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3.18  ·  Rating details ·  525 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Le 27 octobre 1949, le nouvel avion d’Air France, le Constellation, lancé par l’extravagant M. Howard Hughes, accueille trente-sept passagers. Le 28 octobre, l’avion ne répond plus à la tour de contrôle. Il a disparu en descendant sur l’île Santa Maria, dans l’archipel des Açores. Aucun survivant. La question que pose Adrien Bosc dans cet ambitieux premier roman n’est pas ...more
Paperback, 193 pages
Published August 20th 2014 by Stock
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3.18  · 
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 ·  525 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Joseph Spuckler
Constellation by Adrien Bosc is a novel centering on Air France Constellation BAZN flying on the night and morning of October 27 and 28, 1949. Bosc is a French writer and editor. The French edition of Constellation won the Grand Prize novel by the French Academy in 2014, Literary Award for Vocation 2014, and the Price Gironde News Scriptures 2014. The Constellation referred to in the title was Lockheed L-749A airliner. It was four engine propeller driven aircraft. It started regular service in 1 ...more
Jill Meyer
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Travelers on planes and ships are called "passengers". However, if a plane crashes or a ship sinks, those passengers and crew are referred to as "souls". I don't know if there's a religious reason behind the term, but "souls" are those poor people who didn't land at the next airport or dock at the next port. French author Adrien Bosc has written a book, "Constellation", about the 48 "souls" lost when an Air France Constellation plane crashed into a mountain while landing at Santa Maria Airport, ...more
May 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up a copy of this book because of one the airplane on the front of the book cover. I am always fascinated by stories featuring aviation. The second reason is because this book was based on true events. Living in the US, we do not always know what is happening in other countries. This is a short book. Even the chapters are short and thus it makes for a quick read. Yet at the same time a long read. What I mean by this is that I did not feel a connection with any of the people who tragical ...more
In my attempts to read more broadly, I'll often pick up and read something from another country if it's quite short, regardless of the premise of the story. That was the case with this award-winning French novel, which centers around an Air France flight that crashed in the Azores in 1949, killing all 48 on board. Unfortunately, in its English translation, the book is tonally adrift and in blurring the line between fact and fiction never finds solid ground.

The author's form is a mixture of pure
Kati Polodna
It's not quite a novel. It's not quite narrative non-fiction. So it didn't quite work for me.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Rating can be misleading; this is a well-written and well documented book. However, it was not what I was expected, which was a somewhat dramatized story surrounding the event of the plane crash. This is largely about the facts, the names and the places (in which I kept getting lost), and while the author has a great style that infuses emotion into his writing, it was not enough for what I had in mind or wanted to read at the moment.

Katy Bridges
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story was a good mix of research and supplemented detail about the tragic crash of the Constellation. The translation had great flow and made for smooth reading. For anyone who has interest in mid century aviation, the Azores or history will enjoy this book.
If only it was as good as the cover.
Brian Richards
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I read as an English translation ... Essentially its a book about an air crash; however, the author also takes the reader on some amazing literary and philosophical tangents...
Bradley Smith
Dec 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
Save yourself the disappointment. Read something else instead.
Patricia Lee
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
A nice short read. It's charming. Leaves you feeling more like you've read a poem than an air crash investigation, but if you're okay with that then it is a lovely book.
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
The author is all over the place with his story. There is no clear logic in the telling of the crash and the victims of the Constellation.
Sean Holland
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Man is this book French.
Would've been 4 stars, but that pointless postscript chapter just killed it.
Christopher Bounds
I quite enjoyed this book, but the author is rather obsessed with the business of metafiction and so it becomes another essay/assai in life-writing. Style over some real substance, perhaps?
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great writing. An alluring tale
Roger Brunyate
Forty-Eight Fragments

