Best FlightAuthor Sherman Alexie –

This was incredible I highly recommend the audio book Adam Beach a Native actor who was in Smoke Signals does it and he does an incredible job This is a story about pain and justice and most of all rage It s about how people do monstrous things and about the cruelty of the world, but also about hope Survival Shouldering the responsibility of being a stranger There is so much emotion, especially anger, in this book It s not something to be picked up lightly But it tackles rage head on, and doesn t invalidate it I found myself blinking back tears on my walk home listening to the last few chapters I found the ending a little abrupt and too neat, and there were some elements that didn t sit right with me the terrorism subplot, for one , but overall this hit me hard.Although this isn t a light read, it is short I highly recommend giving this a try, especially as an audio book. Is revenge a circle inside of a circle inside of a circle Earlier this year, I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, and I absolutely loved it, so I decided it would be a good idea to pick up another book by Alexie So I picked up Flight And honestly, I didn t expect to like this book as much as I did It wasn t as good as Diary but it was still really good I went into this book not knowing anything about it, so I was pretty surprised with how the plot unraveled This book even had a couple of twists that really surprised me In conclusion, amazing and heartbreaking book with an even greater message. Sherman Alexie Is One Of Our Most Gifted And Accomplished Storytellers And A Treasured Writer Of Huge National Stature His First Novel In Ten Years Is The Hilarious And Tragic Portrait Of An Orphaned Indian Boy Who Travels Back And Forth Through Time In A Charged Search For His True Identity With Powerful And Swift, Prose, Flight Follows This Troubled Foster Teenager A Boy Who Is Not A Legal Indian Because He Was Never Claimed By His Father As He Learns That Violence Is Not The AnswerThe Journey For Flight S Young Hero Begins As He S About To Commit A Massive Act O Violence At The Moment Of Decision, He Finds Himself Shot Back Through Time To Resurface In The Body Of An FBI Agent During The Civil Rights Era, Where He Sees Why Hell Is Re Driver, Idaho, In The S Red River Is Only The First Stop In An Eye Opening Trip Through Moments In American History He Will Continue Traveling Back To Inhabit The Body Of An Indian Child During The Battle At Little Bighorn And Then Ride With An Indian Tracker In The Nineteenth Century Before Materializing As An Airline Pilot Jetting Through The Skies Today During These Furious Travels Through Time, His Refrain Grows Who S To Judge And I Don T Understand Humans When Finally, Blessedly, Our Young Warrior Comes To Rest Again In His Own Life, He Is Mightily Transformed By All He Has SeenThis Is Sherman Alexie At His Most Brilliant Making Us Laugh While He S Breaking Our Hearts Time Out Has Said That Alexie, Like His Characters, Is On A Modern Day Vision Quest, And In Flight He Seeks Nothing Less Than An Understanding Of Why Human Beings Hate Flight Is Irrepressible, Fearless, And Groundbreaking Alexie Alexie continues to spin sly subversive themes with this satiric tour of the condition of Native Americans and their antecedents in history Zits is the name our teenaged narrator calls himself in this first person account My real name isn t important He s flippant and lonely and angry, the epitome of alienation And brave in his stubborn resistance to both the brutality or liberal patronizing of his 20 plus sets of foster parents he has been placed with His Indian father ran off when he was born and his white mother dies when he was young He has no idea what kind of Indian he is, and the only ones he knows are homeless drunks in the streets of Seattle Zits drifts into a friendship with a radical kid who inspires him toward a rebel act of armed robbery of a bank As the book jacket reveals, he gets a rude series of lessons on hate and violence from a series of involuntary time travel trips into the past He inhabits the bodies of others in history, young and old, Indian and white He experiences a camp of Lakotas gearing up for Custer s Last Stand, and on the other side of things, a cavalry troop preparing to massacre a band of Indians Other visitations get closer to his personal history or expand to scenarios of infidelity, domestic violence, and terrorism The comic absurdities in these visions begin to transform into meaningful truths for Zits and a dose of empathy begins to infect his heart I love how a core of sentimentality and play in Alexie s tales helps the hard medicine of his vision slip past my defenses It was short and engaging in its surprises and action, but compared the big emotional impact I got out of his Reservation Blues and The Toughest Indian in the World , this one was a harder challenge for me to suspend disbelief over. I love books that