• Spinning at the Boundary

  • The Making of an Air Traffic Controller
  • By: David Larson
  • Narrated by: Thomas Block
  • Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Air traffic control is one of the most misunderstood occupations in the world, and yet it affects anyone that has ever... or will ever fly in an aircraft. This audiobook tells all. You may never fly again.

©2015 David Larson (P)2015 David Larson

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    4 out of 5 stars
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The ABCs of ATC

What other book might you compare Spinning at the Boundary to and why?

A complimentary read is 'Secrets from the Tower: an O'Hare Air Traffic Controller's Personal Stories of Life and Aviation' by Bob Richards.

What about Thomas Block’s performance did you like?

I'm a fan of Thomas Block's storytelling.

Any additional comments?

Much like the 'For Dummies' series of books, this memoir reveals technical info infused with an edgy sense of humor, and metaphors galore. 'Spinning at the Boundary' is the scoop on those who steer from the (radar) scope. 'Ear muffs' warning: Lots of graphic language. Also, there are plenty of accusations and finger pointing in this former Air Traffic Controller's tell-all.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Spinning at the earphones 😊

As a past military ground crew and aviator I found the book interesting and often very funny. Larsons style of honestly telling his anecdotes coupled
With self deprecation and humor was very entertaining.
On the down side anyone who does not have an extensive background in aviation, air and ground aerodrome practices and a good "air sense" is highly advises to gloss over the detailed descriptions of air traffic vectoring and general radio and physical activities by the characters here in or you'll be spinning at the earphones.

Mr Block was the perfect and possibly only professional narrator in the industry who could pull this one off given his history as a international heavy jet commercial pilot for almost half a century. His excellent narration techniques and voice were well up to the task as usual.

1 person found this helpful

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Good Lord, I just didn't know.....

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

From pranks to serious acknowledgement of a problem that we as frequent flyers in this country must now face, this book was an eye opener. Time well spent.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Many of the legal issues and the manner with which they were presented were beyond my ability to digest, yet, I still felt that I grasped enough to realize the concern of the author and the great need for reform.

Which scene was your favorite?

The author dealing with each new location assignment during his career was quite interesting.

Could you see Spinning at the Boundary being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Maybe a TV series.

Any additional comments?

Amazing to me how Mr. Larson was able to remember so many incidents, in so much detail. Quite an eye opener into this very serious line of work.

1 person found this helpful

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Bad Vibes

It’s unbelievable a controller used to make and retired on $167,000. No one is worth that kind money with only high school diploma.
That’s why FAA upgrading to ADS-B more computer and direct routing.
All the incompetence this writer talks about is depressing.
Braggart as well.
I have a Money private plane corvette wife has Ferrari come on and so sour attitude on life.
Be glad your healthy most important thing thanking your Blessings.
Very negative book don’t bother announcer could been better one too.
Overall ungracious self absorbed book.
Don’t waste you money.

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fascinating behind-the-scenes account

This is a very well-written (and in audio version well-read) account of the life of an air traffic controller whose career spanned key decades.

Since it paints a disturbing picture up through 2008, I’m glad I flew as a passenger in that period without incident—surely a tribute to superb work by controllers in difficult conditions. I’m curious to read an updated account.

The book is quite profane, even crude, in its language—but it is real-life language and I was fine with it, indeed it’s pretty amusing if you’re not a snowflake. And it was in no way offensive to any group or gender, just to people doing stupid things.