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Airman's Odyssey

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  222 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Three classic adventure stories, reminders of both the romance and the reality of the pioneer era of aviation: Night Flight; Wind, Sand and Stars; and Flight to Arras. Introduction by Richard Bach. Translated by Lewis Galantière and Stuart Gilbert.
Paperback, 456 pages
Published November 5th 1984 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (first published January 1st 1942)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  222 ratings  ·  20 reviews


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Sarah Booth
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Three books make up this Odyssey. Wind, Sand and Stars, Night Flight, and Flight to Arras.
The first and last are narrations of what happened to him flying the mail and in WWII and the middle one is a true to life novel about those who fly the mail at night and the support crew that sends them. All are beautifully written and are filled with poetry in describing the experiences, the desert, flying, and love of country.
If you read this and don’t feel like you should either join the French Foreig
...more
Michael
130814: three novels that together give the best and worst of saint-exupery. the best is pure, romantic, adventures of flight in the early 20th century, adventures that remind readers of an era, not so long ago, when to fly, to pilot, was a grand romantic experience, dangerous, transcendent, amazing and beautiful. the first time flown i was about two to Kauai, then seven to Europe, then every year to Honolulu, fourteen to New Zealand, to LA, the usual interisland in Hawai'i, when only Honolulu c ...more
Hana
Two and a half stars, rounded up to three for old-time's sake. I loved it when I was twelve years old, but I was a rather odd child, fond of day-dreaming and lying on the grass watching the clouds for hours on end. I wanted to run away on a tramp steamer and dreamed of learning to fly.

That must have been the girl who adored this book; decades later, I find I'm a bit too impatient and busy to be fully immersed in books like this one.

Wind, Sand and Stars is a loosely connected series of rambling
...more
Neil
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it

Sometimes I read books for silly reasons. My first exposure to St. Exupery was reading The Little Prince in high school French class. At that time the teacher told us that St. Exupery was also famous for his book Wind, Sand and Stars , which is included in this trilogy. I was more interested in the last story in the book, Flight to Arras because I thought it would compliment my hobby of building model airplanes. And there is the silly reason for reading this book.

On several shelves in my baseme

...more
Josiah
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
On the surface these are tales of adventure, aviation, and war. In actuality, it is a deep reflection on the human condition and how a pilot's high altitude view informs their perspective on humanity. Much of the prose rings with a poetic quality - translating the experience of flying an aircraft into both the visceral and transcendent.

The book's masculine and European focus has not aged gracefully, but at the same time my sense is if Saint-Exupéry could look back on this work he would modernize
...more
Marcus
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Saint-Exupery does not merely write, he dissects. Every situation depicted contains standard impressions, characters, settings, etc. What sets Exupery above others is his connection with mankind, their place in the world, and his ability to step through his thoughts to arrive at logical, philosophical conclusions . His outlook on life, mannerisms, age, all are unique within each of the three books contained within this volume, and they demand recognition. Exupery is poet, philosopher, storytelle ...more
Megan
This edition contains three St. Exupery books: Flight to Arras; Wind, Sand and Stars; and Night Flight. All three are memoirs of some of St. Exupery's adventures as a pilot assigned to postal mailing routes during the early days of flight.

Wind, Sand and Stars is the most philosophical memoir in the collection whereas Night Flight and Flight to Arras are more exciting. St. Exupery certainly led an action-packed life, but what's more amazing is his ability to remain thoughtful and creative even w
...more
Abner Rosenweig
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
The dignity of the human subject is one of the greatest truths literature can reveal. Throughout this collection of novellas from Saint-Exupery, we see the value of a single life. The pilot is often considered a disposable resource in war or in air mail, but Exupery's heightened sense of awareness, his reflections on the meaning of life, his acute observations, his sense of beauty, show us the sanctity inherent in all individual lives even as they serve causes greater than themselves. Wind, Sand ...more
Lorna Simons
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I first read "Wind, Sand and Stars" many years ago and was enchanted, and am looking forward to reading it again in this collection of Saint-Exupery's three glorious books about flying. But I feel impelled to comment, not very graciously, on the introduction by Richard Bach. It's atrocious!!! Badly written, sometimes impenetrable as to sentence structure, and contains many labored or cliched images and language. What a shame to have Saint-Exupery's crystalline prose preceded by such a painful co ...more
Alexandra A.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These books, and other writings of de Saint-Exupery, have informed my life. I read them first for university French Lit class, and they still have pride of place on my bookshelf 52 years later. Mandatory reading and re-reading for the development (and maintenance) of one's humanity, one's humility, and one's capacity for awe. ...more
Michael Gibby
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Unless you are a pilot or love flying stories, this isn't the book for you. But if you are those things, then you will likely love the poetic descriptions and artistry of flight in this book. Be prepared for some old style use of language and get out your dictionary. ...more
Martin
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-10
Three wondeful books in one!
Clayton Chase
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous writing that transcends time and space.
Lorri
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it


Three novellas written on the early 1940s by the author of The Little Prince. As a pilot flying the early exotic routes of Africa and South America without modern navigational aides, he combines vivid descriptions of places and times with reflection about the human spirit.

I was led to this classic when browsing Patagonia on the web. And thanks to the Alberta library system, I was able to borrow and enjoy it.
Ulysses
Aug 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Or, to be more precise:
-Wind, Sand, and Stars: 4.5 stars. Pretty amazing, especially if you're a 12- to 16-year old boy, or still have the adventure sensibilities of one.
-Night Flight: 3 stars. Positively eh.
-Flight to Arras: first two-thirds, 4 stars; second third, two stars. A strong beginning and middle, bogged down by an icky torrent of schmaltz at the end...
...more
Brett Boeh
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was let down; I found my copy in an old used bookstore in Kalisbell, MT. As a HUGE The Little Prince fan, I was waiting for Saint-Exupery to live up to my expectations and I just didn't like it. If anything, this book was written for the "grownups". ...more
Dan Bernier
Apr 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: quit-early, read-2014
This book is a collection of three of Saint-Exupéry's works: "Wind, Sand, and Stars," "Night Flight," and "Flight to Arras." I loved the first, and disliked the second so much I stalled on the book. I'll probably, eventually, come back to read the third. ...more
Audrey
Sep 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I have read this again and again. It is a collection of St-Ex's three books: Flight to Arras; Wind, Sand and Stars; Night Flight.

These books show the dreamy nature of flight and are often autobiographical sketches of some amazing stories.
...more
Philip
Aug 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Well, this is three books actually. Some of it is three star worthy, some of it four or five stars...
John
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Sublime. My second reading and it's still wonderful. ...more
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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

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