make me stretch and consider and think, but this book has no subtlety Reading this book is like being hit in the face with a sledgehammer over and over again I mean sure, it s a sledgehammer of compassion and nonviolence and I quite agree with its form and purpose and all, but getting smacked with it still smarts I need for messages and ideas in fiction to be woven into the storyclosely I need to work at their meanings and root them out myself, so they feel like they re mine With this book all I felt by the end was a strong urge to scream, I get it Zits is a teenage boy who has lost both of his parents and been shuffled around dozens of foster homes His is filled with disappointment, pain, and rage He feels separate from the rest of humanity, and he lashes out at those who try to help him One night, in jail, he meets another boy who is beautiful and persuasive and calls himself Justice Wrapped up in Justice s incendiary ideas, Zits commits a horribly violent act and winds up getting shot But instead of dying, he awakens inside the body of a white FBI agent What happens next is a journey through time and different lives, where Zits witnesses both sides of war and violence.There are definitely parts of this book that I like I think that Gus story, with the little saint and the Indian boy is the most well done The last journey that Zits takes is one that I was expecting and even hoping for, but it s just too heavy handed, like most of the others although, I m not sure that I really understood that whole part with the parakeet The ending is ridiculously unrealistic, so much so that I feel like it cheapens the rest of the book.Sherman Alexie is no doubt a very talented writer, but I recommend that you read some of his other titles before this one I guess that I wouldn t recommend reading this book One can easily receive the same information and with a lotgrace and brevity from the following quotations I suggest you just read them insteadAn eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind Mahatma GhandiPeace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding Ralph Waldo EmersonReturning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that Martin Luther King, Jr.Perfect Musical PairingSaul Williams Banged and Blown ThroughSaul Williams writes powerful, angry, revolutionary music which I think relates well to Zits mental state at the beginning of this book This song is all about how broken we are on the inside. Published in 2007, Flight is one of Sherman Alexie srecent novels His critically acclaimed YA debut The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian came out a few months after Flight s publication Together these novels illustrate how teen narrators can comfortably inhabit both adult and young adult novels More about that later.The book starts with a simple request from the narrator Call me Zits Everybody calls me Zits In other words, the narrator has no name Given the structure of the novel, this choice actually works Throughout the story, Zits is rarely called by any kind of name that would be termed as his own The opening line also tells readers everything they need to know about Zits Specifically that this fifteen year old half Irish, half Indian kid doesn t think enough of himself to bother using his own name Worse, Zits is pretty sure no one else thinks much better of him.Orphaned at six and in foster care since he was ten, Zits has slipped through the cracks and is truly a lost soul After an unceremonious exit from his twentieth foster home and his latest stint in the kid jail in Seattle s Central District, Zits starts to think that maybe he doesn t really need a family Maybe what he needs is some kind of revenge But things don t go as planned Instead of punishing the white people who are abstractly responsible for his present situation, Zits finds himself on a time traveling, body shifting quest for redemption and understanding.Zits first stop is inside the body of a white FBI agent during the civil rights era in Red River, Idaho From there he moves to the Indian camp at the center of Custer s Last Stand, then a nineteenth century soldier, a modern pilot with his own variety of demons and, finally, Zits finds himself in a bodyfamiliar than he d like to admit.As many other reviewers are quick to point out, Flight is Alexie s first novel in ten years Unlike previous works, where characters and plots intersected even in his short stories , this novel remains disjointed It s the kind of book that could easily be seen as a grouping of short stories Except that each segment follows Zits spiritual evolution For this reason, the novel is obviously muchcharacter driven than plot driven But Alexie makes it work.I consider flight to be adult fiction Zits is a teen, so it could be YA, but that fact is largely irrelevant to the main machinations of the novel which is why it s an adult book but True Diary whose narrator is close to Zits age is a YA book Finally, a word on