BIPLANE by Richard Bach


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Bach is the author of last year's Stranger to the Ground, a prose poem about the sensory joys of jet piloting. In his present book he has given up the Air Force and is flying a 1929 biplane antique from North Carolina to Los Angeles. This installment might be called Dick Bach and His Escape Machine, for he has traded a perfectly good plane for this highly unpredictable machine merely on a whim. Bach, who has flown at more than twice the speed of sound, now finds himself lumbering along at 100 mph. The entire flight is by the seat of his pants and without a radio. During it he goes into several flash-backs about fellow pilots and relives some minor experiences. While Bach's love for his machine and for flight generally is made explicit, his first-person subjective approach has this time let him down by confining his experiences. Perhaps he is too young, but in capturing the romance of biplanes he is just no match for Arch Whitehouse, on the one hand, and he also lacks the lucid speculative intelligence of St. Exupery. When something happens, such as a forced landing, a crash, a storm, Bach is quite equal to thrusting the reader into the event. All too often, though, nothing happens...

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 1965
Publisher: Harper & Row