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Flying

ByEric Kraft

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In the town of Babbington, New York, at the tail end of an alternative version of the 1950s, a young dreamer named Peter Leroy has set out to build a flying motorcycle, using a design ripped from the pages of Impractical Craftsman magazine. This two-wheeled wonder will carry him not only to such faraway places as New Mexico and the Summer Institute in Mathematics, Physics, and Weaponry, but deep into the heart of a commercialized American culture, and return him to Babbington a hero. More than forty years later, as Babbington is about to rebuild itself as a theme park commemorating his historic flight, Peter must return home to set the record straight, and confess that his flight did not match the legend that it inspired. Flying is an artful, slyly intelligent, wildly inventive, and buoyant comedy of remarkable wingspan, a hilarious story of hoaxes, digressions, do-it-yourself engineering, and the wilds of memory—and a great satire of magical thinking in America. “A reminder of how entertaining a novel can be when it slips the surly bonds of realism. . . . The effect is like a happy-go-lucky Nabokov, with all the road-tripping wordplay and none of the incest. . . . Kraft’s affectionately satirical, buoyant language makes Flying soar.” Radhika Jones, TIME “Beneath its aw-shucks surface, Flying is an ingenious, at times dizzyingly self-inverting assault not only on the truth, but on the concoction of palatable fictions, as well. Its only inviolate god is the human imagination; it’s a paean to flight by a boy who never left the ground, except, perhaps, where it counts most: in his mind.” Laura Miller, The New York Times “Eric Kraft is an oddball, an eccentric, a bit of a genius — the writerly equivalent of a dreamer who puts together weird and wonderful contraptions in his garage. . . . Kraft has made his career out of high-wire performance, seizing on the merest hint or detail and spinning it into magic. . . . Flying . . . feels like Kraft’s grandest achievement since Herb ’n’ Lorna.” Richard Rayner, Los Angeles Times “If you were to pick up a hitchhiking Jorge Luis Borges and Robert Pirsig, or to listen as Thomas Pynchon recited Ulysses from memory over longnecks on J. D. Salinger’s tab, you might catch the flavor of Eric Kraft’s work.” Matthew Battles, Barnes & Noble Review “That rare book that can change the way you look at the world.” William McKeen, St. Petersburg Times

Details

Publication Date
May 12, 2020
Language
English
ISBN
9781716939242
Category
Fiction
Copyright
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
Contributors
By (author): Eric Kraft

Specifications

Pages
492
Binding
Perfect Bound
Interior Color
Black & White
Dimensions
US Trade (6 x 9 in / 152 x 229 mm)

Ratings & Reviews