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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  247 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
From a master biographer, the life story of the daring French aviator who became one of the twentieth century's most beloved authors
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
Paperback, 560 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Holt Paperbacks (first published 1994)
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Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Schiff focuses on Saint-Exupery's adult life weaving together his experiences as a pilot, his writing, and his personal life. Through her account and analysis, Saint-Exupery's person comes alive. She includes some literary criticism of his works, including noting the real people and events from which he drew, personal and national situations which influenced him or which he addressed, and evaluations of his prose and philosophizing. I found the book quite riveting.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
When I told my wife I was reading the biography of Antione de Saint-Exupery, she really couldn't fathom why I pick the books I read. But really, there is rhyme and reason to them. I bought a copy of "The Little Prince" waaaaay back in the day when I worked at Barnes and Noble. It sat on my shelf unread. When I finally got around to reading it last year, I couldn't put the book down, and I found myself reading the beautiful passages, about the Prince's rose that was waiting for him, about his car ...more
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jul 20, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: franklin-library
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.
Jun 12, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Annie Greem
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
تجربه جالبی از اشنا شدن با فضای ذهنی و دغدغه های زندگی نویسنده میده. اما کتاب بعضی جاها بیش از حد طولانی شده با توصیفات و ستایش های نویسنده
در باره اگزوپری. البته در کل روال داستانیش خسته کننده نمیشه . غلط های املایی زیاد داره که امیدوارم تو نسخه های بعدی درستش کنن
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
Jay Honeycutt
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing

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
John Sperling
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My hero came to life, and he is more wonderful and terrible than I ever imagined. The Little Prince; A Sense of Life; Wind, Sand, and Stars; Flight to Arras; Night Flight; Saint-Exupery changed me profoundly and forever. Reading Schiff's biography is like stepping into a time machine and getting a first-hand account of the first half of the 20th century, the start of which coincided with the year of Saint-Exupery's birth.
"He made a virtue of the obstacle; he knew, or discovered, that grandeur lu
Jan 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, own-copy
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
Fabien Couteaud
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Elham  Nosrati
Biographies are never like fiction, as the author can not change or add whenever needed.
This book was sometimes very slow and tiring and sometimes interesting and a page-turner. It did not have a fixed trend. There were moments that were confusing and I felt things were repeated. At the same time this book revealed things about Exopery's life which were amazing. Things like his concerns in terms of financial life, career, his youth, relation with his mother and family, the way he spent his mone
Colleen Spillers
Nov 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a meticulously researched biography, and it brought St-E to life for me in a way that I hadn't anticipated. For all his flaws, he sounds like he was a delightful and lovable human being. I wish, though, that there had been less aviation and more literature. The thin reflections and analysis of lis writing, compared to the aviation minutiae, were disappointing.
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Audrey Babkirk Wellons
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: never-finished
I believe this book was meant to be read by individuals already familiar with Saint-Exupery's life and legacy. The chapter on his desert adventures was promising, but I couldn't get into it after that. Such a shame, because I've enjoyed other Stacy Schiff books!
Nov 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
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...
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Worthy, incredible life of constant discovery and wonder.
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recentlyread
Great story, well-written, except too long!
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.
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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).
Kathy Kattenburg
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
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?"
Dave Mac
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
An excellent book about a wonderful writer! I helps if you know a little french.
Jude Bee
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Connor FitzGerald
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great read about a great and colourful man.
rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jan 26, 2014
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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
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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.” 1 likes
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