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Flight

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  12,675 Ratings  ·  1,919 Reviews
The best-selling author of multiple award-winning books returns with his first novel in ten years, a powerful, fast and timely story of a troubled foster teenager — a boy who is not a “legal” Indian because he was never claimed by his father — who learns the true meaning of terror. About to commit a devastating act, the young man finds himself shot back through time on a s
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Audiobook, Preloaded Digital Audio Player
Published December 15th 2008 by Findaway World (first published April 17th 2007)
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Colin
Flight has a great narrative voice, and addresses important themes of revenge, violence, historical trauma and forgiveness. Alexie combines his poetic skill and humor adroitly to address these complex themes.

Yet the book was still rife with the major issues that turned me off from Alexie several years ago, that are part of why I think he remains so popular with white people in particular. He writes that all Indians are alcoholics again (including our narrarator), even going so far as to offer a
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Michael
Alexie continues to spin sly subversive themes with this satiric tour of the condition of Native Americans and their antecedents in history. Zits is the name our teenaged narrator calls himself in this first-person account (“My real name isn’t important”). He’s flippant and lonely and angry, the epitome of alienation. And brave in his stubborn resistance to both the brutality or liberal patronizing of his 20-plus sets of foster parents he has been placed with. His Indian father ran off when he w ...more
Anna
May 21, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Harold Terezon, Eric Wat
Sherman Alexie's Flight was a quick read, a much sparser book than his first novel, Indian Killer. That earlier work was more dense, much darker. I actually appreciated that first novel very much -- it was an angry, despairing book that captured well the continuing struggles and tensions of a modern-day rez-Indian and its dark, unrelenting sensibility was disturbing yet poignant too.

At the LA Times Book Festival, I heard Alexie talk about Indian Killer which he says he hates. He felt it was so a
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Emma
Nov 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 2007, "Flight" is one of Sherman Alexie's more recent novels. His critically acclaimed YA debut "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" came out a few months after "Flight's" publication. Together these novels illustrate how teen narrators can comfortably inhabit both adult and young adult novels. More about that later.

The book starts with a simple request from the narrator: "Call me Zits. Everybody calls me Zits." In other words, the narrator has no name. Given the struct
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Thea
Sep 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes crying in public places
I really liked this book a lot. It made me cry on the subway. This is the official review I wrote of it:

In Flight Sherman Alexie’s message is that everything is perspective, and it’s delivered in an original, moving, hilarious and intensely persuasive way.

Flight shocks its readers by presenting extremely sympathetic characters, who then do horrendous things. Zits, a half white, half Native 15 year-old orphan, has been abused and neglected most of his life. Moments after committing a shocking ac
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Catie
Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011, ya, audio
I love books that make me stretch and consider and think, but this book has no subtlety. Reading this book is like being hit in the face with a sledgehammer over and over again. I mean sure, it’s a sledgehammer of compassion and nonviolence and I quite agree with its form and purpose and all, but getting smacked with it still smarts. I need for messages and ideas in fiction to be woven into the story more closely; I need to work at their meanings and root them out myself, so they feel like they’ ...more
Mario
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, own-read
Is revenge a circle inside of a circle inside of a circle?


Earlier this year, I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, and I absolutely loved it, so I decided it would be a good idea to pick up another book by Alexie. So I picked up Flight. And honestly, I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. It wasn't as good as Diary but it was still really good. I went into this book not knowing anything about it, so I was pretty surprised with how the plot unraveled. This book even
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BrokenTune
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"Call me Zits.
Everybody calls me Zits.
That's not my real name, of course. My real name isn't important."


Part of the experience of reading is, no doubt, influenced by more than the book itself. Just as the story or atmosphere can transport the reader into a different reality, the circumstances of reading, the reality of the reader, can change the reading experience.
I'm convinced of that.

So, what happens when you read a book about a lost 17-year-old who is at the brink of a meltdown, who is filled
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Clint Jones
Feb 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
I love this book!!! However, I must say, with a bit of sadness, that this is not Alexie's best book. Alexie is at his best when his prose is poetic, thought provoking,and humorous all at once. And, while this book certainly has its moments, it fails to substain the sentence-after-sentence, page-after-page trance that Alexie's writing is capable of producing. What I love about this book is how it has gotten my high school students, who would normally not even consider reading a book, to consume t ...more
Emily
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wept the whole way through it. This book is marvelous. It bleeds empathy and compassion and is one of the most sincere, gut-real, open-eyed, forgiving, hopeful novels I've read this year so far. I love this book. The wit and charm of the teenage boy narrator kept me giggling and grinning, and the tone switches were so subtle and genuine and seamless that I would cry and laugh at the same times. Sometimes I would just cry. I am achingly pleased with Alexie and can't wait to pick up another of h ...more
Danika at The Lesbrary
This was incredible. I highly recommend the audio book. Adam Beach (a Native actor who was in Smoke Signals) does it and he does an incredible job. This is a story about pain and justice and most of all rage. It's about how people do monstrous things and about the cruelty of the world, but also about... hope? Survival? Shouldering the responsibility of being a stranger?