the ending of the novel It s optimistic There is some talk that the ending is too up, that things come together a bit too easily In terms of the plot that could be true although I mof a mind that the ending was already in the works from the beginning the fact that The wounded always recognize the wounded and other events support me in this claim.Some have claimed that the happy ending might be reason to suggest that Flight is a YA book because only a book written for teens would have such an abrupt ending That s bogus This is an adult book that teens can enjoy and the ending doesn t change that After reading this novel it becomes clear that Zits has been through a lot Waythan any fifteen year old should have to take For Alexie to end the novel in any other way would have been a slap in the face both for Zits and the readers invested in his fate Flight is a really quick read I finished it in a day and entertaining throughout The novel doesn t have the depth of character found in Reservation Blues or True Diary but the story remains different enough from Alexie s usual work to make Flight a refreshing departure nonetheless.You can find this review andon my blog Miss Print I love this book However, I must say, with a bit of sadness, that this is not Alexie s best book Alexie is at his best when his prose is poetic, thought provoking,and humorous all at once And, while this book certainly has its moments, it fails to substain the sentence after sentence, page after page trance that Alexie s writing is capable of producing What I love about this book is how it has gotten my high school students, who would normally not even consider reading a book, to consume this one in a matter of days and come back asking forbooks like this to read HeheI offer them Catcer in the Rye I give this book to my reluctant readers and tell them it s about a time traveling serial killer When they come back the next day, they can t wait to get together in their Lit circles and begin discussing the characters, Justice and Truth And, while there are a few students who get confused by the novel s quantum leaps in time, there are always some who can explain what is happening to Justice , In addition, the questions raised by the changing setting provide an excellent opportunity to introduce and teach magical realism to the newly awakened and curious, young minds In fact, what makes this novel a high school literature teacher s best friend is that Alexie has created a seemingly simple story that lures readers in and, yet, the novel s structure, plot, humor, sadness, relevance to life and themes are intriguing enough to fascinate the most discerning reader.Kudos to Alexie for creating rare teachable moments in which ALL students are completely engaged and engrossed, and, best of all, they are motivated by a desire to make meaning and understand. Call me Zits.Everybody calls me Zits.That s not my real name, of course My real name isn t important Part of the experience of reading is, no doubt, influenced bythan the book itself Just as the story or atmosphere can transport the reader into a different reality, the circumstances of reading, the reality of the reader, can change the reading experience.I m convinced of that.So, what happens when you read a book about a lost 17 year old who is at the brink of a meltdown, who is filled with rage and self loathing, who is about to commit an act of violence on innocent bystanders, the day after an 18 year old goes on a shooting rampage in a Munich shopping centre While we cannot know what went on inside the head of the youth in Munich, it was hard to read Flight under the circumstances without wondering if there were any similarities between the Munich gunman and, Zits, the protagonist of Alexie s novel.Zits, is a young man who never knew his father, who lost his mother to cancer when he was six years old and who has been homed with twenty foster families He s half Irish and half Native American, and he hasquestions than answers about who he is as a personYes, I am Irish and Indian, which would be the coolest blend in the world if my parents were around to teach me how to be Irish and Indian But they re not here and haven t been for years, so I m not really Irish or Indian I m a blank sky, a human solar eclipse When Zits has another confrontation with yet another new pair of foster parents, he runs away, gets arrested and ends up being drawn to the persuasive character of Justice another vengeful renegade who offers the confused and frustrated Zits a way of making himself matter with disastrous consequences.Luckily for Zits, this is a novel and Alexie is a master at weaving in an element of magic which lets Zits walk in the shoes of some other individuals and in other eras throughout American history providing an opportunity for Zits to experience the outcomes of acts of violence like the one he is about to commit and a chance to change his mind about letting his rage and numbness towards the