Frederick Bingham's Reviews > Aloft

Aloft by Chang-rae Lee
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's review
Jan 01, 2012

really liked it
Read in September, 2005

I listened to this on CD. Performed by Don Leslie. The story of Jerry Battle of Long Island. He is in his late 50's. In a typical mid-life crisis, he purchased a small plane and learned to fly it. This is his way of escaping on occasion. There are a number of things going on in his life. He broke up with his long-time girlfriend a few months before and longs to get back together. His wife drowned several years before and he is still hurting from that. His daughter has discovered that she is both pregnant and has cancer. His son is running the long-time family business inexorably towards bankruptcy. His father has just gone into a retirement home and is getting nuttier by the day. Throughout all of this he has to hold himself together along with his family. This book has a lyrical pace to it, narrating in the present, but going back into the past to recount the history of important events that help the present make sense. Battle has a tough-guy, chauvinistic exterior, combined with a surprisingly sensitive and insightful inner self. The performer does a great job bringing this alive.

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