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Flight of Passage | [Rinker Buck]

Flight of Passage

In the summer of 1966, Rinker and Kernahan Buck - 2 teenaged schoolboys from New Jersey - bought a dilapidated Piper Club airplane for $300, rebuild it, and piloted it on a record-breaking flight across America - navigating all the way to California without a radio because they couldn't afford one. Their trip retraced a mythical route flown by their father, Tom Buck, a brash, colorful ex-barnstormer who had lost a leg in a tragic plane crash before his sons were born - but who so loved the adventure of flight that he taught his boys to fly before they could drive. The journey west, and the preparations for it, become a figurative and literal process of discovery as the young men battle thunderstorms and wracking turbulence, encounter Arkansas rednecks, Texas cowboys, and the languid, romantic culture of small-town cafes, cheap motels, and dusty landing strips of pre-Vietnam America. The brothers have a lot to resolve among themselves too - as Kern, the shy, meticulous, dedicated dreamer, and Rinker, the rebellious second son, must finally come to understand and depend on each other in the complex way that only brothers can. Most of all, Flight of Passages is a timeless story of fathers and sons. These 2 young men must separate from their difficult, quirky father - literally by putting a country's distance between them - but they do it on their father's terms: in an airplane. As he looks back, from the perspective of now being a father himself, Rinker Buck's tale of 2 young men in search of themselves and their country becomes a story about the eternal enigma of family - of the distance and closeness of generations, of peace lost so that understanding can be gained - and it is explored with a storytelling power that is both brave and rare.
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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1966, Rinker and Kernahan Buck - 2 teenaged schoolboys from New Jersey - bought a dilapidated Piper Club airplane for $300, rebuild it, and piloted it on a record-breaking flight across America - navigating all the way to California without a radio because they couldn't afford one. Their trip retraced a mythical route flown by their father, Tom Buck, a brash, colorful ex-barnstormer who had lost a leg in a tragic plane crash before his sons were born - but who so loved the adventure of flight that he taught his boys to fly before they could drive.

The journey west, and the preparations for it, become a figurative and literal process of discovery as the young men battle thunderstorms and wracking turbulence, encounter Arkansas rednecks, Texas cowboys, and the languid, romantic culture of small-town cafés, cheap motels, and dusty landing strips of pre-Vietnam America. The brothers have a lot to resolve among themselves too - as Kern, the shy, meticulous, dedicated dreamer, and Rinker, the rebellious second son, must finally come to understand and depend on each other in the complex way that only brothers can.

Most of all, Flight of Passages is a timeless story of fathers and sons. These 2 young men must separate from their difficult, quirky father - literally by putting a country's distance between them - but they do it on their father's terms: in an airplane. As he looks back, from the perspective of now being a father himself, Rinker Buck's tale of 2 young men in search of themselves and their country becomes a story about the eternal enigma of family - of the distance and closeness of generations, of peace lost so that understanding can be gained - and it is explored with a storytelling power that is both brave and rare.

©1997 Rinker Buck; (P)1997 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing; Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (105 )
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4.4 (39 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Scott Clinton, MS, USA 04-08-09
    Scott Clinton, MS, USA 04-08-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book"

    I am not a pilot or have any special affinity for flying but this book is a great story. It flows well, is funny, descriptive, and engaging. I highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Cook Wellington Colorado USA 02-20-07
    Brian Cook Wellington Colorado USA 02-20-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great coming of age"

    great book. I laughed and felt emotional a good listen. good reader

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia L. Neill 11-16-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not"

    I purchased this audiobook because other listeners rated it highly. A "young" pilot myself (150 hours), I would have enjoyed this entertaining (and well-narrated) story if it were only about the bold adventure itself: two very young boys rebuilding and flying a very small plane coast-to-coast with no radio, few navigational aids and little money. But one needn't be a pilot or even understand lots of "pilot lingo" to be entertained. From his larger-than-life father, to the mother who allowed he and his somewhat nerdy older brother to undertake this journey, to everyone the boys encountered along the way, few people or relationships go unexamined by this insightful author. Well worth the time and money spent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LifeIsShort Respectville, USA 06-11-12
    LifeIsShort Respectville, USA 06-11-12 Member Since 2012

    Civility?Wherediditgo?

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    "Must read~ Aviation "geezer" story at its best"
    If you could sum up Flight of Passage in three words, what would they be?

    Love Piper Cubs? Love those "Geezer" stories? This is perfect for you.


    What other book might you compare Flight of Passage to and why?

    Haven't found one quite like it


    Have you listened to any of Rinker Buck’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but we listened to it during long drive


    Any additional comments?

    My husband and I both enjoyed every moment of this book. I grew up hopping around small airports with my parents, both pilots. The Piper is the true American classic airplane. The narration made this book even better. Listening to Rinker talk his way out of a particularly difficult situation with his father and also with some feds was hilarious.
    Great story, even better that the "boys" really made this trip. This is a tribute to all the airport "geezers", the ones who always went out of their way to make flying fun and most of all, safe, you are a breed of men and women that are part of the fabric of US aviation. Thanks, Rinker, documenting your journey with such perfection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James United States 04-10-12
    James United States 04-10-12 Member Since 2012

    JImD

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    4
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    "Jim D."
    Where does Flight of Passage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I loved the story, reminded me of my two boys and my relationship with them


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan United States 03-05-12
    Dan United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Buy it!"
    Any additional comments?

    If you have a father, a sibling, or a love of adventure, you will enjoy this book. Narration and story were excellent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted McLean Houston, tx, US 10-04-11
    Ted McLean Houston, tx, US 10-04-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Nice story, but longer than it needs to be"

    This is a nice story, especially if you know anything about flying, but several of the ideas run on a bit too long. This is probably better in the abridged form.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Mt. Vernon, IN, United States 04-01-11
    Steve Mt. Vernon, IN, United States 04-01-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Enjoyable, well written"

    Great entertaining story, my wife and I both loved it...and we nothing about flying! Its more than a story about 2 boys flying, and very entertaining as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Meridian, ID, USA 07-22-10
    Donald Meridian, ID, USA 07-22-10 Member Since 2006
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    "As a new pilot- I was born 40 years too late"

    I re-listen to this audio all the time- I love how light it is- yet at the same time - constantly revives my adventurous spirit. To me- this was the golden age of aviation- when you could fly coast to coast for a mere $300... I long for those days--
    Great Audio!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick St-Lazare, Quebec, Canada 11-14-09
    Patrick St-Lazare, Quebec, Canada 11-14-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "NIce light story. Genuine"

    This innocent, well paced story has just the right balance of entertainment, adventure, personal development, and nostalgia.
    Perfect light reading/listening for my daily jog.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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