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
i don't have a lot of peter carey experience. the only other book i have read by him is Parrot and Olivier in America. i think it was also a 3-star rei don't have a lot of peter carey experience. the only other book i have read by him is Parrot and Olivier in America. i think it was also a 3-star read for me. which isn't a bad thing...but i always feel that 3-star reads are books that, while fine, could have been better. so i get bummed out when i land on a 3-star rating. (aside: both of the carey novels i have read contain a privileged character named 'olivier' -- ummm...what's up with that, dude?)
anyway...theft was interesting but i felt certain moments in the story to be flimsy - i was not wholly invested in the plots or the motivations. so that was a bit of a sticking point for me. i very much liked the fictional look at the art world, but i have no idea if it is authentic? (do/would people in the art world find this story believable??) so the novel has actually served to make me want to read some nonfiction on art theft or forgeries. so that's not a bad thing at all....more
this was such an enjoyable read - and a perfect book to read during the summer. i really liked being an armchair traveler with bly and bisland on theithis was such an enjoyable read - and a perfect book to read during the summer. i really liked being an armchair traveler with bly and bisland on their travels around the world. goodman did a great job presenting the race, and i appreciated that he also included historical context and sidebars on what was going on in the world in 1889 and 1890. as well, goodman provided brief looks at the women's lives post-race. i really did not know a lot about these women, or the race. even though i was aware of the outcome, goodman also did a great job building the suspense - who was going to win??? overall, this was a really well done examination of two interesting women who wanted to be treated as equal to men, not only in their professional careers as journalists, but in the broader sense of their lives in the world.
serious question: has a man ever been described as having 'pluck'?? this is the general consensus on bly (and bisland) - they were plucky. they had pluck! it kept reminding me of mary tyler moore - lou grant, in particular: "you've got spunk...i hate spunk!"
interesting to note that bisland worked for the cosmopolitan. during her tenure, it was quite a serious magazine that, apart for society pages, did thoughtful essays and investigative pieces. quite a stretch from the cosmo we are at today.
as well, women being portrayed in the media at this time (1889-1890) were also shown in regards to their appearance - their looks, clothing, demeanour, what was acceptable or unacceptable for them. and both bly and bisland endured some harsh and unfavourable criticisms sometimes because of how they looked (though both were popularly accepted as attractive women), and other times for how they conducted themselves. (unfair criticisms, to be sure. and bly received harsher judgements than bisland.) so we have been doing a disservice to women for a long, long time....more
sigh. this was a really frustrating read for me, which is such a shame, it was all kind of bland and one-dimensional - save for mme. forestier-du roy.sigh. this was a really frustrating read for me, which is such a shame, it was all kind of bland and one-dimensional - save for mme. forestier-du roy. she should have been the lead.
while reading, i continually found myself wondering WHY people were doing things to help georges duroy? he was not described in any way that offered he was a man of particular intelligence, charm, or handsomeness.i mean, his nickname is 'bel-ami' -- but there really was not any evidence he was a good friend - he was, in fact, a terrible friend. even as a satire -- it wasn't strong enough for me. he has no depth (which may very well be the whole point, but lack of depth in a 'scoundrel' makes for a not very enjoyable read). there was nothing special about him that would, to me, make someone want to do anything for him. and yet...he advances his lot in life through a repeated cycle of using women. there were some weird threads left dangling - mostly to do with motivations. and (view spoiler)[ the ham-handed jesus moment nearly blew up my brain. sigh! (hide spoiler)]
i love allie brosh. this is a great book and i am glad she created it! i read this while sitting out on the front porch. at moments i was laughing outi love allie brosh. this is a great book and i am glad she created it! i read this while sitting out on the front porch. at moments i was laughing out loud, and at one particular point in the book (pg. 311) i had one of those ridiculous moments where something makes you laugh so much you can't stop laughing. and then when you try to stop laughing, you just laugh more. and the tears start running down your face from laughing so hard. yeah. that. neighbour walks by and says 'good book?' as i am in the throes of this laughing so hard while trying to keep my shit together on the front porch. i managed to nod, and say that 'yes!', it was a good book...but they were moving on...didn't really care, making small talk to the laughing woman, i guess. which is fine. jerks. how do you even explain this book if someone isn't familiar with brosh and her comic? (which i am assuming they weren't because the book cover is pretty distinct and if you know of hyperbole and a half, you wold recognize the cover.) so....yes! this book is funny. but it's also serious and emotional. brosh is open about dealing with depression and how it made her feel. and she reveals aspects of her personality in a very honest way - stuff most of us wouldn't put out there in the world. brosh questions whether she's brave...i kind of think she is. thanks for this book!!...more