Meg's Reviews > Up in the Air

Up in the Air by Walter Kirn
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Aug 07, 09

Read in August, 2009

This book is super, super oddball. Half the time it is like, breathless slalom race to crazy! And to be honest that is kind of fun, and things open up a whole lot in the chapters Ryan spends with his sister. Like, a lot, like, if at that point the book had morphed into a road-trip novel, no complaints here. But overall there is so much noodle-throwing at the direction of an over-corporate America, you know, that kind of thing is really exhausting. Really wears on a reader, particularly because Kirn is so arch in his commentary, so sharp that sometimes it winds right back around and feels like it might be genuine praise of dying breeds. I don't necessarily need shadow corporations made of consultants with hilariously revealing names, I kind of prefer the human story lurking on the edges of all that satire. Breaking down the plot you find a lot of care was taken, but sometimes while reading you wonder if it wasn't all written in one angry, angry sitting.

I'm very interested to see how Jason Reitman handles the material in the upcoming film version. The Ryan Bingham in this book can be wholly smarmy and work quickly on his feet (Clooney!) but he also has a strange tenderness, a lost quality that I want more of. If we get Michael Clayton Clooney, that would be best.
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