A SEASON IN THE AIR by Thomas Simmons


One Man's Adventures in Flying
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 An unusual melding of the author's experiences as a pilot and his hunger to take control of his life. Here, Simmons (Nonfiction Writing/University of Iowa) continues the story of his struggle to break out of the mold that cast him as a ``good boy,'' doing always what others expected of him. In The Unseen Shore (1991), he described his escape from the rigid Christian Science doctrines enforced by his mother. Now, he carries on with his search for self-fulfillment--a search that here results in the dissolution both of a marriage bedeviled by money problems and of an apparently stultifying career teaching nonfiction writing at MIT. Also covered is the author's conquest over his dread of flying, and his eventual attainment of a pilot's license. Navigating a small plane, with only his skill separating him from death, Simmons feels that he's at last the master of his own fate. His telling of the delights and dangers of flying makes for exciting reading--but less enjoyable is the picture of a self- absorbed individual who goes into hock for flying lessons as he searches for his true self, even while his family struggles to make ends meet. Comparing his psychological breakthrough with what he believes to have been the thwarted ambitions of his father, Simmons concludes, ``Don't die from your good intentions.'' A fascinating yet disturbing look at flying and self- discovery.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-449-90739-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1993