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TRAVELS WITH <i>PUFF</i> by Richard Bach


A Gentle Game of Life and Death

by Richard Bach

Pub Date: March 19th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-937777-03-6
Publisher: NiceTiger

The author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and numerous volumes about flying returns with an account of a cross-country flight in his new SeaRey amphibious plane.

In 2012, Bach suffered a near-fatal crash in this craft right after he submitted the manuscript to his publisher, so the text overflows with torrents of dramatic and other ironies, especially in his characteristic effervescent homilies about how “you call down your angels, and somehow they see you through your storms.” The journey the author describes—from Florida, where he bought the plane he named Puff, to Seattle, his home—took 62 hours in the air and was punctuated by minor mechanical problems, multiple landings on water, many conversations with his plane (yes, the aircraft replied), some hassles with storms, and some rhapsodizing about geology, rivers, lakes, the wilderness and feathers. Bach saw feathers several places and decided they signified something. Many chapters (all are brief) conclude with a sentence that begins, “If I’ve learned one lesson in all my days…,” a sentence completed with some banality that will appear soon in a Facebook meme—like “True for others isn’t true for me.” Bach shows an odd insensitivity to people who have not made a fortune writing best-sellers. On one remote lake, he sniffs: “These places are a few miles from where some folks live, stressed in I-have-to lives. To get from there to here you need a quest, and a way to travel.” Not to mention lots of money.

Greeting-card philosophy, as light and common as feathers.