Up in the Air

Up in the Air

Book - 2001
Average Rating:
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Ryan Bingham, thirty-five, has a complicated past and an uncertain present, but a very simple goal: to accumulate one million miles in his cherished frequent flyer account. Crossing the million mark means many things to him, both practical and spiritual. Bragging rights among his peers. Status with the airline he flies for business. A lifetime of first-class upgrades. And freedom, naturally. That, and the satisfaction of breaking through a certain invisible mundane barrier onto a loftier plane of being. And once he has his million, he'll be happy, though what he'll do when he's achieved his dream (besides take advantage of a promised dinner with the airline's playboy CEO), he's not sure. As a traveling management consultant for Denver's ISM (Integrated Strategic Management), Ryan lives on airplanes and in airports; the transient realm he calls "Airworld" is his home. With his phone, his computer, and his frequent flyer account he's part of a new species: the commercial airborne commando who travels light and depends on no one. No one. We meet Ryan as he's making his final push. He's set up a fiendishly complicated itinerary -- thirteen cities in just six days -- that will mix business, pleasure, and family duties.

There's a lot to do and not much time to do it in, but Ryan is convinced he'll pull things off, conditions permitting. And that's the catch. Almost from the moment he takes off, conditions deteriorate. Weather problems. A needy seatmate starved for

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2001
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385497107
0385497105
Characteristics: 303 p. ; 22 cm

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t
thesurveillance
Aug 31, 2017

Other readers found it boring, and I'll admit it is a bit stiff, very cerebral at times. But nothing worth having comes easily, and if you can buy (into) the ticket, Walter Kern takes you on a fascinating ride. With the imagery of W.C.Williams, the honesty and masculinity of Kingsolver or Carver, Hunter's devil may care, and the imagination of Pynchon, you won't find a better book in these stacks.
His best work.
A++ highly recommended

s
sorensje
Dec 24, 2016

one of the rare cases the film adaptation is better than the book. probably because the film took its own direction and fleshed out his mileage, family, and female relationships much better. in the book, much of the plot and stories/arcs regarding his miles, family, women, book/speaking falls flat and anticlimactic.

t
txskydvr
Aug 01, 2013

Extremely underwhelming.

I found this book very difficult to get through. There were numerous times I considered not even finishing it but rather decided that the book might get better by the end. It didn't.

d
davehook
Jun 03, 2012

Not the kind of book that you want to read if you are looking for a lot of action, but I love the way that the author takes things that most of us regard as mundane or an inconvenience such as air travel or staying in hotels and make them seem poetic.

One thing though - the book bears very little resemblance to the movie

l
loudem
Oct 13, 2010

What a dull book. It started well enough but crashed soon after and by the end I just wanted to shoot myself and couldn't wait for it to end. Pure torture. This is a story without a story. That 1,000,000 traveler's points is a sham. Please don't pick up this book. You'll thank me for it.

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