In October 1949, an Air France Constellation en route for New York crashed into a mountain in the Azores, killing all forty-eight aboard. Adrien Bosc, a well-known literary figure in France though a first-time novelist, has written a short book giving each of these people at least a brief memorial. "Forty-eight people, forty-eight agents of uncertainty enfolded within a series of innumerable reasons, fate is always a question of perspective. A modelized airplane in which for
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: about-france
A thought provoking discourse of love, loss, faith, fate in this story of the disappearance and crash of the Air France's Lockheed Constellation aircraft in the Azores in 1949. Bosc puts together a narrative which provides us with the lives and faces of the crash victims, their connections to each other and the wider world. Some were famous and wealthy (Marcel Cerdan, world famous boxer), some were about to be famous (Ginette Neveu, prodigy violinist) & a businessman about to make a big deal ...more
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
Not being a fan of novels about real people and real events, as well as free association type writings, I was surprised I liked this book as much as I did. Maybe I liked it because it so often read like nonfiction. In fact, it’s very easy at times to totally forget while reading that it is a novel. For those readers having trouble grasping what’s going on in this book, view it from the very beginning as a story about a journalist who is writing about an airplane that crashed over 65 years ago. T ...more
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I actually liked the mix of fiction and nonfiction. It let to a unique read.
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Well crafted look at the lives lost when a Lockheed Constellation leaving Orly bound for the U.S. disappears on its landing approach to the island of Santa Maria in the Azores. This Air France flight has crashed to the east into a mountain on another island in this chain. On board the two most famous passengers Marcel Cerdan a middle weight boxing champion and lover of Edith Piaf, and the young virtuoso violinist, child prodigy Genette Neveu headed to a North American tour with her brother. The ...more
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed this book, which I read in the original French. Reading about the early history of aviation is fascinating, although this doesn't exactly qualify as air travel for passenger transport was a reality by the time the crash happened, but it was still early days. I enjoyed the author's research, especially being able to learn about the non-famous people on board. The book would have been greatly enhanced by having photos in the middle, as biographies and real-life accounts often do.
Interesting, well written, easy to read. The writing is journalistic. The author has undoubtedly spent time on researching and analysing facts related to the victims of the Air France Lockheed Constellation crash in 1949. Bosc organises and presents facts as a journalist would. Fair enough, but I like novels and this book is not a novel. It is surprising that the book got the "Grand Prix du Roman" by the French Academy.
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
On October 27 1949 The Constellation launched by Howard Hughes,welcomed 38 passengers aboard. On October 28 the plane did not respond to air traffic controllers. The plane disappeared while trying to land on the island of Santa Maria in the Azores. No one made it. The question asked not so much how is Why???? Who were the passengers???? This book offers a life and a story to the people who were on board. A great read!!!!!
Joan Mitchell
An in depth examination of what caused an airplane to crash in 1949. The story of the crash is gripping by itself, but the back stories of the 48 people who died give the reader empathy for the dead and for their families. The book was fascinating and I could not wait to finish it and when I did I wished it hadn't ended. I recommend this book to people who like adventure, biographies,history and mysteries. I received this book from Goodreads for free.
Louise Armstrong
Nov 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
I adore books of this kind, but I couldn't be bothered with this one.

I couldn't get into the writer's style. Picked at random:

'They [planes] fly over the island, the mountainous ridge of the Serra Verde, the Pico Alto, scrutinize in length and breadth this rock thrust upwards by the sole force of a volcano.'

Who? What? Where? Why are you telling me this?
J.S. Dunn
Bittersweet loss of life not long after WWII, the aftermath of an Air France flight on its way to NY that hits a mountaintop in the Azores. A good read to clear the mind, also to make one appreciate life.

More narrative nonfiction than a novel though billed as a novel. Well told, possibly better in the original French rather than English.
Oct 20, 2016 rated it liked it
A bit like " The Girl with the Curl " : what was good was very good and what was bad atrocious. The good were the factual parts concerning the aircraft, the accident and the passengers : fascinating and moving. The rest was terrible : overblown, often incomprehensible, arty rubbish.
VERDICT: Short novel based on a plane crash. A great meditation on fate, it manages to generate positive thoughts on the background of a major tragedy. A welcome voice of hope for our time.

My full review is here:
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely and spare. A meditation not only on why this particular airplane crashed but the lives of those who died and the strange intersections of fate. A little autobiographical, too, but who is commenting: the author or a fictional first-person narrator?
Stephanie Crowe
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
A poignant and unique perspective on the lives lost on the Constellation, a luxury plane developed by Howard Hughes in 1949. The most notable that I remember from La Vie en Rose was Marcel Cerdan , a boxer who was Edith Piaf's lover. A powerful story!
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Adrien Bosc, born in 1986 in Avignon (Vaucluse), is a French writer and editor.
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“Faire parler les morts, tourner les tables et convoquer les âmes pour leur extirper un dernier rappel, une voix bissée de l'au-delà. Gangrène des survivants, rongés par le manque, des creux de haut mal en haut-le-coeur. Armée d'inconsolables implorant un signe devant des tombes sourdes, réveillés en pleine nuit par l'appel qui n'est que l'absence martelant sa présence.” 0 likes
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