Al's Reviews > Up in the Air

Up in the Air by Walter Kirn
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Apr 19, 2010

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Read in April, 2010

I read this book when it was published in 2001, and liked it, but didn't remember much about it. So when I saw the movie and didn't remember some of the things in it, I decided to reread the book. Note to prospective readers: as is (too) often the case, the movie is nothing like the book, except that the protagonist/main character lives a nomadic and weightless existence in a job where he spends all his time flying, and seemingly thrives on it. The movie is fine as a standalone movie, but it fails to capture the satiric humor of the book. The book introduces a number of minor characters, parodies of our country's business environment, and has lots of great riffs on modern business gobbledygook -- still quite topical ten years down the road--which aren't in the movie. For this reason, if you liked the movie, it's still worth reading the book. You might like the book more than the movie; for one thing, the book doesn't even have that really annoying Cornell graduate in it. If you haven't even seen the movie, but like the idea of a rootless, but cynical and articulate, middle management guy surfing the airways, read the book -- it's funny.
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