A courageous and meticulous doctor follows his dreams, saving a few lives and flying more than a few passengers to their...

Steep Turn


A physician slowly departs the breakneck life of a surgeon for the thrills of a career in the air in this memoir. 

“It seemed all the stars were aligned” when the young Crawley arrived in Spokane, Washington, for the medical internship described in this follow-up to his 2013 memoir, A Mile of String. Crawley, newly married, had a family on the way and a burgeoning career as a physician before him. But his path wouldn’t be free of heart-stopping challenges and derring-do. Over the course of the book’s pages, the reader is privy to the joys and sorrows of a medical intern at a large hospital, a family physician, a novice flight surgeon, and a commercial airline pilot. Readers see Crawley diagnosing and rehydrating a severely ill little girl, presiding over the death of an infant while his own daughter Jill is being born healthy in an adjoining room, and, later, stitching up a sailor who “needed to have his face re-attached” as a flight surgeon for the Navy Reserves. It’s during this time in the Reserves that Crawley discovered a great love of aircraft and, eventually, of flying them. “With the canopy open and the wind blowing in my face, I could feel the adrenaline flowing through my body,” he writes of his first solo flight. “It was a wonderful kind of excitement, both exhilarating and scary at the same time.” The language can tend toward the clinical: “I made a short incision just proximal and anterior to the medial malleolus (the prominent bony knob on the inner aspect) of the ankle.” And while medical professionals and seasoned pilots will likely nod their heads and smile (or wince) at just the right times, the rest of the readers may, from time to time, find themselves scratching their cranial epidermis. But the larger story Crawley has to relate here—that of a young man who mastered one profession and then, driven by passion, conquered another—remains an inspiring one. “Never be afraid to follow the path to your dreams,” Crawley writes. “It will make all the difference.” In this detailed and emotionally honest narrative, he certainly proves that, at least in his own case, the advice is sound.  

A courageous and meticulous doctor follows his dreams, saving a few lives and flying more than a few passengers to their destinations on the way.

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5150-0968-9

Page Count: 404

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2016

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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