There is so much emotion, especially anger, in this book. It's not something to be picked up lightly. But it tackles rage head o
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Fahime
سومین کتابی که از شرمن الکسی خوندم و بهترینشون. داستان کتاب در مورد یک پسر 15 ساله اس با نام مستعار زیتس، از مادری ایرلندی و پدری سرخپوست. پدر در بدو تولد اون و مادرش رو ترک می کنه و مادرش هم شش سال بعد در اثر سرطان سینه فوت می کنه. پسر که شباهتش به پدرش بیش از مادرشه، با همه در جداله. بیش از همه با اجداد سرخپوستیش. داستان از اونجایی شروع می شه که بیست و یکمین خانواده زیتس رو به فرزندخواندگی قبول می کنن و ...
از خاطرات صد درصد واقعی سرخپوست پاره وقت خیلی بهتره و از رقص جنگ بهتر.
Lila
At first novel seemed so promising. Unfortunately there were several disturbing things that prevented me from enjoying it. Sherman Alexie tackles the issue of racism against Native Americans which of course I applaud. Unfortunately, in too many ways stereotypes are simply reinforced. Most of the Native Americans in this novel are either killers or alcoholics. There are no positive characters to balance them out.
At the same time, when describing white people he often uses adjectives like "beaut
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gina
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audiobook
I once was a social worker and I can tell you, Alexie delivers an accurate account in a short amount of time of the struggle of many of these kids, and why they do the things they do. I love where his mind goes. I love how he writes. The narrator did the BEST job on this book. I cannot say enough good things about Sherman Alexie. One of the best writers of our generation and I wished this was required reading for both foster parents and social workers. Aside from that, the social overview of whi ...more
Wil Wheaton
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended, especially for younger (high school) readers.
Autumn
Dec 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do not think this is a book of hate (towards any race) but a book about self acceptance. Alexie has a sardonic sense of humour, a biting tongue, but also combines this with compassion in his stories. This story is really no different than his other works, even if in this particular novel he is heavy handed with some stereotypes. Stereotypes are real folks, not in the idea that all people fit their stereotypes but that they exist. I think that is what I felt him demonstrating here--people feel ...more
Daniel
Jul 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2008
I am sad that "Flight" was my introduction to Sherman Alexie, because I did not care for it, and, given the widespread praise that he has received, I suspect that it does not represent his best work. Many things about this book did not work for me. The time-travel device is forced upon the story to serve Alexie's agenda, which in turn breezed through a few historical anecdotes that were themselves shallow. The revelations that Alexie produces in these episodes, though weighty, are not surprising ...more
Gloria
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you haven't discovered Sherman Alexi yet, I suggest starting now. I would start with the "Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time indian." And then I would pick up this book and lose yourself in it for about a 24 hour period. It is a short read, but filled with life lessons of understanding your past so that you can better understand yourself in the present. Zits is a 15 year old foster kid who has moved from home to home, staying somewhere sometimes for less than a few hours. He is part America ...more
claire
Apr 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Sherman Alexie's writing and have heard him speak on a radio program--what a loving, funny, open-hearted person. If you've ever read any of his short stories, you know how he can weave humor into seemingly dire situations. I can't wait to have a full week where I can read this new addition to his collection.

OK! I've read it and WOW. It only took me about 5 hours in total. Fast-paced and raw, this book was a roller-coater ride through not only history, but the life of the beloved "Zits"--
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Barbara
Sherman Alexie defies genre classification, which it seems is common for Native American authors. I am assuming this is a YA novel as the protagonist, "Zits", is 15 years old. This book includes time travel, which later in the story just stops happening. It is set in Alexie's Northwest, and those familiar with that area know that Native Americans, especially in urban cities, struggle with social issues including racism, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, and more. Zits is an orphan, child of ...more
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
I like Alexie's writing, but this just wasn't written for me. It's a YA novel, and weighted heavily on the didactic side. "How To Survive Being A Native American Youth By Encountering Time Travel & Thereby Learning All The Major Lessons in Life" would have been an extremely accurate title.
The 40+ study questions in the back make me wonder if perhaps this was written as a facilitator's guide for an "at-risk youth" program.

