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Bobby Matherne
Ross Anthony

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Wind, sand and stars

You probably know of Antoine de Saint-Exupery as the author of The Little Prince, but if you're like me you may not know much else about him. In Wind, sand and stars he tells the story of some of his life.

Saint-Exupery lived in the first half of the 20th century. Born into the French aristocracy, he struggled to find any purpose to his life until he signed on as a pilot for one of the early airlines. Now you might think that after the pioneering aviators, the job of an airline pilot wouldn't be particularly adventurous, but remember that if anything went wrong they were often on their own. The book tells of occasions when things did go wrong, and he and his comrades dealt with such situations. One crashed in the Andes and walked for five days in the snow without food. Saint-Exupery himself faced days in the desert without food or water.

The last chapter tells of the an episode during the Spanish civil war, when the author was working as a reported, and he tells his thoughts on the real reasons why people go to fight and die in such conflicts. Overall the book gives a unique look at human capabilities and motivation.