Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Flight” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.89  ·  Rating details ·  15,520 ratings  ·  2,201 reviews
A fearless novel about a lost boy in search of his identity—who happens to be a time-traveling mass murderer

, the third novel by National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie, is both shattering and full of laughter. The story of Zits, an orphaned Indian boy, resonates profoundly in a country scarred by violence. Alexie works his trademark magic to turn Zits’s experience
ebook, 182 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Open Road Media (first published April 17th 2007)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Flight, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Patrick McDonald yes! Probably not gonna end up getting it (I don't have a Switch) but I'd be willing to save up for one to get it. Game looks great overall…moreyes! Probably not gonna end up getting it (I don't have a Switch) but I'd be willing to save up for one to get it. Game looks great overall(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,520 ratings  ·  2,201 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Flight
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
A quick but powerful read! I was not sure what to expect right after starting or if I was going to get into it, but it ended up being quite amazing. This was my second Sherman Alexie and I continue to be impressed.

Flight is a bizarre story that is a bit coming of age and a bit magical realism. The different "lives" the main character experiences are difficult, controversial, and possibly uncomfortable to consider. But, they help lead to a beautiful redemption that is uniquely crafted by Alexie.

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
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
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
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
Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, audio, read-in-2011
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
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
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
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
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
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
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, fiction
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
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
Wil Wheaton
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended, especially for younger (high school) readers.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are just no words to describe the impact of this book. It should be required reading for the entire human race.
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
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"--
Lily S.
Read it in a span of two days more than a year ago but I can barely remember what was it about. What I do recall however is the lingering feeling of disappointment.

Less substance than advertised.
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
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 Lives!
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 fiction,
A connection I can make based on this book is that it is kind of like the book A Long Walk To Water. These two books are related because they tell the story from different perspectives and in the end, the storys meet together in the end. While "ALWTW" only has 2 perspectives, Flight has multiple perspectives (I think 5) that tell the story. I like this type of writing because it is interesting to see how the characters react and develop and because it can bring life to the story. ...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2017 Reading Chal...: WA: Flight - Sherman Alexia 1 9 Feb 03, 2016 07:52PM  
RDNG 636 Fall 2015: Flight 1 3 Oct 08, 2015 07:27PM  
The narrator is immature 7 45 Nov 14, 2014 11:17PM  
Review 1 7 Sep 16, 2014 08:22AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Last Pow-Wow
  • Snitch
  • How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion
  • The Tragedy of Rudy Giuliani
  • Dispossession
  • Bewilderness Part One: Threshold
  • Emily Dickinson: Poems and Letters
  • The Levanter
  • Wild Swan: A Story of Florence Nightingale
  • Childhood, Interrupted
  • Winter in the Blood
  • Redstart: An Ecological Poetics
  • The Dog
  • A Mysterious Something in the Light: The Life of Raymond Chandler
  • The House of Discarded Dreams
  • Divorcing
  • Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide
  • Talking Back To Civilization: Indian Voices from the Progressive Era
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Kazuo Ishiguro insists he’s an optimist about technology.  “I'm not one of these people who thinks it's going to come and destroy us,” he...
170 likes · 21 comments
“What kind of life can you have in a house without books?” 230 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.”
More quotes…