I'm sure I'm being unfair, as I've really enjoyed Alexie's short ficti
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Julia
Jul 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students, teachers, parents
Recommended to Julia by: I read all Alexie -- I'm so glad he's writing ya!
Reread for a Library bookclub on race and racial issues. At my suggestion.

Zits is a fifteen year-old foster kid, who has lived in twenty homes, who is half Indian and half white, whose rage, lack of identity, loneliness and guilt defines him. He goes into a bank prepared to shoot the customers. Why a bank? Because poverty also defines Zits. And he winds up time traveling and body traveling through five other people.

First, is a white FBI agent who kills an Indian in 1975. Second is a mute 12 yea
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deena kirk
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a rough first half. It took me a bit to warm up to the fantasy element of the read, however, the "ghosts" of past and present come together for the boy's future. I find myself on a conflicted plane with Alexie's story in this book. I do not love the harshness with with it is told. Yet, it would ring false for the main character if he had a softer viewpoint. I lived in South Dakota during my elementary school years. My father was an FBI Agent. He was transferred to Rapid City after the kill ...more
Jennifer
Flight is an apt name for this book since the theme appears throughout. In fact, I think of the book as a flight of fancy because the main character body hops from one time-period and social-economic status to the next. He is an angry, orphaned half-Indian who finds himself the body of an FBI agent on a reservation in the 70's, then a Native American boy during Custer's Last Stand, an Irish soldier during the same time period, a flight instructor during current times and finally his own absent f ...more
Miss Ravi
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, 1393
راوی این کتاب من رو یاد راویِ زندگی در پیشرویِ رومن گاری انداخت. خب چیزهای مشترکی با اون داشت ولی حرفهاش خیلی با سنی که داشت منطبقتر بود. حرفهاش شخصیت یه نوجوون آشفته حال و بیپدر و مادر رو داشت که قرار نبود فلسفهبافی کنه یا گندهتر از دهنش حرف بزنه
ولی نکتهی اصلی شاید کاری بود که توی روایت و ماهیت کتاب اتفاق میافتاد و کاملاً به اون جملهی کوتاهی برمیگشت که کتاب باهاش شروع میشه؛
جیکجیک؟
که لازم هم نبود زیرش منبع این نقلقول رو بیاره چون آدم به سادگی یادِ سلاخخانهی شمارهی پنج میافته و چندفصل که پیش بری
...more
liz
Mar 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
Okay, so this was my first time ever reading Alexie. I had been kind of hesitant, since he's The Indian Author, and it makes me feel bad for all the other Indian authors floating around out there (I imagine the publishers: "Well, we got The Indian Author, we don't need to worry about finding any other ones!"). So, I was pleasantly surprised that his writing is so good.

The way the story is set up reminds me of The Law of Love, in that there's a ton of switching back and forth between other lives
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Jennifer
Finished this on my drive home tonight. It was really good!

The person reading this book was perfection. Awesome inflection - I actually believed he was the main character - which pretty much never happens with me and an audio book.

I love Sherman Alexie books because I think he is a story teller and not just a writer. So the last two weeks I have listened to this wonderful story being read to me.

The nutshell of the story is about the journey of a teenager named "Zits". He is half Native Americ
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Liza
Sep 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I’ve been meaning to read a book by Sherman Alexie for a while now, and after reading Flight, I now want to devour everything that Alexie has ever written or been associated with. Flight is the story of Zits, a teenage Native American orphan who repeatedly finds himself on the wrong side of the law. Upon meeting another lost teenager, Zits thinks he has discovered the outlet for his anger, but suddenly he is traveling through time to important eras of Native American history--both in the popular ...more
Charissa
Ate this book up in about three days, cover to cover. Love Sherman Alexie. This one is a very believable journey into the heart of a troubled young Native American man, a teen, who has suffered through loss, mistreatment, foster care, and run ins with the law. Now he finds himself slipping through space-time, experiencing life through different lenses. Will it be enough to save him from his own self-destructive choices? This story is sort of like the shamanic version of Christmas Carol for orpha ...more
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Sherman J. Alexie, Jr., was born in October 1966. A Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, he grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA, about 50 miles northwest of Spokane, WA. Alexie has published 18 books to date.
Alexie is an award-winning and prolific author and occasional comedian. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as a modern Native American. Sherman's best known works in
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More about Sherman Alexie...
“What kind of life can you have in a house without books?” 197 likes
“I learned how to stop crying.
I learned how to hide inside of myself.
I learned how to be somebody else.
I learned how to be cold and numb.”
80 likes
More quotes…