Paolo's Reviews > Up in the Air

Up in the Air by Walter Kirn
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's review
Nov 30, 2011

Up in the Air is about a business man named Ryan Bingham. Bingham has a job that requires him to constantly be travelling. His most common for of transportation is by flight. He is spends the majority of his time sitting in an airplane seat. This is one of the “perks” that comes along with his job. His position is called a Career Transition Counselor, which is pretty much a fancy name for someone who fires people from their job. In the first chapter, he tries and describes the type of person he is to the reader. The first line of the book states, “To know me you have to fly with me.” Bingham has a very lonesome lifestyle. He is distantly acquainted with his family, and has few close friends. Rarely ever has close and meaningful relationships with anyone. He talks about how he considers the stewards and stewardesses of airplanes, the maids and workers of hotels, and the people he sits next to on trips, to be his friends. He takes pills for depression and in his spare time likes to party in Vegas. Bingham’s main goal in the book is to reach a total of 1,000,000 Flyer miles. When he achieves that, he will be able to fly anywhere in the world for free.
This book relates well to my exploration topic of social interactions and having close relationships. From the other books I’ve read, the characters are fighting for their special someone. Whereas in Up in the Air, Bingham doesn’t try hard to keep a relationship going, like he doesn’t put a lot of effort into it. He becomes involved with a woman named Alex, but not in a courting way, but they are more like a “let’s get together for the weekend” type of couple. Bingham later discovers that she had kids and a family, so any chances of them being together was diminished. Bingham, sad to say, has a rather dull, boring, and uneventful life.
Overall, I didn’t think much of this book. It was quite bland and lacking in intriguing me. So unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy it that much. However, that is probably just the way the tone of the book was supposed to be. Since Ryan Bingham’s life was in itself, pretty boring. I felt a little disappointed because I was expecting the book to be very good considering how well liked the movie was. I honestly wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone, unless maybe you were a lonely travelling businessman and could relate to Bingham’s story.

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