pálido fim.
As palavras embalavam-me e transformavam meu lânguido movimento em vôo suave. E, não as palavras, mas o vôo, umedecia meus olhos e pensamento.
A própria leitura fazia-me voar além dela, desviando minha atenção para as pequenas paisagens, privando-me de si.
Tamanha é a sensibilidade co
Eddie Watkins
Looking for a quick resurrection of an old thrill to jumpstart some recent doldrums I pulled this thin paperback off my shelf, read it in a few hours, and found my doldrums dissipated for all the wrong reasons.

The very disparity between my old thrill and my new disparagement was enough to lift my spirits backhandedly; via a via negativa as it were, a route of moulds and dogs' ears and foxing.

Old thrills... it rarely pays to chase 'em, and freshly heightened spirits attained by traipsing throug
Jan 25, 2010 Desclian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Volsung
Deeply hopeful and yet delicately sad, Night Flight is a tale of man's (and, in my opinion, Saint-Exupery's) encounter with the great, unknown and dark forces of existence. To the edge of deep and true meaning he comes, though in my opinion stops before coming to the beautiful connection between the meaning encountered upon the journey and the meaning inherent in the world itself. Still, the force of will, life, and human spirit, and the beauty that he finds in the human desire to continue on ev ...more
May 16, 2015 Luis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este libro posee una brevedad abrumadora y un estilo poético sublime, está cargado con metáforas simples y a su vez complejas, describe a mi país como «un adorable jardín prodigo de flores, de casas bajas y de aguas lentas»
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry habla siempre desde su propia experiencia, y su pluma solo escribe lo necesario, se podrían obtener frases memorables de cada página, ya que se aleja completamente de las descripciones cansinas y las coletas innecesarias, así con pedazos justos va hila
Foad Ansari
Aug 15, 2016 Foad Ansari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
مقدمه یی که آندره ژید اول کتاب نوشته است حتما بخوانید و بهش فکر کنید
اول خلبان جنگ رو بخونید بعد این کتاب رو
از لحاط داستانی ربطی نداره ولی از لحاط مفهومی وابسته هستند به نظرم
ดินสอ สีไม้
เราใชเวลาอาน เทียวบินกลางคืน อยางยาวนานมาก
เมือเทียบกับจำนวนหนาของหนังสือ เพียง 128 หนา
แตเลมนีนีใชเลยคะ แตะเมือไรเปนงวง .. ยานอนหลับชัดๆ

หากในความรูสึกสวนตัว เราวาพลอตของเทียวบินกลางคืน มีความกลมกลอม
เราชอบพลอตและวิธีดำเนินเรือง รวมถึงตอนจบในเลมนีมากกวาคะ
Jul 10, 2015 Harun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yabancı
Saint-Exupery'nin Küçük Prensten önce yazdığı bu kitapta yer yer Küçük Prensin ayak seslerini duyuyoruz.
May 17, 2013 Santiago rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: français
C'est un roman qui, tout comme Le Petit Prince, a évidemment été nourri de l'expérience d'Antoine de Saint-Exupéry en tant qu'aviateur. Pourtant, je l'ai trouvé beaucoup plus poétique et abstrait que son livre le plus connu, voire vague. C'est probablement l'aspect totalement adulte de ce livre, face aux réflexions innocentes et les morales qu'on peut facilement tirer du Petit Prince. Ce roman raconte une nuit dans la vie de trois pilotes de l'Amérique du Sud qui, à cette époque-là, risquaient l ...more
Jul 03, 2007 Nat rated it liked it
Saint Exupery is great when he's describing what it's like to fly an airplane. The administrative scenes don't work as well. The central character Riviere is in charge of an experimental night airmail service in South America, but his feet never leave the ground.

He does nicely characterize his "enemy", the wife of one of his pilots, who represents the world of "human happiness", "a self-coherent world...where a lamp shines at nightfall on the table...sheets turned back on the bed, the coffee on
Apr 11, 2011 Ryan rated it it was amazing
A 5 star rating, hmm? Well, know that I'm predisposed to like this for many reasons - early aviation, pioneering, Patagonia, a paean to duty, a deep appreciation for the impossibly resonant liminal moment, etc. Oh, and it's short - 87 pages. I love short books.

A few passages to illustrate:

The director on a pilot turning back when light and machine fail him at the edge of the cordillera - "I am saving him from fear. I was not attacking him but, across him, that stubborn inertia which paralyzes
Stephanie Ricker
Jun 05, 2012 Stephanie Ricker rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure, french
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 ...more
Antoine de Saint Exupery's "Night Flight" is the story of one night in the lives of the pilots and ground grew who flew the mail across the Andes from Patagonia, Chile and Paraguay to Argentina so it could be packed on another plane for Europe. The flights were fraught with danger as sudden storms, cyclones push the planes toward the craggy mountains below. The whole operation is overseen by Riviere, a no-nonsense boss whose primary concern is not the safety of the pilots, but the ability to get ...more
Carlos Río
"Vuelo nocturno" tiene una primera mitad francamente confusa: hay demasiados personajes, que no sabes si son importantes o no, y hasta que de Saint-Exupéry no se centra en Rivière, no sabes qué está en juego. Pero incluso en esa primera parte, hay destellos geniales.

