- 9,49 €
This best-selling debut novel from one of France’s most exciting young writers is based on the true story of the 1949 disappearance of Air France’s Lockheed Constellation and its famous passengers
On October 27, 1949, Air France’s new plane, the Constellation, launched by the extravagant Howard Hughes, welcomed thirty-eight passengers aboard. On October 28, no longer responding to air traffic controllers, the plane disappeared while trying to land on the island of Santa Maria, in the Azores. No one survived.
The question Adrien Bosc’s novel asks is not so much how, but why? What were the series of tiny incidents that, in sequence, propelled the plane toward Redondo Mountain? And who were the passengers? As we recognize Marcel Cerdan, the famous boxer and lover of Edith Piaf, and we remember the musical prodigy Ginette Neveu, whose tattered violin would be found years later, the author ties together their destinies: “Hear the dead, write their small legend, and offer to these thirty-eight men and women, like so many constellations, a life and a story.”
French author Bosc's slender yet ambitious novel re-creates the final flight of Air France F-BAZN, a Lockheed Constellation en route from Paris to New York that crashed into Mount Redondo in the Azores on Oct. 27, 1949. It is best remembered for carrying Marcel Cerdan, a boxer and dith Piaf's lover, who was flying to a scheduled return bout with Jake "the Bronx Bull" LaMotta. But there were also 37 other passengers and 11 crew members on board, and the author seeks to redress the imbalance by reimagining several of these unknown lives for the reader, including pilot Jean de la No e, who flew for the Free French during World War II; Ginette Neveu, a violin prodigy who performed all over the world; Kay Kamen, a merchandiser for Walt Disney, whose biggest claim to fame was the invention of the Mickey Mouse watch; Ernest Lowenstein, a tannery owner who was on his way to New York to reconcile with his wife, whom he had divorced in Reno only one month before; and Rene Hauth, a counterespionage agent during the war. Echoing such classics as Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Ernest K. Gann's Fate Is the Hunter, the book dramatizes the flight and its aftermath. And the author's metacommentary transforms the narrative into a profound meditation on the far-reaching interconnectedness of tragic events.