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 mestacy 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 read for me because it is quite dense with information. i mostly appreciated all of the details, but at times it did seem a bit excessive or over-written, which is why this wasn't quite a 5-star read for me.
saint-exupéry was an interesting and odd fellow. he was emotionally needy and immature in many, many ways. but he was also, it seems, quite intelligent. he was a daring (perhaps foolish?) pilot - the need to fly as great as his need to write. this balance was sometimes tricky to maintain as his flying friends/colleagues would rib him (not always good-naturedly) about his other job as a writer. (this type of behaviour, and some hostilities peaked after he was awarded the prix femina in 1931.) he was also an inventor - filing many patents for devices to improve/aid flight. his brain, like many people's, never stopped whirring.
much of the book is dedicated to his flying - which was such a huge part of his life. when he was a young boy, he witnessed a wright brother testing flight in france...something that became a huge, life-changingn inspiration to him.
saint-exupéry was liked by the ladies...what a guy! but he did eventually marry consuelo, and this was a rocky and difficult marriage. each of them had affairs, and tormented one another with childish mind games and behaviours. i wanted to smack them a lot while reading about their interactions.
the ending of the story, exupéry's life was a slight surprise to me - i really did not know that much about him before reading this book. but his ending certainly was curious, and seemed well-planned. hmmmm.........more
This is the first novel by Dillard I have read. It made me want to read more of her works. I liked the flow of her writing aI rate this novel 4 Stars.
This is the first novel by Dillard I have read. It made me want to read more of her works. I liked the flow of her writing and the premise of the story. She manages to make the implausible seem reasonable....more
found an old note i made about reading this novel, so thought i would update my review space with it. :)
i loved this book. rosie is a 7yo living withfound an old note i made about reading this novel, so thought i would update my review space with it. :)
i loved this book. rosie is a 7yo living with her widowed, alcoholic mother. rosie is very wise and insightful, but longs for a 'normal' mother who serves 'normal' food, and who isn't an alcoholic. rose's mother - elizabeth - is beautiful, and always an outsider. she struggles knowing she has a problem with alcohol, yet can't stop herself. her best friend, are, is a weaver, and hopeless in relationships. they form a wonderful bond and become a little family for each other. rosie's best-friend is sharon and it is from sharon's 'normal' family that rosie learns a difficult, heartbreaking lesson. this is a book about love, acceptance, right & wrong. it's laugh-out-loud funny, and may make you cry too....more
i really enjoyed this collection. i read the stories out of order, jumping around to titles that grabbed my attention. i don't know if this was a misti really enjoyed this collection. i read the stories out of order, jumping around to titles that grabbed my attention. i don't know if this was a mistake or not?? but i did really appreciate munro's talent and her ability to make the everyday so alive and vivid....more
oh, man. i wanted to love this books so much more than i did. i am pretty disappointed. it was okay. fine-ish, even. but it wasn't very good. the secooh, man. i wanted to love this books so much more than i did. i am pretty disappointed. it was okay. fine-ish, even. but it wasn't very good. the second half of the book, post-in cold blood time, was better going for me and seemed less inclined towards something i have recently discovered i really don't like in biographies: reliance upon supposition and inference in times or situations where such information couldn't possibly be known.
it's clear shields is a huge fan of miss lee and that the book was undertaken with good intentions. i guess i am just a bit confused over what that intention really was though? at moments, it all felt a bit...dirty. quotes were used from correspondence obtained between shields and people who had been in miss lee's life, even if just marginally. i never felt confident that these people really knew miss lee or were adding value to her story.
i realize truman capote was a large presence in miss lee's life. i knew that prior to reading this biography. but it seemed to me an awful lot of page space was given over to the funny little man. i am also aware that miss lee has not given interviews or answered requests for appearances for many years. she's not reclusive - in her hometown she is familiar and social. i was aware of this. but her friends and neighbours are protective. (which is so awesome!) so i suppose i am left feeling that there is only so much information here to build a story upon and that the capote stuff is some sort of padding to give heft to the biography. i don't know?
i loved learning that miss lee was a bit of an eccentric on her university campus - preferring to dress in men's striped pyjama bottoms and shocking other student by smoking a pipe! (HA!!)
the one bit of information i did learn that surprised me was that miss lee "wanted to be the jane austen of alabama." thanks to a wonderful high school english teacher, miss lee fell in love with the novels of jane austen. once 'to kill a mockingbird' brought so much financial success to miss lee, she thanked her teacher (who had also helped proofread TKaM) by taking her on a trip to england, to have an austen experience together. awww!!!