La segunda parte es muchísimo mejor. Ya sabes cómo es Rivière, y por qué es tan frío y duro, y lo que está intentando lograr, y reconoces a uno de los pilotos, Fabien. Entonces el autor logra momentos emocionantísimos siguiendo esos
Elin(a) Vazin Fard
Jul 26, 2014 Elin(a) Vazin Fard rated it really liked it
گوشه ای از نامه ی سنت اگزوپری به آندره ژید که در مقدمه ای توسط آندره ژید به تقریر درآمده است

اما ضمناً چیزی را فهمیدم که همواره مرا خیره می ساخت... و آن این بود که چرا افلاطون (یا شاید ارسطو؟) شجاعت را در آخرین مرحله ی فضایل جا داده است. شجاعت مجموعه ی درهم جوشی از چند احساس است که چندان هم ستودنی نیستند. اندکی خشم، قدری غرور، و بسیاری لجاجت و هیجان نمایشی و بی ارزش قدرت نمایی. از همه بالاتر تحریک نیروهای بدنی شخص که بهرحال جایشان آنجا نیست. آدم فقط بازوانش را جمع می کند و نفس عمیق می کشد و سینه
Bogdan Rat
Sep 13, 2015 Bogdan Rat rated it liked it
J'aime cette partie:

"Elle le regardait. Elle réparait elle-même le dernier défaut dans l'armure : tout s'ajustait bien.
— Tu es très beau.
Elle l'aperçut qui se peignait soigneusement.
— C'est pour les étoiles ?
— C'est pour ne pas me sentir vieux.
— Je suis jalouse…
Il rit encore, et l'embrassa, et la serra contre ses pesants vêtements. Puis il la souleva à bras tendus, comme on soulève une petite fille, et, riant toujours, la coucha :
— Dors !
Et fermant la porte derrière lui, il fit dans la rue, au
May 11, 2009 Kelly rated it liked it
This is the author who wrote "The Little Prince". This book, about the pilots who flew mail planes in South American during the 1930's, is written in an older style, and I wondered how much the english translation compared to the original french. I understand there are two english translations; those would be fun to compare too.

This translation, done by Andre Gide, contains beautiful language and wonderfully crafted scenes. The drama was a little over the top, but I got into it. Sort of like lis
Jun 23, 2011 Milka rated it really liked it
St Exupery is a wonderful, poet-in-prose author, one of a kind. This book gives great insight on what it was like to work for the airline mail courier L’Aeropostale in the late 1920s, as St Exupery did himself, including flying at night to compete with mail services by ship and train. A very chilling tale about bravery and humanity. Beautiful descriptions of flying at night, with no surrounding lights of any kind.
Jun 14, 2013 Barbm1020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-challenge
This book is by a French author, who was a mail pilot in South America before WWII. Aviation was extremely risky in the mountains, and this tale of flying in the stormy dark seems to symbolize the blindness imposed on the boss and the pilots by their pride and ambition.
Dec 29, 2015 Noah rated it it was amazing
I dont know what it was about this book that I enjoyed so much! It was very very relaxing and simply beautiful. Perfect literature for a nice warm summer evening to calm down!
It's really short so everybody should at least give it a try!
May 15, 2016 Wafaa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, french
The story itself isn't really intressting, but the author's literary style is so damn amazing that you have to stop in every conversaton, every sentence, every word.. reread it and think about it. it's like poetry.. I love it.
Hoàng Nguyễn
Đọc lần đầu thì không hiểu, đọc lần thứ hai mới thấy rõ sự tuyệt đẹp khủng khiếp của trái đất trong đêm, đọc lần thứ ba cảm thấy xúc động vì ngôn từ của tác giả, đọc lần thứ tư thì thấm thía nỗi đau của kẻ chiến thắng.
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stories 1 10 Jan 19, 2009 12:23AM  
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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born in Lyons on June 29, 1900. He flew for the first time at the age of twelve, at the Ambérieu airfield, and it was then that he became determined to be a pilot. He kept that ambition even after moving to a school in Switzerland and while spending summer vacations at the family's château at Saint-Maurice-de-Rémens, in eastern France. (The house at Saint-Maurice appea ...more
More about Antoine de Saint-Exupéry...

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“In every crowd are certain persons who seem just like the rest, yet they bear amazing messages.” 139 likes
“Even though human life may be the most precious thing on earth, we always behave as if there were something of higher value than human life.” 91 likes
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