world take control over his own persona.Flight was a compelling read It was a difficult read, too Alexie doesn t shy away from writing gritty dialogue and detailing scenes of violence And of course, it is one of those books where the realistic elements of the story outweigh the fantastic ones I.e where you know that everything he describes has probably happened at some time somewhere, might be happening someplace now.And yet, for all the books focus on violence and revenge, the message is about the importance of kindness and empathy How recognizing people and their struggle may just make change somehowWho can survive such a revelation It was father love and father shame and father rage that killed Hamlet Imagine a new act Imagine that Hamlet, after being poisoned by his own sword, wakes in the body of his father Or, worse, inside the body of his incestuous Uncle Claudius What would Hamlet do if he looked into the mirror and saw the face of the man who d betrayed and murdered his father As I said at the beginning, it is impossible to draw connections or seek out similarities between the Munich gunman and Zits, but this is one occasion when current events have influenced my reading experience, and when reading Flight, I could not help but ponder about how fucked up it is when a 17 year old or an 18 year old as the case may be feels that killing other people is the only way for them to engage with the world whether it is as a means to be heard and feel that they matter or for whatever other reasonThere s that man again, the one who told me I wasn t real.I think he s wrong I think I am real.I have returned to my body And my ugly face And my anger And my loneliness.And then I think, Maybe I never left my body at all Maybe I never left this bank Maybe I ve been standing here for hours, minutes, seconds, trying to decide what I should doview spoiler Btw, his real name is Michael hide spoiler A quick but powerful read I was not sure what to expect right after starting or if I was going to get into it, but it ended up being quite amazing This was my second Sherman Alexie and I continue to be impressed.Flight is a bizarre story that is a bit coming of age and a bit magical realism The different lives the main character experiences are difficult, controversial, and possibly uncomfortable to consider But, they help lead to a beautiful redemption that is uniquely crafted by Alexie.If you are looking for an emotional journey that might lead you to tears, but will definitely make you question humanity, Flight is the perfect little novel for you. Sherman Alexie s Flight was a quick read, a much sparser book than his first novel, Indian Killer That earlier work wasdense, much darker I actually appreciated that first novel very much it was an angry, despairing book that captured well the continuing struggles and tensions of a modern day rez Indian and its dark, unrelenting sensibility was disturbing yet poignant too.At the LA Times Book Festival, I heard Alexie talk about Indian Killer which he says he hates He felt it was so angry and basically was his reaction to all of the pressures and conflicting expectations for him to be a mouthpiece for the Indian Experience I actually think it was an engrossing novel, nevertheless.Anyway, what it has to do with Flight is that Alexie s wife pointed out to him that this one was his Indian Killer rewrite This one is about an Indian teenager foster kid unloved, unwanted, and unhinged who at a moment of sheer death and destruction in contemporary times, is plunged back into time to relive in different personas, seminal moments of sheer death and destruction in Indian history in America.But this is a different novel It s shorter, breezier almost And has a redemptive ending And tho at first, I was wondering if perhaps Alexie had lost his touch with the too short chapters and the quick cut jumping around of the character into different bodies and periods of time making me compare it unfavorably at first to Octavia Butler s Kindred, a muchmasterful time jump back novel dealng with the legacy of slavery in the South , there s a scene that he inserts about 3 4s through that is just KICK ASS and completely turns the tales on their heads It becomes aintimate take on sins of the father and is ultimately about what Alexie described in ironic, yet beneath, maybe quite sincere the kindness of strangers and forgiveness He said at the Festival that he could ve written the darker ending did in fact write several but in the end I just didn t want to put that shit out there And in light of the fact that the novel was released in April 2007 around the time of the Virginia Tech incident Alexie said he felt well satisfied with that decision, despite any critical knocks for doing so.And I actually agree I m still mulling over that ending he chose I almost feel like these days, the darker endings are becoming the trite ones So in a way, a redemptive ending may be the weird, edgy twist, after all.