The journey begins as he's about to commit a massive act of violence. At the moment of decision, he finds himself shot back through time to awaken in the body of an FBI agent during the civil-rights era. It's only the first stop. He continues through time to inhabit the body of an Indian child during the battle at Little Bighorn and then rides with an 1800s Indian tracker before materializing as an airline pilot jetting through the skies today.
During these furious travels, his refrain is: "Who's to judge?" and "I don't understand humans." When he returns to his own life, he is transformed by all he's seen.
©2007 Sherman Alexie; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Captivating...one quickly surrenders to Zits' voice, which elegantly mixes free-floating young adult cynicism with a charged, idiosyncratic view of American history. Alexie plunges the book into bracing depths." (Publishers Weekly)
I listened to this book on a road trip w my 11 year old son. The themes and language were mature so I'm glad we listened to it together and often stopped to talk about issues and viewpoints that came up. It was a valuable book that portrayed a marginalized teen with great compassion. Seeing a "troubled kid" and those in his orbit with this type of dimension and humor instead of in a flat meme is important and it was written and read so beautifully we were both riveted all the way to Portland.
Great book. Wonderful narration. I'm glad that Adam Beach collaborated again with Sherman Alexie. He had already done some fine work for him in the film "Smoke Signals".
Also I will try to comment on some interesting points that Heather remarked on the book. First, she pointed out that Zits trust someone in less that 12 hrs when he usually trust nobody. Well in my opinion he is alone and has nobody in life and many people in need or who lack some meaning in their lives will be instantly attached to someone who is willing to listen and who somehow can answer all of their questions. Many people in need will do anything to be always listened or accepted by this person (unfortunately a lot of the wrong people are aware of this).
Second point, she finds that Zits has an unjustifiable "deep connection to the Indian side of his heritage". I think that this can be somehow justified because he is trying to fill a great void in his life and probably his Indian face and looks encourage him to find out more about himself (or the part of himself that he is missing) and probably that's why he tries to get as much info on this subject as he can, that's why he watches films on History Channel and hangs out with Indian drunks.
GREAT choice of reader! The voice just fits and he is extremely expressive. He seems to understand the characters' emotions wonderfully.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
The rarest of combinations when you mix great humor, good fiction, characters you can't help but love, and throw in science fiction, history, and God. Oh and wrap it in a package of the perfect narrator for the story. I've always really enjoyed Sherman Alexie's writing, but hearing his work perfectly performed was even better.
I order somewhere around 30 audible titles a year. Every now and then I luckily stumble across a book like this. Within the first five minutes I knew I'd snagged a total winner. Amazing book. Well narrated. Everything.
I love Sherman Alexie - but I didn't love "Flight" that much. The theme is very important - what leads people to act out in violence and how does one come to understand the potential each of us has to hurt others and to step away from doing so. But the story is not the least bit sophisticated and goes after the theme in such an obvious and clumsy way that there is never any mystery where the story is going or how it will end up. The jacket cover description of this story says that it is "hilarious and tragic..." - I would say it is tragic but I didn't find anything hilarious about it.
I actually work with foster kids in the social work field. I enjoy books with the perspective of a youth. This one was certainly different but still a timeless study of how an unloved youth can come to see the world. He was funny but very honest. The most memorable moment was when Zits says "hope hurts". I have seen that expressed in many young faces and I loved Officer Dave for making such a difference. I know I'll listen to this one again!
Wow, this was a powerful book. I'm not sure its listed as a Young Adult novel, but it struck me as such while I read it. I guess that's because the main character is a troubled kid being passed around foster homes. If it's not a Young Adult listing, I am totally happy about that too, because it provides a lot of good insight and revelation to the older reader. For the non-Indian, this book is educational about contemporary native life; for the Native American, it's likely educational too, but in different ways, such as how to interpret --or investigate--some situations and events in one's background. The book as a whole causes one to think long and hard about the impact we as humans have on one another, from within families to interculturally. How careless we can be, and how devastating the results. Likewise, how simple it is to just step back a little bit and let someone like Sherman Alexie teach us how to see honestly and with humor. So, why didn't I give it a 5 star rating? I just thought the end came together a little to nicely, almost as though the author had run out of umph. Some may disagree, and with that I would be fine.
A kid with a crumby life finds empathy through time travel and hope in his future. I loved this kid. We should all grow up so well.
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