Retail pak Random House Audio 1997
CS ISBN 0553473263 $23.95 Four cassettes
In 1966 Rinker and Kern Buck, two teenaged brothers from New Jersey, flew a Piper Cub airplane across the country. As a journalist, Rinker Buck had plenty of opportunity to chronicle the flight, but he declined until his own daughter's interest in flying spurred him to this chronicle. He recounts, not only the flight, but the break the brothers made from their charismatic, eccentric father, who had instilled a love of flying adventure in the boys with his "barnstorming blarney." Buck draws a wonderful, vibrant picture of the two boys--penny loafers, jeans, cowboy hats, windblown and exhilarated by the adventure. These quintessential American boys, who reminded onlookers of the Kennedy brothers, did something quite extraordinary for the 1960's or even today. They had no radio, only a simple compass, and slept under the stars wherever they landed for the night. Buck vividly re-creates the flight, and in the narration he's a natural raconteur. He weaves the events and reflections through the animated conversations between the boys. Further, Buck projects an energy and professionalism seldom found when authors read their own work. Frank McCourt had this finesse in his reading of Angela's Ashes. Instead of McCourt's Irish lilt, Buck regales listeners with his imitation of an Arkansas accent and the airmen mimicking the boys' New Jersey accents. All is told with great good humor, and Buck's reading is delightfully unself-conscious. Animatedly he describes the "thwunk," "whap," and "pow" of air turbulence. FLIGHT OF PASSAGE is a perfect choice to introduce a family with teenagers to great family listening. Anyone who has an interest in small planes will delight in Buck's story, but one need not be even the slightest bit interested in flying to enjoy this truly American tale. R.F.W. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT 97]
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