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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

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4.4 (119 )
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4.2 (52 )
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 (24)
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  •  
    Cynthia L. Neill 11-16-05 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Clinton, MS, USA 04-08-09
    Scott Clinton, MS, USA 04-08-09
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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Cook 02-20-07
    Brian Cook 02-20-07 Member Since 2006
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    "Great coming of age"

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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William L Sanders Louisville, KY 03-28-15
    William L Sanders Louisville, KY 03-28-15
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    "One of my favorite stories."

    I originally heard this book read by Dick Estelle on Radio Reader. An outstanding tale of two young boys living a dream and a passion. Wonderful humor through true-to-life relationships between two boys and their father. I very highly recommend this book to anyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alfred 01-18-15
    Alfred 01-18-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Good read"

    awesome book. I've always enjoyed reading books about aviation and this one is one of the few inspiring ones. I wish they'd have stick and rudder on audible as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsey D Boozer Columbia, SC, US 04-13-15
    Lindsey D Boozer Columbia, SC, US 04-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    "One Of My Favorite Audiobooks"
    If you could sum up Flight of Passage in three words, what would they be?

    Story Well Told


    What did you like best about this story?

    Rinker reads it with heart and soul, and I loved it. The story is far more complex than I thought and as it goes along it builds intensity and meaning. The story is incredible and Rinker shows his best writing here. I will not forget the emotion in the story. It spoke to issues I have seldom heard told first hand.


    What about Rinker Buck’s performance did you like?

    He fills it with first hand emotion, I thought it was very professional and his conversations in the story he reads as if he was there saying it -- because he did say it, and he is able to restate it perfectly.


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

    Not necessarily, it took several 2 hour drives, I probably needed the break. But I was anxious to hear more -- and I told many people I ran into during my breaks in listening about the meaning and message in the book, and they were all interested. More publicity might sell more audio books. .


    Any additional comments?

    Many thanks to Rinker for telling this deeply personal story and sharing his brash youth and his brother's sensational flying skills. How much they both matured in just one week is something of a story all by itself. I got my pilots license at 16 as well, and so much of the story was first hand for me. But anyone would enjoy the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Wells Missouri 01-03-15
    E. Wells Missouri 01-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    7
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    "Great story"
    Where does Flight of Passage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was a great story if you can get past Mr. Buck's voice.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Rinker Buck’s performances?

    Yes


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this to anyone who loves flying

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 04-10-12
    James 04-10-12

    JImD

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    5
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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 03-05-12
    Dan 03-05-12
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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 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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