Monday, March 02, 2009

Exasperation and Elevation

Ed Champion asked me to participate in a roundtable on Eric Kraft's new novel, Flying. (It's actually a trilogy, bound together into a very big book). I am a big fan of Ed's & I am, occasionally, nostalgic for the days of the Litblog Co-op, so I said YES.

The first installment of five is up at Ed's place.

It's a very weird book, one that I found exasperating and fascinating, as you'll see when I weigh in (at a late phase in the conversation). The conceit, however, is really interesting: a boy in the 50's builds an aerocycle, based on improbable plans from a mechanics magazine, and flies it from Long Island to New Mexico. As you might expect, the aerocycle doesn't fly, BUT many people want to believe that it does and the boy is simultaneously buoyed and ruined by keeping alive the fiction of himself as a pilot. The book we have in our hands purports to be the record of the much older man today, striving to write a memoir that sets the record straight.

There's a lot that's funny here, but the book is a spot too long for me. In any case, do pop over to Ed's blog throughout the week and listen in.

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